Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me by Tahereh MafiBlurb

Things happen when people touch Juliette. Strange things. Bad things. Dead things.

No one knows why her touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon.

But Juliette has plans of her own. After a lifetime without freedom, without love, she’s finally discovering her strength – and maybe even a future with the one boy she thought she’d lost forever.

My Perspective

This is the fourteenth book I read from my post Credit Where Credit’s Due. I read about Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi from Lynette at Lynette Noni. You can read her thoughts on the book here.

Shatter Me is the first book in the Shatter Me series. It is about a seventeen year old girl named Juliette who possesses a very unique trait – if you touch her you will die. After a terrible accident occurs involving Juliette, she is abandoned by her parents, shunned by society and locked up in an asylum. However someone has their eye on her.

I really wanted to love this novel. Its style was so unique and the beginning captured me instantly. It didn’t hold me though and I’m actually quite disappointed with how the rest of the story panned out. A lot of people have trouble with this book because of the writing style (the use of purple prose) however that was not my qualm at all. I couldn’t stomach the romantic aspect to it. I found it so ridiculous and immature and boring. It completely took away from the dystopian part of it. It was filled with so much, well basically sexual content, albeit PG, which is NOT how the book is marketed.

Juliette is really easy to like and root for. Despite how she’s been treated, she’s not bitter, she still wants to do good. She’s brave and stubborn. She’s also not perfect, which makes her easier to relate to. She lacks self confidence (no wonder) and finds it hard to believe she’s not a monster. Adam, is of course, practically perfect. Strong. Sexy. Inherently good. What every teenage girl dreams of. It would have been nice if he had some imperfections to actually make him realistic.

The writing style was really intriguing. I’ve never come across purple prose before and i really enjoyed the style – some of the descriptions were fantastic. I did find that it petered off though, which was disappointing.

The dystopian premise was interesting however not super unique with the saturation of dystopian novels on the market at the moment. However Juliette and her predicament was definitely unique and really gave it a fresh twist. I really wish that this story hadn’t become so bogged down in kissing scenes.

There are two more novels in the series however I probably won’t read them. I can understand how teenage girls would probably love this book however if you like a bit more depth to your stories, I would probably look elsewhere. This book could have been so great and I’m really sad that it’s not.

Overall I can only really recommend this book to those into reading YA dystopian novels that mainly revolve around kissing scenes…


The Maze Runner 3: The Death Cure by James Dashner

The Maze Runner 3: The Death Cure by James DashnerBlurb

The Trials are over. WICKED is planning to restore the survivors’ memories and complete the final cure for the Flare.

But Thomas has already remembered more than they think. And he knows WICKED can’t be trusted …

The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine. Will anyone survive the Death Cure?

My Perspective

The Death Cure is the last book in The Maze Runner series. Thomas and the others have finished The Trials and have been given the opportunity to get their memory back and help WICKED finish finding the cure for The Flare. However Thomas, Minho and Newt don’t trust WICKED and refuse to undergo the treatment to regain their memories, instead planning a way to escape.

Again, the transition from the second to the third book was seamless and didn’t miss a beat.

Thomas seems to have reverted to some of his immaturity in this book and I found it harder to connect with him. I found it hard to connect with any of the characters to be honest and although I was sad at some of the deaths, they didn’t impact me greatly.

The book is action packed however again, like the first book, medium paced.

One thing I applaud the author for was that the whole time I had no clue whether what they were going through was for real or was another Trial. Even right up until the very end. You feel just like the subjects do, that you can’t trust WICKED nor anyone or anything because it could all be an illusion. I won’t give it away which it was.

I was glad the romance wasn’t a huge factor in this last book. Having read the whole series now I don’t have to reserve my judgement anymore! Ha. I can say for sure now that I felt that both the romance and love triangle that was happening was unnecessary and didn’t flow with the rest of the book. It was like it was added so the books would appeal to young female teenagers. I think the series would have been just as good, if not better without it.

The whole concept of the book was thought provoking, horrifying and really captured the saying “Sacrifice the few for the good of the many”.

In the front cover, and also in the forward by the publisher, there is comparison to The Hunger Games however although the series was good, it was not great like The Hunger Games. The Hunger Games delved deep into emotion. The Maze Runner series was deep due to it’s concept however the emotions weren’t explored and so remained quite shallow in a sense.

Overall it was well worth reading and I would definitely recommend the series if you like Young Adult Dystopian. However again, you need to have read the first book in the series, The Maze Runner.

