Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Shattered by Tahereh Mafi

3 Stars
“Personal convictions were what nearly killed us all, is what they said. Convictions priorities preferences prejudices and ideologies divided us. Deluded us. Destroyed us. Selfish needs, wants, and desires need to be obliterated...”
This is the world in which Juliette lives. A world where there is no more freedom, where disease has wiped out massive numbers, where toxins have poisoned the land - therefore the food which everyone eats. A world that is regulated to the hilt. Juliette’s life is even worse than most since she has been locked in solitary confinement for 264 days for killing a child. Although an accident, Juliette’s touch has the ability to extinguish someone else’s life and since her parents no longer wanted her, she became the government’s problem. Everything has the potential to change, though, when another person is assigned to share her cell.

Shattered (a/k/a Rogue Finds a Boyfriend got a major bump up the TBR due to the fact that it seemed to be extremely polarizing. Although I don’t read reviews before I’ve read a book, I do check out how many stars various books earned from my GR compadres. Morbid curiosity leads me to immediately want to read something that has an overwhelming amount of either 1 Star or 5 Star ratings and not much in between. Boy did this one fit the bill!

Some things I know for certain. Things like I love me some YA and tales of dystopian societies suit me just fine. I wasn’t surprised to find myself not hating Shattered at the start. The world building was solid and there was a nice little hodge-podge of storylines running. Sometimes a little bit of everything is just what the doctor ordered and at least this one made no qualms that it was going to be lovey-dovey. Seriously, if you were deprived of human contact your entire life for fear of killing whoever you touched, wouldn’t one of your top priorities maybe be just being able to feel someone else’s skin (some days maybe even as much as you wanted food and sunshine)????

One thing that just JUMPED out at me was how much Tahereh Mafi likes WORDS. Lots of words. Most of them pretty simple, but a quantity that more than made up for the quality. I found myself flipping to the back cover to see if English was her first language. English offers plenty of opportunity to use 100 words when 10 would suffice, so I thought perhaps Mafi was very proud of how fluent she was in a second language. So much for that line of thinking. Turns out she’s from Connecticut. Huh. I let it ride for the first 100 pages or so, but eventually found that tiny sliver in my foot was starting to feel like an entire tree wedged under my skin. I’m a trooper, so I squirmed and complained my way through the excessive use of language only to find myself pleasantly surprised that around the 2/3 mark Mafi started getting to the point and cutting out the extra verbiage. And then things took an interesting twist. Interesting enough that I’m intrigued where Juliette’s story will lead in Book #2. Mafi has a new (old???? read it and you’ll understand) idea and I’m intrigued. Maybe even enough to break my rule of “Never Read Past Book #1 in a Series”, so I have to give her some props. The cover art, however, is almost unforgiveable. Lucky for Mafi/the publisher/the artist so many were reading this book. I would have NEVER picked up something that looked like an episode of “Project Runway” otherwise.

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