** Spoiler Alert **
It's been hard to make time to read anything other than school related papers, but I just finished reading a newly published book called Shatter Me. It is a dystopian novel written by a friend of mine, Tahereh Mafi. I was really excited to find out she had published her book. She had told me she was writing a novel a few years back and it was science fiction, but that was all the details I got, so when I found out she was a published author, I of course had to read it. It is always great to have muslim, hijabi women make something of themselves.
The book is written for young adults (aka teenagers) and is about a young girl (Juliette) who is incarcerated for a murder caused by her fatal touch. The book is set during a time of great turmoil on earth and is a mix of action, sci-fi and romance.
I was initially excited about the book, especially because someone I knew wrote it. It took me a while to make time to start reading it, but once I did, I really couldn't put it down. There were so many questions and I just had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen.
The book is written as though you are reading Juliette's thoughts. The style is a bit different than any other book I've ever read (with strike-outs and lack of commas) and it started to get really annoying by the end (maybe i'm just not used to this style). Juliette is a mixed up girl with lots of suffering and lack of human interaction, making her very vulnerable. She starts up a romantic relationship with a young boy (Adam) who tries to help her. The story line is very interesting and the use of descriptive words and thoughts were really great to read.
The ending of the book reminded me a lot of X-men and unfortunately I could't help but get annoyed with all the mushy romance that the book had. I thought the romance happened way too fast and the innuendoes a bit inappropriate for a teenage novel (just like the Twilight trilogy). It was disappointing to read as I expected it to be a bit more mature of a novel, but kept reminding myself it was written for teenagers. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against romance, just don't think certain types of details have a place in teenage novels. We have enough problems in our society because of the idealization of sexuality. I guess I expected more from a hijabi, but then I guess it would never have been published if it didn't have all of that.
I will definitely read the next set of novels, Shatter Me is the first in a trilogy. The next book, Unravel Me, is set to be released February 5, 2013. Film rights have also been bought by 20th Century Fox for a movie, but I'm not sure when we will be seeing that.
Tahereh's Blog for those interested: Stir Your Tea