The Maze Runner 2: The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

The Maze Runner 2: The Scorch Trials by James DashnerBlurb

Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. No more puzzles. And no more running. Thomas was sure that escaping meant he would get his life back. But no one knew what sort of life they were going back to…

Burned and baked, the earth is a wasteland, it’s people driven mad by an infection known as the Flare.

Instead of freedom, Thomas must face another trial. He must cross the Scorch to once again save himself and his friends…

My Perspective

The Scorch Trials sees the surviving Gladers not rescued to go back to living a normal life, but rescued to be thrown back into another test. This time everything isn’t provided for them, they have a time limit and there’s a catch. Plus they have to complete it in the section of Earth now known as The Scorch – a barren wasteland with a city in the middle riddled with those who have caught the infectious disease known as The Flare.

The Scorch Trials is the second book in The Maze Runner series and follows on immediately after the first book. The flow on is actually pretty seamless – it’s almost like you just turned the page from the last book.

I think I enjoyed this book better than the first in terms of its storyline and content however the romance parts I found even more tiresome than the first. Are they really necessary?

I liked Thomas a lot especially as he continues to mature and grow. He’s realistic and his past is quite intriguing. The more you find out, the less you know.

The book is faster paced than the previous and I’m pretty sure I read it in a day. It’s action packed and you’re holding your breath quite a bit.

Overall it was an enjoyable read and I would definitely recommend it the young adult audience. Obviously you need to have read the first book in the series, The Maze Runner.

The Maze Runner 1: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner 1: The Maze Runner by James DashnerBlurb

When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas can remember is his first name. But he’s not alone. He’s surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade, an encampment at the centre of a bizarre and terrible maze.

Like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they came to be there, or what’s happened to the world outside. All they know is that every morning when the walls slide back, they will risk everything to find out.

My Perspective

Kel and I watched the movie, The Maze Runner, when it came out on DVD. When I learned that it was a book I was curious to read it. I also didn’t realise that it was a three book series, The Maze Runner, being the first. Kath from Minuscule Moments of Inspiration lent me the trilogy – thanks Kath!

The Maze Runner follows Thomas as he is hurtled upwards in a lift towards an unknown destination, having lost all of his memories. At the top he is let out into “The Glade”, a large field and forested area, where a group of teenage boys welcome him, all having experienced the same thing. The Glade is surrounded by a maze and so far no exit has been found. Soon Thomas learns about the dangers within the maze and the strict rules the boys live by to survive. Who created The Maze? And what do The Creators want from the boys? Thomas may be the newbie but he is determined to find out.

As I had seen the movie, I already knew the storyline however most book to movie adaptions have a lot left out and this certainly had it’s share.

The whole ‘all boys’ encampment, the need to survive and creating a mini civilisation reminded me a little of The Lord of The Flies (although I’ve never read the book I know the general gist of it). However there the resemblance ended. The Maze Runner is about far more than that and you really start to question the people who created the whole scenario and how awful humans can be.

I liked Thomas however I did find him a bit cocky. He does mature a lot through the book though due to the circumstances he is put through. I didn’t get the relationship with him and ‘the girl’. It felt like the author was trying to create a love interest that just seemed a bit lame. I felt that the book would have been better without it. I will reserve my judgement on it though because as a said, it’s a three book series and it might make better sense later.

The book is action packed however medium paced. You are as unaware as Thomas throughout, which makes it interesting as you only learn the back story as he does.

I did find some of the language a little tiresome (there’s no swearing, when I say language I mean the expressions and style the boys talk in). I just wanted to shake them and tell them to speak properly! I don’t know whether it makes it more realistic though having them create phrases and talk a certain way – I’m not a teenage boy and never have been so I have no idea.

Overall I did enjoy it however it was kind of depressing. And makes you wonder what the world is coming to. I would feel comfortable letting my teenagers read this and would recommend it to any age, males especially.

Terra by Gretchen Powell

Terra by Gretchen PowellBlurb

A broken and desolate Earth. A young girl simply trying to survive. A lost boy with a powerful secret.

A discovery that will change everything.

In the distant wake of a plague that has decimated the Earth’s population, humanity is split in two: The rich and powerful live in skycities that float overhead, while those who remain on the ground have gathered in settlements strewn across a dying planet. Eighteen-year-old Terra Rhodon is a terrestrial–a denizen of the barren groundworld–who makes her living as a scav. Long abandoned by her father, her caregivers gone, Terra supports herself and her younger brother, Mica, by scouring the earth for discarded scraps and metals to recycle for profit. One day, while on a routine scavenging run, she discovers something that shocks her home settlement of Genesis X-16. When the value of her discovery is revealed, Terra’s world is turned upside down.

