Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi

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All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.

The Shatter Me series follows Juliette, a girl whose touch can be lethal. She’s been locked up for almost a year because she murdered someone when the book first starts. While she was locked away, the world went to shit. It’s a proper dystopian society. Throughout this book, and again, the whole series, she has to learn about and choose what to do with this power.

The first thing everyone talks about with these books is the writing style. It’s whimsical, full of metaphors that don’t really make sense, and cut outs like this. I don’t like the strikethroughs, but thankfully as the series continue, they decrease until they are completely gone. I didn’t understand a lot of Juliette’s rambles, but I do understand they are there to show how scattered her mental state is. It made it quicker to read though which I really liked.

One of the main overarching dramas of this series is the love triangle between Juliette, Warner, and Adam. It is incredibly frustrating to read, but it isn’t the typical love triangle. I really think Mafi’s main thought when starting these books was to have something different, and she succeeded in that.  For those more into the romance, they will like this part of the books more. For readers like me, it was simply frustrating.

For this first book it took me maybe two years to finish. I think I had given up on it, but then later, I wanted to cross off some books from my currently reading list. So I finished it. I gave this book two stars.

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Time goes on even when we do not.

So you are probably wondering why I continued this series, right? Well, with the news of the of Restore Me I read the excerpt that was released, and I liked it. I was feeling down at the time, and it made me smile, so I texted Isis, who loves the series, and we decided to read the rest of the series together. So we started off again with Destroy Me, the first novella in the series. 

Destroy Me is set between Shatter Me and Unravel Me. It’s set in Warner’s perspective. I can’t say much. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I enjoyed it a lot better than I did the first books. I gave it three stars at least.

Fracture Me is the second novella. It’s set between Unravel Me and Ignite Me. It’s from Adam’s perspective. I gave it four stars.

I usually find novellas to be useless,  but these add so much to the series. Very important plot and character development happens. If you don’t read these, you’ll be missing out.

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I am no longer afraid of fear, and I will not let it rule me. Fear will learn to fear me.

The novellas do something interesting to the rest of the series. While it makes it more interesting, it also makes part of the books frustrating. Stuff is reveled in it that the readers will know, but Juliette will not. And it takes a while for everything to come out so that gets frustrating. 

Juliette’s character development is great. From the beginning of the first book to the ending of the last book, she grows so much. I didn’t love her, and I still don’t honestly, as much as others do. Which made me feel really guilty for a lot of the series since people always said she was like the ultimate feminist icon. She’s very dramatic, and so very self centered. It lasts pretty much the whole series. It gets called out by other characters, and she always has this revelation about how they are so right and how could she be acting this way. But then she continues to act how she was before. Pretty much every time she opened her mouth I was texting Isis about how annoyed I was with her. It never really ended throughout the books.

The world building in the series is bad. Nothing is explained deeply at all. I had so many questions and the books didn’t even attempt to answer them. It can be explained away with Juliette being so self centered, but that’s what I wanted and never got. Juliette’s powers still has plot holes in them. The world is never explained. 

The side characters were what really got me with this series. My favorite character out of all of them Kenji. He’s the best. It’s sad that Juliette is never interested in branching out more, because in the third book where there’s a small little group all the time, that’s where I loved these books. All of my annoyance would fade, and I really enjoyed myself in those scenes.

I gave Unravel Me three stars and Ignite Me four stars. That gives the entire series an average of 3.2 stars for me. I am going to read Restore Me when it comes out, and I have high hopes for it. I think she’ll fix what was missing from the original series. I did see Mafi mentioning adding more characters which will have more diversity. There might also be a Kenji novella. Both will be much appreciated. Most importantly, I hope for well fleshed out world building.

In the end, I find it hard to end this review. Can I really recommend it to others? I did finish the series, and plan on continuing it, but it’s not at all similar to other books I would recommend. Those didn’t cause me to go on long rants, or frustrate me to no end. Those I appreciated while reading them, not as the fifth book was ending. But I spent weeks reading them so they deserved a review even if it’s taken me three days to finish it. Even as I’m typing I still find my feelings of these books to be very complicated, but I hope I explained things as clearly as I could without going into any spoilers.

 

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