340 pages (Paperback)
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 realize that I'm a little late to the party with this one, but I've been wanting to read it and I'd really like to voice my opinions on it now that I finally have. So here I go.
Tahereh Mafi's writing style is very unique. I haven't read a whole lot of reviews on this book, however I can imagine that the writing itself bothered some people. The strikethroughs are semi odd, although I think they really add something to Juliette's voice. She also uses a lot of metaphors, which is something most people don't do in real life. Some of them did sound pretty though, and while they weren't normal, I wouldn't expect Juliette to be normal. She's been locked up for the better part of a year and didn't have much positive human contact even before that.
Juliette is a heroine that I personally liked. She wasn't my favorite, but I liked her. She new what she wanted and she didn't take the easy way out, ever. She did whatever she could to make sure she wasn't hurting other people, even when that made life more difficult for her. She didn't trust people, but she still refused to hurt anyone as long as she had control over the situation. I respected that about her.
The love interests are varied. Adam is the only boy who has ever been kind to Juliette and I love that. He didn't hate her for what she could do, which was really rare. But I still think their romance happened too soon, escalating quickly. It didn't seem like they had a lot of time to build trust; it just happened. Warner was something, the "bad guy" in the story. (Yes. This is one of those characters with which I'll use the dreaded "He's just misunderstood!" defense. Forgive me.) I think he was just misunderstood. We didn't get to learn a lot about his past, but you can tell he's had some major issues. I think he honestly cares about Juliette, he just doesn't know how to show it correctly. At all. But he doesn't trust people easily, so I'd be surprised if he went about the whole thing correctly.
The last thing I'd like to touch on is the world in which Juliette lives. Mafi painted a rather depressing picture throughout the story. The world is basically failing and dying. People are going hungry. The government has been taken over by a group of people who aren't helping. Orphans and elderly are considered useless and pushed aside. I was really able to grasp how bleak the future for most people was. And while it's a future world that I've seen before, it was still working for the story and described differently.
Overall, I give this a hangover level of 4 out of 5.