Shatter Me

Shatter Me - Tahereh Mafi First of all a big shoutout to Mada for loving it and recommending it to me. I see where you're coming from.

The story on it's own was entertaining, but the writing style was murder. I had only two complaints in that department but as those two things encompassed the entire novel I have to say they've taken away from the reading experience.

Problem number one. The striketrough text.



I have seen the blurb, yes, but I disregarded the striketrough as something limited to the marketing of the novel. I didn't give it a second thought. So I went online and got it. Started reading it and I honestly thought that I have somehow got the pre-edited version. I thought someone mistakenly made the wrong file available for download.

I understand the intention behind it. The things that we think, compared to the things that we say from time to time. It's not limited to Juliette, nor it's the first time it has been put in writing. It's just that I am used to seeing conflicted internal monologue displayed in other forms, mainly italic, not striketrough. For the life of me I couldn't focus. I kept thinking that these were internal notes the author was leaving for herself, to go back to and amend. Visually it was like looking at somebody's notebook and all the corrections they've made. It LOOKED like the novel is riddled with mistakes.

Second problem was the dreaded Purple Prose. In my personal taste there is a balance between being eloquent and waxing poetic for the sake of making your character sound grand and refined. The latter usually backfires. If you use it sparingly and apply it to highlight key emotional moments the effect is staggering, leaving the particular quote burned in your mind like a brand. If you choose to write the entire novel, you wind up filling the pages with contradictory terms that break the focus and often lead away from the plot. Take Juliette's imprisonment for an example. I couldn't experience it as something bad because the sugary way of speech made me think she was falling in love with the place. If you take in account that she's seventeen and been trough a shitload of problems, it doesn't add up. I know that she has seen some cruelty and that it can affect the mind, but for fucks sake “drops of water that gather like pearls on his eyelashes”? And every sentence is exactly the same??? Every time she would launch in a monologue I was like....


The only person I could connect to was Warner, and him being a murderous psycho with massive daddy issues tells you something about everyone else. Adam the true love interest was bland as porridge, and equally interesting. Warner at least had some depth of character. Yes he was a bit not quite right in the head but it worked for him. I liked it. Overall the plot would have developed a bit more faster I think if Juliette didn't write an Ode every time she went to the toilet.

As a YA novel the plot was good, but not something we haven't seen before.