Shatter Me by Tahareh Mafi
Read March 7, 2018
I did not think I would like this book.
Years ago, this series was on fire. Everyone either loved them or hated them.
Recently, there has been a resurgence of love for the series because the latest book is out. I’m going to warn you, I have an unpopular opinion about these books, but hear me out.
I think they’re fun. BUT, here’s my big problem with this series (keep in mind I have read the first two books and the two novellas).
As a science fiction dystopian, this book fails.
Freaking love triangles man. The only YA book where I enjoyed the love triangle and was convincingly torn by it, was The Hunger Games. Those characters all had real pros and cons and emotions attached to them.
Shatter me? Um, no. There is one clear choice and the other is a terribly disturbed boy you’re supposed to sympathize with and believe can be fixed by loooooooove. No. I wish young adult fiction would stop doing this. It’s not ok for young women to believe that all abusive and emotional terrorism can be excused because you truly love that person and they’re incredible hot. It’s not okay, it’s never okay. Stop doing this.
Back to my literary criticism.
This is not a science fiction or dystopian novel no matter how hard it tries to be. Science fiction is easy to disprove- there is no explanation of the mysterious powers the people suddenly have. Despite the fact that they show characters going through ‘tests’, there really isn’t any logical explanation. Science fiction does still require you to suspend belief, however, there should be some sort of science backing it. The facade of science fiction is there in this case, but not strongly enough.
Here’s the problem with calling this dystopian: It’s flimsy, not there, and doesn’t make sense. First of all, there is no setting. There is no mention of continent, country, state, city etc. Are we even in North America? I assume because the author is American. There is never mention of where in the world these people are from or where they currently are other than this hideout, then that hideout, then that building, or over there.
The world has been homogenized under one world power…in less than a year. This makes no sense and there is no other explanation than simply that. There was some sort of vote and then it happened. Once again, I am willing to suspend belief, but this is so flimsy and there is no further discussion about this world than a flippant remark about ‘the bad guys’.
This is a romance.
Pure and simple, this is a romance novel that I wish would have been marketed as simply being a paranormal romance. I think that would have worked for me.
Like I said, I enjoyed these books. They’re fast and fun. There is always something going on.
The writing style is gorgeous! Mafi is so talented! I was taken on the emotional ride of the main character and identified greatly with her because the writing pulls you in and refuses to let go. The writing was the strongest part of the novel, unfortunately, the plot falls apart.
I gave this three stars because it is fun. I haven’t read Ignite Me or Restore Me yet and I think I will just simply because they are such fast reads and entertaining enough it would be good for a-well, a snow day like I have now.