At first, I thought it was the concept that would make Shatter Me great. A girl who's been locked up for 264 days without any human contact? An MC whose touch is a danger to all those around her? It was golden. But what made the book truly extraordinary for me were two things: 1) Juliette's lyrical voice and 2) an irresistible bad guy with evil and charisma dripping from his pores.
As a longtime X-Men fan, the premise (i.e. the power) sounded somewhat familiar to me. It reminded so much of Rogue and all the troubles her power brought her that I just had to see what made Juliette tick. Immediately, from the first page, I could tell this girl was different. She saw the world differently, processed images and interactions differently, and I enjoyed reading her lyrical thoughts. Even locked in a prison cell, Juliette's inner voice read like poetry. Bleak yet beautiful, hopeful yet haunting, she had an outlook all her own. Reading her thoughts was like being re-introduced to the world. It was refreshing to find a new voice in YA, a girl I'd never met before but wanted to know better. Juliette feared herself--her touch--yet even with all her self-loathing she was a survivor. Just b/c she felt weak didn't mean she was weak. When the chips were down, Juliette showed more defiance and fire than anyone gave her credit for (except Adam and possibly Warner).
Speaking of, that brings me to the other element that made this book beyond awesome.
One word: Warner.
He was handsome, arrogant, cruel, ruthless. Fearless. Warner, the nineteen-year-old leader of the Reestablishment, was made out to be more evil than the devil himself…but. There was something about him. Like the best bad guys, Warner had qualities you couldn't help but admire even as you loathed him. His self-assurance was obviously attractive, but the thing I liked best was his obsession with power (and therefore Juliette). He wanted her to see that she was strong, that she could do and have anything she wanted. Even though his outlook was a bit Hitler-esque, I loved how he encouraged her. Or course, he was just using her to be a weapon for the Reestablishment, but that's beside the point J Paired next to Juliette who could see so much more when she looked at the world, Warner was narrow minded, focused, a little sad. I wanted to know more about him, and I greatly appreciate Mafi for creating an evil yet intriguing baddie.
The end of the book went even more into X-Men territory, but I liked what made it different, namely Juliette and Warner. The romance was wonderful and so was the action, but Juliette's unique take on everything going on around her, that's what made the read worth it for me. I will definitely be getting the next book when it comes out! Loved it :D :D
Happy reading everyone,