Shatter Me (watch the trailer here) by Tahereh Mafi had me reeling from the first chapter. It simply took off and didn't slow down, even at the end. I was completely sucked into the world where Juliette exists, even though it seems like a horrible place. Oh, dystopia, you know how to pull me right in!
Shatter Me (read the first chapter here) tells the horrific story of seventeen year old Juliette Ferrars who had been incarcerated for murder. This isn't your normal prison/prisoner situation. This is a prison run by the Reestablishment- the cruel government attempting to regulate a world where food is hard to find, birds no longer fly, the weather is unpredictable, and diseases ravage the population. But murder? She seems so kind. Her ability to harm others comes simply through contact with her skin. Isn't that crazy? Touching Juliette causes excruciating pain, and if done long enough, can cause death.
As you can imagine, it was hard growing up this way. Juliette's parents could not understand her and her powerful touch. There lack of understanding really translated into a lack of love. So, Juliette was taught she was unlovable and to avoid human contact at all cost. That wouldn't cause any problems...no way. So, finding herself in solitary confinement in a Reestablishment prison is just what Juliette thinks she deserves. Her life continued upon this miserable existence until the day her solitude was shattered by the arrival of a cellmate, who is shockingly a boy. Unexpected.
Even more unexpectedly, Juliette knows him. She recognizes him from elementary school years ago. But, she can't find it within herself to reach out to him. For friendship. She would never reach out to him physically. Juliette is absolutely terrified of touching a person for fear of hurting them.
But, even this is not the biggest surprise. It seems as though the Reestablishment, or at least the son of the Reestablishment's leader wants to harness Juliette's powers and exploit them. Warner is obsessed, to say the very least with Juliette. After having studied her endlessly, Warner finally lets Juliette in on his demented plan of making her an instrument of torture for the Reestablishment. As you might have guessed, Juliette is mortified. But, what can she do? Is the boy from her past the key to a new future? Is Warner completely insane? Does Juliette have more to offer than her touch? Oh my, my, my.
I've got to tell you, I have so many questions after having finished this book. I am thrilled that it will be a trilogy, and there will be an enovella from Warner's point of view called Destroy Me released in October 16. By now, I think everyone knows how I feel about novellas! I absolutely can't wait to get inside Warner's twisted head! The second book, Unravel Me is due out in February of 2013 and the third, yet untitled book is due out in the fall of 2013.
*I would reccomend this book to older teens.