First of all, I have to say - COVER LOVE! This is one of those books where the cover gets your attention and is a perfect representation of the main character.
Shatter Me is Tahereh Mafi's first novel, written in the writer's unique non-conventional style. She starts off in Juliette's fragile mind - barely able to walk the line between sanity and insanity. Juliette is in a prison/mental ward because her powers are so dangerous even her parents are terrified of her. But soon her days of perpetually counting everything and secretly writing in her journal end when she meets her new cellmate, Adam. At first she's afraid of him and has nowhere to go, but soon, he takes her to his commanding officer and she finds herself in the "grips" of Warner. Warner is and egotistic, power-hungry, tyrannical leader. He's not only out to control the entire post-apocalyptic world, he wants to control Juliette as well.
The story takes a turn and Juliette and Adam are off on an adventure that takes them to what could be freedom, or could be another life of being controlled and used to fight a war for another operation. Juliette has to figure out if she wants to fit in or flee before things get out of control.
Reviews for Shatter Me were all over the place. Mafi writes in a style that reveals not only the main character's thoughts, but goes even deeper. She's transparent in that most characters have one solid thought, hers share their chosen thought path at the same time as revealing what they are really thinking, usually the opposite. It's very different and you either love it or hate it. It's like listening to a song and having someone "scratch" every few minutes. I had a hard time with it and found that once the writer stopped doing it, I enjoyed the flow of the story more. I think I could have done without about 75 pages of Juliette's madness in the beginning. That's not to say she should not be true to herself and write the way she wants. She is very brave and out-of-the-box with her style and did keep me interested.
I think this is one of the few times I fell in love with the secondary characters before I even liked the main character. Once the story developed and the main character, Juliette, was able to focus, I began to like her too. The last few chapters pave the way for a promising second book that I can't wait to read. Now we're talkin'! Once I finished the book and read the inner jacket, I found that Mafi is a kindred soul..."When unable to find a book, she can be found reading candy wrappers, coupons, and old receipts." A true lover of all things written and I would love to meet her!
I give Shatter Mefour stars! Can't wait for Unravel Me - I just know it's going to be her best work!