I’m usually not a fan of first person POV, nevermind first person present tense — feels too much like Goosebumps and I associate that with my childhood, not my adulthood — but Shatter Me is such an emotional rollercoaster this was an expertly brilliant way to portray those feelings. I am breathless. What a book.
Contains spoilers, duh.
First off: I love X-Men and I love Rogue. The idea Juliette had her powers and is so shunned and damaged as a result but she’s also so strong and determined… I love it. Major female power figure. Yaaas
Being an isolated weapon of mass destruction that was Juliette was how Throne of Glass should have portrayed Caelena. She’d been tortured, alone, mistreated, starved. Juliette didn’t pine for the loss of her breasts or how straggly her hair had gotten. She didn’t materialistically marvel over pretty dresses or describe how ‘achingly handsome’ her captors and torturers were. She had her priorities in check. She enjoyed human contact, of which she was deprived, and she enjoyed the air outside and nature, which she didn’t have either during her time in isolation.
The emotional build-up between her and Adam had me aching, despite me not being a fan of romance. It was delicious and I was so scared he’d betray her somewhere along the way. The insta-love was pretty glaring but made up for with excellent chemistry. I would have loved the betrayal or misunderstanding somewhere to offset the insta-love but that never happened. The obsession Warner had with her was frightening, abusive, almost psychotic, and I have a feeling that’s going to end up being a Stockholm syndrome-cum-love-triangle somewhere down the line.
Ew. Hope not.
The prose itself is very purple and I can see folks being immensely put off by that. I do relate quite well to Juliette’s inner running commentary so it doesn’t bother me as much; in fact, I find it adds to the emotional rollercoaster she experiences during this book and doesn’t pull me out of the story at all, compared to Caraval, but from a technical point a lot of the prose is superfluous.
The pacing, however, I loved. It’s almost perfect. Every time something slows, when there is a slow in the story when I felt safe, something explodes. Sweet tender moments get jeopardised. Something dangerous always comes slinging. It got me so tense during reading to the point where I’d skip forward a few paragraphs when I’m enjoying a sweet moment just so I can make sure the moment lasts rather than another bomb goes off or something flies into the main couple
I’m also so glad Juliette finally finds her sanctuary. I’m hopeful it only goes up from there but this is Book 1 out of 5. It’ll only get worse for the next four books before going back up.
Also, the book cover is freaking gorgeous. It’s what caught my eye initially amidst all the other books on a flash sale and I got it and Books 2 and 3. There’s an alternative cover which is just your standard thin young white girl in a pretty prom dress, literally one of the most overused and unoriginal covers ever, and I couldn’t be more disappointed. Whose bright idea was that?
Verdict: 4 stars. Would recommend. Get the set!