Title: Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Rating: 2 Stars/DNF
Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color. The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war– and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now. Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.
I think this book will work out for a lot of people - I really do. I even understand what the author was trying to accomplish with this - a novel that has a character-driven plot with a protagonist who is coming to terms with herself, her power, and her love. I get it, I really do, but I just can't bring myself to care.
First and foremost, reading books like this is hell. So is reading books written like this. If that wasn't enough to throw you off, I wasn't a fan of the writing style/narration in general. It was extravagently flowery, with poetic language and metaphors that didn't seem to make much sense either. I enjoyed the overly descriptive language in novels such as Daughter of Smoke and Bone, The Scorpio Races, and even Stormdancer, but it somehow didn't work for me in this one. Plus, just like how Throne of Glass was a romance novel parading around as a kick-ass assassin story, Shatter Me is a romance novel parading around as a kick-ass dystopian story. I wasn't impressed with the insta-love/lust in this, I wasn't impressed with the MC, I wasn't impressed with the lack of world-building, and I wasn't a big fan of the plot either. If anything, this book just reminded me of Article 5, a novel that I would, very much, like to forget.
I guess this novel just wasn't for me. I read a lot of reviews before picking it up and from what other reviewers have told me since I began, I think I'm better off spending my time on something else. Yet, I do sincerely believe that plenty of other readers will fall in love with this series, so I'd encourage you to check out some other reviews, read a couple of chapters, and give it a try yourself. So much of this novel is based purely on personal preferences and opinions, so if you're a romance fan, this is definitely one for you.
Title: Defiance (Defiance, #1)
Author: C.J. Redwine
Rating: 2.5 Stars
Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father’s apprentice, Logan—the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her. At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city’s top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor’s impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared. As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.
If I had to describe
in one word, it would be ‘forgettable.’ Like so many books before it, Defiance has all the right ingredients to be an incredible novel, from its heart-stopping cover to its kick-ass heroine to its intriguing plot, but somehow, it just didn't work for me. I went into this novel with low expectations, simply because so many trusted reviewers had given this a low rating, and I absolutely have to agree with them. Defiance , far from being a defiant cry about the re-emerging fantasy genre in YA Fiction, has only made me extremely wary of it. Defiance
For those of you who know me well, you’ll know that two things make-or-break my opinion of a novel – its characters and the world-building. Rachel and Logan, while proving to be intriguing characters from the surface, are truly quite flat. First and foremost, it should be known that their dual narration was very poorly written and if it were not for their names appearing before every chapter, I would not be able to tell them apart. Both of them lacked any true ‘voice’ which was quite disappointing. Over and above that though, Rachel came across as petulant and whiny more than kick-ass and
, for all his romantic moments, was also controlling and seemed to look down upon Rachel from time-to-time. Yet, what really sealed the deal was the fact that I simply wasn’t able to care for these two. In this novel, both Rachel and Logan go through dire circumstances, experience piercing grief, and come out stronger for it and while I read about all this happening to their character, I didn’t really feel any of it and was strangely withdrawn from this novel the entire time I read it. Even the romance, which I loved because of its slow build-up and interesting twists, was something I didn’t care for because it was the love story of Rachel and Logan. If you had inserted two different characters into this equation, I guarantee you that I would have been completely invested in it, especially as the story arc for it was so well-done. Logan
Yet, even beyond the characters, what defines
is its genre: fantasy. There is one thing, and one thing alone, which defines a novel as fantasy and that is world-building. Strangely enough though, I still know nothing about the world of Defiance ! I read in another review that this was a futuristic realm where man had dug down so deep that they had awoken a beast, The Cursed One, who terrorized the people in this story, but this book could just as easily have been set in a fantasy realm or on another planet for all I know! It was simply very confusing and to add to that, the plot didn’t engage me in the least. It was fast-paced, but I found myself skimming through multiple chapters and I couldn’t feel the desperation of these people at all. It’s a horrible situation for sure, but the villain just made me feel like laughing with his clichéd plans and I really couldn’t summon up much feeling for this story even though I truly wanted to. Defiance