Terra suddenly finds herself asking questions no one will answer. Her search for the truth leads her to Adam–a beguiling skydweller unlike any she has ever met. But Adam has secrets and a quest of his own. With him by her side, the world Terra thought she knew begins to unravel. Soon her discoveries unearth a terrifying conspiracy that has the potential to shatter everything–a revelation that will test the bonds of loyalty, family, and love.

My Perspective

This is the second book I read from my post Credit Where Credit’s Due. I read about Terra by Gretchen Powell from Cely at Running Off The Reese’s. Unfortunately you can’t read her thoughts on the book anymore as her blog was hacked and her posts deleted 😦

Terra is a dystopian novel. The Earth is dying and the population have been split between the rich Skydwellers and the poorer Terrestrials. Terra is a Terrestrial, an earth dweller, and her only means of survival is scavenging the wastelands outside the compound that she and her brother, Mica live in. However one day whilst scavenging she finds an item that changes the course of her future.

Terra was an enjoyable read. The beginning really sucked me into the story. It was interesting, kept me turning the pages and flowed well. However I did notice there was a subtle change in the book when Adam was introduced. It became slightly cheesy and even though I was still interested in finding out what happened, it lost the appeal it had before.

I really liked Terra’s character except I found she irked me when Adam was introduced. I liked Adam as a character though – again there was something that changed and I’m not sure it was for the better. Mica was your typical teenager however you couldn’t help having a soft spot for him.

I found some of the story a bit unbelievable. The romance in particular. The novel is aimed at young adults though so it would most likely appeal to them.

The book leaves you on a pretty large cliffhanger – I didn’t realise it was a series! I must admit that even though it was quite cheesy the cliffhanger definitely makes me want to read the sequel.

Overall I did enjoy the book and I would recommend it to those who like young adult dystopian fiction.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay by Suzanne CollinsBlurb


Katniss Everdeen’s final battle has begun.

My Perspective

After i read The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, i waited again until i had a whole day off to read The Hunger Games: Mockingjay. This opportunity arose not too long after and i read it in about six hours with a couple of breaks in between. I needed to know how it would end and putting it down over a couple of days was not an option! To be honest i am actually relieved that i have finished the series. They were amazing however emotionally they really take their toll. Not many books can do that.

In the third book Katniss must decide whether she wants to be the face of the rebellion, to be the Mockingjay, and to help bring down the Capitol. She is consumed with doubt about who she can trust. Is she truly helping to bring freedom to the districts or is she just another puppet in the rebel’s hands?

The story picks up pretty much from where it left off. Some time has passed however not much has happened for Katniss. The third book is a lot darker than the previous two and a lot of the book is about what is going on in Katniss’ head and basically how shattered she is from everything that she has been through and continues to go through. It reminded me a little bit of The Lord of The Rings, and how there are large sections about how Frodo is dealing with the burden of the ring. The third book is written more like the first book, which i mentioned i was curious about in my review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

The character development in the third book was good however to be honest did distress me. And i didn’t see it coming at all. Again it was really quite dark however realistic as people don’t just bounce back from being in situations like that.

There were a lot of twists and turns that i didn’t expect at all. It was definitely a page turner and it became about a lot more than who Katniss would choose in the end.

The trilogy as a whole is quite a work of fiction. I can understand why it is as popular as it is and why it has affected so many people. It’s a story that stays with you long after you have finished reading it and without spoiling the ending, a story that will never truly have a happy ending because of how emotionally scarred the main characters become.

I would definitely recommend reading this book, however not until you’ve read the first and the second. And i would definitely read the trilogy again however i couldn’t do it on a regular basis – they are not at all a light read.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire by Suzanne CollinsBlurb

Katniss Everdeen survived The Hunger Games. Now the Capitol wants revenge.

My Perspective

I obviously wanted to read this straight after i finished The Hunger Games however i was really busy with work, the farm and other chores that i knew if i started i wouldn’t be able to just read a little bit at a time. I worked really hard to try and get everything done so i would have two whole days to read it (even though i knew i only needed half a day but i allowed so much time in case something came up). Alas even ‘the best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft a-gley’. I didn’t even get half a day, let alone two!

