Series : Shatter Me
Volume : #2 of 6+
Year Published : 2013
Genre : YA, Romance, Dystopian, Sci-Fi
Formats : eBook / Paperback / Hardcover / Audiobook
# of Pages : 461 pages (Hardcover)
The thrilling second installment in New York Times bestselling author Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me series.
It should have taken Juliette a single touch to kill Warner. But his mysterious immunity to her deadly power has left her shaken, wondering why her ultimate defense mechanism failed against the person she most needs protection from.
She and Adam were able to escape Warner’s clutches and join up with a group of rebels, many of whom have powers of their own. Juliette will finally be able to actively fight against The Reestablishment and try to fix her broken world. And perhaps these new allies can help her shed light on the secret behind Adam’s—and Warner’s—immunity to her killer skin.
Juliette’s world is packed with high-stakes action and tantalizing romance, perfect for fans of the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard and the Darkest Minds trilogy by Alexandra Bracken.
I strived to NOT spoil Shatter Me, so this review should be safe to read if you haven’t read the series yet!
So, this review is going to be full of criticisms and it probably deserves less than the rating it’s getting but I was totally captivated and consumed this so fast despite its length. The fun level is the main factor that went into my rating.
First, the good.
Kenji is a spectacular side character. HE NEEDS HIS OWN SERIES. Probably my favorite sidekick of all YA books ever. So many other YA novels are lacking for not having a Kenji. He has a lot of snappy banter but most importantly- he calls out the heroine and other characters in a candid and productive manner, making well-reasoned arguments, and basically saying what the reader is likely to be thinking in any situation. All YA books need a Kenji to be the voice of reason and get their characters heads on straight.
Juliette’s shortcomings are far more noticeable in this installment. I still like her overall but she is a massive drama queen. That said, there are moments of self-awareness or insightfulness that pop up when she’s facing some of the more harrowing moments.
Finally, Warner. He’s that guilty pleasure bad-guy character you’re not supposed to like but is just intriguing. Doubly so here because he’s still this zany combo of evil yet affectionate, if that makes any sense. (It doesn’t, and I am so much a sucker for weird characters, so it works.) Warner is full of surprises and has a major role in the whole last half of this book and brings some much needed tension and mayhem to the plot, as he did in Shatter Me. Probably my second favorite character in the series though I do like all of them on some level. Except Adam, he’s boring.
Now for the bad.
Without spoiling anything or being too specific, I’ll just say that the ending of Shatter Me seemed to be leading into a ton of potential and possible growth for Juliette’s character. She is now mostly free, and open to exploring a broader world, a fresh setting. This SHOULD open the door for more characters and seemingly more to do.
But Juliette is so often trapped inside of her own head, her own neuroses, and so is the reader- deprived of what could be amore meaningful storyline and character growth. Far too much time is spent on her fussing, worrying, and having a single-minded fixation on Adam.
If you like Adam at all, it’s great. I was largely indifferent to him throughout these first two books, he’s just OK. I felt like her obsession with him takes away from so much.
It takes away from really learning about her powers, learning about the new setting, Omega Point. She doesn’t really get to know anybody. There is hardly any time allotted to the few new characters, and the few named female characters are especially and pointedly ignored. It really sticks out and I’m starting to get reverse harem feels when reading this. But even the most shameless reverse harem anime or manga for example, with like 8 different love interests all with different personalities and hair colors and back stories, will STILL find time to give the heroine at least one female friend or an epic frienemy or something. That shouldn’t be too much to ask for.
I knew going in that this was a romantic angst-fest with a focus on a growing love triangle. It’s a wonderful guilty pleasure on that front. But the dystopian backdrop has a little bit of potential that is frustratingly unrealized, considering that this book is almost 500 pages. But overall, I still had fun. Kate Simses narration is stellar as it was in Shatter Me, the details I mention about her work with the characters is still very present here.
Overall Rating – 8.5/10
Why You Should Try It – If you liked Shatter Me, this is definitely worth reading. If you liked Adam from that book, doubly so. If you liked Warner, it’s still worth going through to get to the third book, Ignite Me. Kenji is funny and charming and witty and needs his own book ASAP. Basically the characters from book 1 are all back and active, if you like them on some level you’ll probably like this book.
Critique – Juliette is a woefully single-minded drama queen that I think most will take issue with, even if they like her. Adam is a snoozefest (your mileage may vary.) There is a blatant lack of female characters outside of Juliette. The dystopian aspect and setting is under-developed.Unravel Me (Shatter Me Book 2) (Amazon Link) Shatter Me Series Paperback Box Set: Books 1-4 (The Shatter Me Boxed Set on Amazon, Discounted/On Sale.)
Many thanks to all who read my review! Are you interested in this series or have you read it before? Feel free to let me know your thoughts, I appreciate all likes and comments very much.