Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

I’m pretty forgiving about literature and movies, I can pretty much read any book or see any movie without having hardly any reservations about it. Gladly wanting to read or see the next installment. As long as it’s within my preferred genres, of course. My reviews are mostly 4 or 5 star reviews (out of five), and it’s not that I don’t have an opinion, I do, but most of the time I actually see the entertainment value be they bad B-movies or books with a bad storyline, and haven’t heart to credit them less.
My hang-ups are more centered around inconsistencies in the stories, mostly on a factual basis, like a name or age suddenly changing. Or worse, the actual background being different. That will get my hackles raised straight away. Facts are what keeps me anchored in the story, making me connect with the characters even though we’re basically different or have different values.

Though, if I’m being honest, even my hackles couldn’t keep me from a good book, or an entertaining movie.

Shatter Me however set me on a completely different mindset. Here I was, faced with no factual incongruity but with the onslaught of metaphors and visuals that made it hard for me to see past the language and enjoy the story. Though I like the story, the characters and the relation between them, I found it really hard to be bombarded with these images all the time. One scene that could have been riveting in one or two pages required twice as much with this kind of storytelling. And if I’m being frank, many of these metaphors were really poorly done and not helping the story at all. I mean, by their lonesome, scattered throughout the book… maybe, but clustered together like this? No thanks. And some of them doesn’t even make sense, and it took me extra focus to try to understand what I was reading. If I were to guess, the story took up about 30 % of the book, the rest is just fluff. This felt to me like a classic case of the “kill your darlings” pointer you get at writing school.

All the darlings survived in this book.

3/5 stars

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