I listened to the audiobook. The narrator did a good job with what he had to work with, but the premise did nothing to interest me. Also, I have to adI listened to the audiobook. The narrator did a good job with what he had to work with, but the premise did nothing to interest me. Also, I have to admit that I giggled rather immaturely the first few times the narrator, in his ultra-serious tone, mentioned the character named Leaky.
The book was so ridiculous and unlikely that I couldn't bring myself to finish. I stopped at around the 30% mark....more
This is not real romance. Real romance does not include someone forcing themselves on you when you don't want them around. It does not include forcingThis is not real romance. Real romance does not include someone forcing themselves on you when you don't want them around. It does not include forcing sex when the other person doesn't want sex. It does not include someone calling virginity a "situation" that needs to be rectified. And it sure as hell does not include someone who is so controlling over your life that you can't even breathe without them knowing about it.
Oh, and calling someone a stalker and then laughing it off? That is NOT okay. Yes, I know Edward did his stalker bit in Twilight, but you know what? That wasn't okay either. I know that this is a novel and confusing idea, but let me make this painfully clear: stalking is a criminal offense for a reason, dammit. It is NOT a sign of love. And Heaven help me for even having to write this, but STALKING IS MOST DEFINITELY ONE-HUNDRED-PERCENT NOT OKAY.
*takes deep breath*
Moving on to our all-star cast:
Anastasia is our protagonist, and she has got to be the most codependent 20-something year old I've ever read about. I mean, she doesn't want to stay with Christian because his idea of fun sexytimes creeps her out, but she doesn't leave him because she can't stand the idea of living without him. She does things she doesn't want to do, just so that he won't leave her. That's not healthy.
Anastasia's subconscious and her inner goddess totally count as characters. They're constantly hiding behind couches, or vaulting over poles, or waving pompoms in the air. Which brings me to a question that was never answered in the narrative: what the hell is an inner goddess?
Christian is our love interest. He's neither loving nor interesting. The man has some serious issues that need to be worked through, including (off the top of my head) his threats, his obsessive desire to control everything and everyone around him, and his inability to shove off and give his partner the space she asks for. I mean, Anastasia is a simpering idiot anyway, so on the rare occasion that she actually stands up to him, it's kind of a big deal. Also, Christian is an insufferable ass.
I'm not even going to touch Christian's past, because pedophilia is right up there with stalking as being NOT OKAY. And I really do NOT care if he thought it was peachy fine for him to get a crash course in S&M at fifteen, because if the genders were reversed and it was a 15-year-old girl involved with an adult man, people would be (rightly) crying pedophilia immediately. I see no reason why gender reversal makes the situation any different.
This would have been a two-star book for the sheer "meh" quality of the writing (and let's be honest, the writing was subpar at best), but enough things bothered me that it's going straight to 1 star.
But seriously: why the hype? I just don't understand....more
I finished. I really, truly finished. I'm not sure you understand how happy I am to be done reading this trainwreck of a novel.
It took me three monthsI finished. I really, truly finished. I'm not sure you understand how happy I am to be done reading this trainwreck of a novel.
It took me three months, but I finished. Three months of shoddy writing and horrible characterization. Three months of reading about men constantly pounding their chests and grunting about how manly and dominating they are. Three months reading about simpering women who love being helpless slaves to Big Strong Men.
Honestly, though, it's a shame that Norman jumps the shark here, because if you strip the books of their stupid "slavery is good" undertones, and actually introduce decent writing, the main plot could be very, very good.
But it isn't, so I'm going to walk away from this series now before it has a chance to get worse....more
I couldn't really connect with the main character. So I'm putting this book aside for a while. I may try to read it again at some point, but for now,I couldn't really connect with the main character. So I'm putting this book aside for a while. I may try to read it again at some point, but for now, I have to say that this book isn't really for me....more
**spoiler alert** While I'll happily profess my undying love for The Hunger Games, I've never been a big fan of dystopias. Unwind annoyed me, and made**spoiler alert** While I'll happily profess my undying love for The Hunger Games, I've never been a big fan of dystopias. Unwind annoyed me, and made me rant and rave the entire way through. And then there was Divergent. Let's not talk about Divergent.
Shatter Me is a dystopia. It follows Juliette, a teenager who can drain the life out of anyone she touches directly (skin-to-clothing contact is perfectly safe, however). After she accidentally kills a child, she's locked up for almost a full year before she gets a cellmate. His name is Adam, and he's sexy. Adam used to be her classmate when she was a kid. After meeting Adam in her jail cell, Juliette is taken out of prison by a psychopath man named Warner, who is obsessed with her, and who wants to use her as a weapon in his attempt to impress his father take over the world.
Adam is Juliette's designated love interest. He even has a tattoo of a bird that Juliette has been obsessing about hoping to see through her prison window since she was first imprisoned. So their relationship is obviously Meant To Be. Hands up if you didn't see that coming. Anyone? No? Good. Let's move on, then.
The romance between Adam and Juliette is not believableridiculous unlikely. Juliette has a crush on Adam because he used to be the only person in her childhood who didn't think she was a freak. Adam has a crush on her because she was nice to other people when she was a child--and this crush, apparently, is the driving force behind him volunteering to be her prison keeper for Warner. Now, maybe I'm just not typical, but I've never been compelled to get involved in the lives of my childhood crushes. Especially not the ones who have life-sucking abilities and have to be locked away so that they don't kill people. But maybe I'm the weird one here.
But let's move on to Warner. Warner is our designated antagonist, and he's a rather fascinating disturbing piece of work. He's obsessed with Juliette, and seems to think that forcing himself on her will make her love him. And every time she rejects him, it only makes him more determined to "win" her love for the next time. He also repeatedly forces Juliette into using her powers, even though she keeps insisting that she doesn't want to kill anyone. Warner has no redeeming quality whatsoever, and I would have liked to see something vaguely positive about him, so that it would make it harder for me to root for his eventual demise.
The world itself also left something to be desired. It's basically a post-Global Warming world, where animals are sick and dying, people are sick and dying--and hell, the planet itself is sick and dying too. The world is practically a desert, and the air quality is poor at best. Also, there are no birds--Juliette makes a point of mourning the lack of birds. The world is ruled by an organization called The Reestablishment, which wants to homogenize the world and destroy all vestiges of culture and individuality. Except for when it just wants people to starve to death. Although I guess the two goals aren't mutually exclusive.
The writing style also merits discussing. The writing is experimental, and it's full of strikethroughs that are meant to show Juliette's true thoughts vs her expressed ones. I didn't mind the strikethroughs as much as other reviewers did, and I actually kind of liked them. What bothered me, however, were the constant, bizarre metaphors that I think were meant to be deep and meaningful, but that I had to keep rereading because they made no sense at all. There were also some strange repeats where Juliette repeats repeats repeats things a few times in a row for emphasis--except, she repeats things at weird places where there really isn't any need for emphasis. Which makes the technique fall flat.
I didn't hate the book, but it fell firmly into the "meh" category. I do not intend to read the sequel....more