Whenever I see someone is reading a book that they are probably going to dislike, I start to question their motivation behind reading it. I mean, whyWhenever I see someone is reading a book that they are probably going to dislike, I start to question their motivation behind reading it. I mean, why put yourself through torture when you could be reading something that rocks your world? But I do it myself, and Shatter Me is a perfect case in point. I love a good dystopian, but when the romance is more prominent than the world-building, it's probably going to end in frustration and also some feelings of guilt - why am I reading something that I won't like? Isn't that really unfair on the book?
In the interests of full disclosure, I read Shatter Me for Book Club *waves to awesome book club girls Jana and Karin* - and although I've owned a copy since shortly after it was first released, I possibly would never have gotten around to reading it otherwise.
First, the characters. Oh, Juliette, you are a contradiction - and normally that would mean I'd dislike you with a burning fiery passion. Alternately brave and shit-scared, she wasn't easy for me to like. But to be fair, she'd just spent a year in complete isolation in an asylum, so I'm a little bit more forgiving on the inconsistencies than I would normally be.
Connecting to the characters is, of course, the romance. Now I'm really sorry to all the Team Warner readers out there, but I don't get the bad boy attraction. He's a dick. A power-hungry, abusive dick. And he will never redeem himself to me.
Adam is sweeter, and much more the boy that I'd pick if I was Juliette - he's caring and kind and has this weird childhood-protective connection to Juliette that I found rather fascinating, even if it is a little too close to insta-love for my comfort. And sadly, that's pretty much all I have to say about the romance/s in Shatter Me - they just didn't rock my world.
It would be impossible to review Shatter Me without talking about the writing style - it's...unusual, and it took me a while to get used to all the metaphors and stuff, but by the end I actually enjoyed the style far more than all the other elements of the book put together. It's wordy, but it's not overwhelming - despite the fact there's a lot to take in, some of which works and some of which is just completely over the top, it's easy to read. Which is actually quite a skill.
The world building is interesting for what exists, but that's just the problem - there's not enough volume for me to have been completely sucked in by it. Humans have fucked up the environment and Juliette has a strange super-power that allows her to kill/hurt/maim people by touching them - sounds really cool, but there's just not enough substance for me.
Am I glad I read Shatter Me? Yes. I enjoyed the writing style immensely once I settled into it, and I could easily have read the whole book in one sitting. However, a bit more world-building and a bit less love-triangle-insta-love-romance would have made it far more memorable and enjoyable for me. I do own the second book, and maybe one day I will actually read it, but I'm undecided right now....more