To start out, please note that I don’t think I am a good enough writer to be able to share this review with you all without spoilers. So, please beware! Spoilers ahead!
Where to start with the Shatter Me series? Well let me start by saying that the first three books and the last three books are two very different stories. Central characters are the same but the events and central story are very different. So, I will only be addressing the first three books in this review or it would just take too long to explain everything!
We meet Juliette Ferrars, in a world that is dying due to human pollution. There are no more birds, animals are scarce and the weather is unpredictable. Juliette is locked up in basically an insane asylum because she has killed a little boy, accidentally. Juliette suffers from a strange affliction that makes her touch lethal to all. She is, obviously, extremely scarred by not only accidentally killing a child and not being able to touch anyone, but as we find out also because of her abusive parents. Juliette is scared and alone and continues to dream of a white bird with a gold crown on its head which at first, symbolizes the freedom she longs for, or at least I thought so in the first three books.
Juliette suddenly gets a guest in her cell. Adam, who she recognizes eventually as a boy she used to go to school with, gets tossed in with her and she can’t understand why. Eventually, Juliette and Adam are released and Juliette finds out that Adam is actually a soldier in The Reestablishment. The Reestablishment is a regime that took over the planet in promises to undo the human damage that was done and return the world to how it used to be but surprise, surprise, they’re a bunch of lying assholes who just wanted to take over the world.
Juliette discovers that Adam’s commander, Warner (um yeah please remember him), sent him to do recon on Juliette in her cell only to release her and take her into his own custody to use her powers as a weapon for the reestablishment’s agenda. But, plot twist, Adam and Warner can touch her.
Throughout the three books, Juliette goes through a journey of discovering the power she holds within herself. She has kept people at bay for so long that she has to learn how to let them in so they can work together to overthrow The Reestablishment. She also has to learn to decouple herself from the scared little girl who shied away from everything and tried to make herself as small as possible for everyone else’s benefit.
I enjoyed these books for a few reasons:
- They are a really easy read and super fun to get through
- I love the way Mafi uses the language she writes with to reflect what is happening in Juliette’s mind (My sister and I are in disagreement on this point, she is not a fan)
- Warner. Duh, he is everything, even though he is just as messed up as Juliette (I am a sucker for a tortured and misunderstood soul)
- It seems a bit too “middle school” at times. The dialogue between the characters is often not representative of the personalities Mafi draws up for us
- The plot builds to a bit of a disappointing climax. I mean, I guess it makes sense after the last three books come out, but I know these were a bit of an add on.
As a stand alone trilogy, these books are fun. However, I am personally more of a fan of the 2nd set.
What did you guys think? Which of the two sets was your favorite? Let me know in the comments!