Shatter Me is a young adult dystopian thriller written by Tahereh Mafi, published on November 15, 2011. The book is narrated by Juliette, a 17-year-old girl with a lethal touch and is unusual in that it contains passages and lines that have been crossed out. The second book in the series, Unravel Me, was published on February 5, 2013. The third book in the series, Ignite Me, was published on February 4, 2014. The fourth book, "Restore Me," was published on March 6, 2018.
Film rights for Shatter Me were optioned by 20th Century Fox in 2011, prior to the book's release date. Of her inspirations for the work, Mafi has stated that she drew inspiration from "an interest in human nature and [humanity's] ability to overcome great obstacles".
Shatter Me follows the narrative of Juliette Ferrars, a 17-year-old girl with a paralyzing and killing touch. She can take living organisms' energy.
The book starts out with Juliette in an asylum due to the fact that she murdered a small boy three years prior. It is evident that Juliette is partly insane, both from isolation and at horror at herself; she also dreams of a bird. She writes in a small scrap of a notebook to convey her feelings as she has no one to talk to.
Soon, she gets a cellmate who goes by the name of Adam Kent. He reminds Juliette of someone, but she convinces herself that it is not possible that Adam is that person. She shows Adam the ways of the asylum, such as not to eat the scalding food immediately, and when the asylum's occupants are allowed to shower.
One day, the Reestablishment, a government that has the world within its grasp, comes for Juliette. It is revealed that Adam is a soldier for Aaron Warner, the leader of Sector 45 of the Reestablishment. Warner, who is also the son of the Reestablishment's Supreme Commander, makes Juliette an offer that includes her being able to get out of the asylum in turn for her torturing any prisoners with her touch.
Warner forces Juliette to torture a soldier named Jenkins and then a small child through a simulated torture room because she wouldn't touch Warner. During her captivity, Juliette develops a romantic relationship with Adam, and we learn that Adam knew Juliette prior to the asylum, and is in love with her. We also learn that Adam can touch Juliette without being harmed or killed. Adam eventually helps Juliette escape from Warner, and as they escape, Warner's hand brushes against Juliette's ankle, which shows us that Warner also can touch Juliette without consequence.
They meet up with Adam's 10-year-old brother James, at Adam's house. One of Adam's fellow soldiers, Kenji Kishimoto, shows up claiming that Warner had him tortured in order to learn Adam and Juliette's whereabouts. Kenji says that he knows a safe place where they can escape, and they formulate a plan. Juliette and Adam split up with Kenji and James. While split up, Adam and Juliette are captured, and Warner shoots Adam.
Warner drags Juliette into an abandoned classroom, and tells Juliette that he might love her. Juliette kisses Warner and seduces him to get his gun from him. She shoots him even though she is surprised by the spark ignited in her. She finds Adam in a slaughterhouse, and they escape. They meet up with Kenji and James, whom Kenji had given sedatives to avoid James becoming traumatized by the condition Adam is in.
At the end of the book, it is revealed that Kenji is a member of the Rebellion against the Reestablishment, called Omega Point. Adam, Juliette and James are recruited by, and then join, the Rebellion.
There are three other books in the series: Unravel Me, Ignite Me, and Restore Me (in that order). There are plans for two more books to be released.
Reviews for Shatter Me have been mixed, with many reviewers stating criticisms while overall recommending the work. Kirkus Reviews praised Shatter Me for its love story, but said that the ending "falls flat" and that there was an "overreliance on metaphor". Publishers Weekly cited that while the book "doesn’t escape some rookie pitfalls," author Tahereh Mafi "combines a psychological opener with an action-adventure denouement in her YA debut," ultimately calling it "a gripping read from an author who’s not afraid to take risks". Booklist gave a mixed review, noting that there were "plot conveniences and melodramatic writing to spare" while praising it for its "rip-roaring adventure and steamy romance scenes".
A youth reviewer for the National Post recommended it highly, stating that it had "just the right amount of action to make it thrilling, but not exactly gruesome." It was included in BuzzFeed's list of best YA books of all time.
- Juliette Ferrars: Juliette starts off as a scared, traumatized 17-year-old girl, having been abused, locked away, and made to feel like a monster her entire life. She struggles to trust others and has trouble making friends. Throughout the series she learns to control her powers and becomes more brave and confident. Despite being friendless for most of her life, Juliette is compassionate and kind, and easily sympathizes with those who are vulnerable. Juliette can also easily be influenced and manipulated and has fluctuating confidence.
- Aaron Warner: 19-year-old leader of Sector 45 in the Reestablishment; shown as a very cold and manipulative person. Warner gradually changes into a more loving human being as the book progresses. He has blond hair and green eyes, and is considered inhumanly handsome. From the beginning of the series, he is desperately in love with Juliette, which for a while was an obsession. Juliette develops empathy for Warner, despite him seeming cold and ruthless, and asserts he is a normal human, despite his denials. He is known to always assume the worst of himself. He can touch Juliette.
- Adam Kent: A soldier in the army, 18 years old; he is in charge of Juliette after she is brought out of isolation. He is known as a handsome man with blue eyes, tattoos, and dark brown hair. He is shown to be in love with Juliette since they first saw/met each other, as children. He can also touch Juliette.
- Kenji Kishimoto: A 20-year-old soldier in Warner's army who is friends with Adam. He is later found out to be a member of Omega Point and is shown to have the gift of invisibility. He has a very joking personality and is a very chill person. He is also very egotistical and that adds humor to his person. He is also known to develop an admiration for Juliette which she returns and they form a strong bond.
- James Kent: Adam's 10-year-old younger brother. He is extremely mature for his age.
- Castle: Leader of the Rebellion (Omega Point). Castle is a thirty-year-old scientist with telekinetic powers and is portrayed as a wise, fair and compassionate person who is highly knowledgeable and is the first one who accepts Juliette as she joins the Rebellion.
Shatter Me is the first in a quartet. An e-book novella titled Destroy Me, set after Shatter Me and before the sequel, Unravel Me, told from Warner's point of view, was released on October 6, 2012. Unravel Me, the second book in the series, was released on February 5, 2013. A second e-book novella titled Fracture Me, set during and soon after the final moments of Unravel Me, told from Adam's point of view, was released December 17, 2013. The third book in the series is titled Ignite Me and it was released on February 4, 2014. On the same day that Ignite Me was released, Unite Me was also released. Unite Me contains the two novellas, Fracture Me and Destroy Me, combined into print for the first time ever, and it also features an exclusive look into Juliette's journal.
In April 2017 it was announced that Mafi would be releasing three more books in the Shatter Me series starting with Restore Me, which was published on March 6, 2018. A novella entitled Shadow Me, told from Kenji's perspective, was released on March 5, 2019 and the fifth book in the series, Defy Me, was released on April 2, 2019.
Series list: 1. Shatter Me 1.5. Destroy Me 2. Unravel Me 2.5. Fracture Me 3. Ignite Me 4. Restore Me 4.5. Shadow Me 5. Defy Me 5.5. Reveal Me 6. Imagine Me
Unite Me-- A compilation of Destroy Me and Fracture Me. Find Me-- A compilation of Shadow Me and Reveal Me.
Paramount Pictures announced that they will distribute the film rights of the books.