Anyway i couldn’t wait any longer so i just started reading it and tortured myself by having to put it down all the time. I do admit that when i was three quarters of the way through and it was getting late, i kept saying to myself; just a few more chapters and then I’ll go to sleep. Then of course i had almost finished it so i may as well just keep reading to the end.

In the second book, Katniss and Peeta have returned home, having both won The Hunger Games. This is the first time there have been two victors and the events leading to that outcome has not been looked favourably upon by the Capitol. Katniss knows her life, and her family and friends’ lives are in danger because of this. Little does Katniss know what their plans are.

The story obviously follows on from the first book, however it doesn’t pick straight back up from where it left off. I think a few months have passed. However Katniss does reflect on what happens between the end of the first book and where it begins again in the second book so you aren’t left in the dark. I found a lot more of this book was reflecting on what had happened rather than what was actually happening like it did in the first book. I understand that there was a lot more to get through this time around, i just felt that the two books didn’t match each other. The first book was also very unique in it’s presentation however the second book was more mainstream. I admit i was a little disappointed. I am curious to see what the third book is like.

I really enjoyed getting to know all of the new characters. Katniss has definitely matured and grown in the second book, however she did disappoint me at the end. Also i am torn about who she will end up choosing, or if the choice is made for her, and if so, who it will be?

The first book was brutal in its premise however i found the second book to be a lot darker. I also found it had more twists and turns and even though i predicted some outcomes, others i had no idea about. It was definitely interesting and kept me turning the pages.

I definitely thought the first book was better written however i still really enjoyed reading the second book. I would definitely recommend it and even though there was enough recap to know what was going on in the second book, to get the full picture you really need to read the first book. I am looking forward to knowing how everything comes together in the third book!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsBlurb

Every year, twelve boys and twelve girls are chosen to take part in the Hunger Games. Watched by the entire nation, this is action-packed reality TV at its most exciting – and most dangerous. Katniss Everdeen has grown up struggling to save the people close to her. Now she faces the biggest challenge of all – the fight for her life. Winning will make you famous. Losing means certain death.

My Perspective

I don’t tend to read many books that are extremely popular. There’s something off-putting about how many people are obsessed with them. Maybe i think I’m above everyone’s tastes. Such a snob!

Anyway friends’ opinions who i generally trust have told me how great the trilogy is so i thought that I’d give the books a go. And I’m not sorry i did!

This review is about the first book.

The story is about Katniss Everdeen, a sixteen year old girl who lives a life of poverty, like most of the country, illegally hunting to feed her mother and younger sister, Prim. Each year the richest part of the country, the Capitol, holds The Hunger Games, their annual reality TV show. There are twelve districts that must compete, each with a male and female tribute. It’s a fight to the death and there is only one winner. Much to Katniss’ horror, Prim is chosen. In act of complete selflessness, Katniss volunteers in her place. In order to keep her family alive, Katniss has no choice but to win.

I think i was irrevocably drawn into this story from about page three. I could not put it down. I’m a dogged reader and will read to the end (unless it contains sex) even if it never draws me in. This drew me in. And it wasn’t just because it was interesting, it was the way it was written. It was written in first person, in present tense. Each moment was written as it was happening. It is not easy to pull this off. You can get it so terribly wrong. The author got it so, so right. It was amazing and she really used it to her advantage in how the story unfolds.

The story is aimed at young adults and it’s not a terribly long story however i found it really interesting that the book spans no more than a few weeks. This is generally unheard of in books. Usually it’s at least a few months, if not longer. It made the book seem a lot longer than it actually was because time didn’t pass very fast at all. I think it developed the characters and the story well. It was really detailed and you were able to experience each moment as Katniss did. Some might find this tiresome however i did not. I really enjoyed it.

As it was aimed at young adults, the story is very much from the point of view of a sixteen year old female. Even though Katniss is very mature, smart and interesting, she is also experiencing things that only sixteen year old girls would. However even as an adult (albeit not much older than Katniss) i still enjoyed getting to know her and rooting for her in her battle to survive. I really liked all the characters in the story and it was really well done how the author portrayed each child (because that’s what they are!) trying to survive The Games. There were some bits that i thought were a little silly, mainly the silly kisses (i don’t want to give too much away) however I’m not sure if that was the whole point.

The premise of the story is quite brutal and is not easily dismissed. It lingers long after you’ve finished reading.

Overall i really enjoyed reading this and i would highly recommend it. I’m hoping that the next two books are as good, or even better.