I do not have time to read, but the books just keep getting stuck to my face. UF, HF, YA, fluffy romance, whatever. I love it all.
But I might judge you if you hand out five stars all willy nilly.
Shatter Me, Shatter Me, what shall I say about you? You may get the award for "most intriguing plot smothered with the most annoying prose" and yet I still like you.
At first I enjoyed the descriptions. They were lyrical. They were evocative. They painted emotions with words. And then it started to distract me from the story. That was hard to do because this is the story of a girl who is locked in an insane asylum, alone for almost a year with nothing but a tiny notebook to scratch down her frazzled thoughts, a girl who cannot touch or be touched because her skin is deadly.
I was drawn in immediately and bought into the story, the world-building, and the characters. I loved it all. My biggest hangup however, and the thing that very nearly killed the book for me, was the dang purple prose.
According to Wikipedia, the definition of purple prose is:
...written prose that is so extravagant, ornate, or flowery as to break the flow and draw excessive attention to itself. Purple prose is sensually evocative beyond the requirements of its context. It may also employ certain rhetorical effects such as exaggerated sentiment or pathos in an attempt to manipulate a reader's response.
See also, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi.
Juliette could never just be surprised by something. Her jaw was always "dangling from her shoelaces" or becoming debris on the floor or swinging in the breeze. This annoyed me more than I expected it to, and I started rolling my eyes when I should have been enjoying the story.
With that being said, however, I still recommend this book because the plot was strong and the last portion of the book took the storyline in a direction I completely didn't expect. Suddenly I was getting excited to read the sequel, when midway through I just wanted it to be over. My main goal in writing this review now is to encourage someone who is is turned off by the prose, but otherwise enjoys the concept, to stick with it. The next two books (one is a novella called Destroy Me) were so much better and the author does tone the prose down quite a bit. I'm actually surprised to find myself fully invested in the series and really looking forward to the third book. This is one of those books that's worth getting through because the series only goes up from here. I'd even go so far as to say this is one of my favorite finds from 2013.