Welcome to the most polarising novel of late 2011. Those who love it will love it to bits, and be scary fangirlies. Other readers will admit it has some good ideas, but the execution will make them roll their eyes so much that they’ll get headaches.
Yeah, I’m in the latter camp.
Cut to the core, Shatter Me is a paranormal YA masquerading as a dystopian. There are superpowers, and you must choose between being a villain or a hero. Doesn’t sound so unique now, does it?
Including strikethroughs in your writing is okay for blog posts. But if you do it in fiction, you’re breaking the golden rule of “show, don’t tell”. Because the strikethroughs are telling, and not showing. They’re gimmicky.
So why all the eye-rolling? You know how in real life when people speak figuratively, and it’s really effing annoying? It’s right here in novel form. The rabid fangirlies may claim it to be lyrical, poetic, literary, and altogether awesome, but you and I know better – it’s over the top. Writers, please write what ACTUALLY HAPPENS, and your readers can take their own meanings from that. Don’t bother with fancies – just give us what’s real.
There’s only one character here with a sense of humour, but unfortunately not even Kenji Yamamoto is enough to save this tale from being one big emo fest. Which is okay if you think being emo is a good thing. I do not.
There is one other redeeming character in the form of James Kent. He may only be ten years old, but he says what readers are thinking: Juliette Ferrars’s touch is lethal to everyone – except to the love interest. Rather CONVENIENT, eh? And of course Juliette has been alone most of her life, but by the novel’s end she’s in with a group of others with superpowers. Complete with her own sexy superhero outfit.
The story’s great while in the prison cell, but after that I lost interest, particularly when Omega Point comes into play. YA paranormal romance fans will love this. The rest of us are not so easily amused.
P.S. Not sure if this counts for anything, but the author shares an agent with Stephenie Meyer. Make of that what you will.