YVO’S SHORTIES #85 – Shatter Me (DNF) & Wintergirls

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around two books that have been published over five years ago and titles I’ve been meaning to get to for a while. The first, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, sadly turned out to be my first DNF of the year. The second, Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, is without doubt an emotionally tough read to read with lots of trigger warnings and a prose that is both beautiful, almost bordering the magical realism realm and at the same time somehow started to irk me.


Title: Shatter Me
(Shatter Me #1)
Author: Tahereh Mafi

Genre: YA, Dystopia, Romance
First published: November 15th 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Finished reading: February 13th 2019
Pages: 357
DNF at 51% (182 pages)

“The moon understands what it means to be human. Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.”


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WARNING: It’s unpopular opinion time again! Please don’t feel offended if you love this series. We are all entitled to our own reactions and feelings after all…

Ever had your sixth sense screaming at you to back off and stay away? Well, that is what happened to me whenever I started thinking about trying the Shatter Me series. I’m not sure why or how, but there was just something about it that made me think it wouldn’t be for me… But curiosity won in the end and made me ignore my instincts. I should have known better… Because sadly this turned out to be my very first DNF of the year. Why? There were various reasons, but the main one is this: I absolutely could not stand the writing style. The endless metaphors, the short sentences, the wacky grammar, the 1 2 3 4 numbers… It seemed like every single word and page was destined to annoy me to the limit and I simply reached a point where I couldn’t take it anymore. I feel sad for reacting this way to a story I know so many seem to love, but that doesn’t take away that Shatter Me and me definitely didn’t get a long. Nothing much was happening in the pages I read either; lots of words, metaphors and feelings, but no real actions or proper worldbuilding descriptions. The fact that I could already see a love triangle coming from a mile away didn’t really help either. Things might have improved in the second half, but since I had such an extreme reaction to the writing style and had already started skimreading just to reach the end faster, I decided to throw in the towel and leave this series alone to be enjoyed and treasured by those who can connect to it. Oh well, at least I know for sure now… Intuition, you were right. Sorry I didn’t listen to you.


Title: Wintergirls
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson

Genre: YA, Fiction, Contemporary
First published: March 19th 2009
Publisher: Speak
Finished reading: February 20th 2019
Pages: 300

“The sentences build a fence around her, a Times Roman 10-point barricade, to keep the thorny voices in her head from getting too close.”


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I have been meaning to try one of Laurie Halse Anderson‘s books for years, but somehow other books always ended up getting in the way. The BTB Epic Bingo challenge was the perfect excuse to finally pick up Wintergirls. I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading this story, and if you go in blind you will definitely be up for a surprise. Trigger warnings are in place for eating disorders, self harm, cutting, suicide and mental health problems… Wintergirls is a story that will bring those cold and chilling winter feels and is an emotionally draining read that shows us the struggle of the main character with her eating disorder and the way she sees herself and her surrounding world. It’s not an easy or happy read, but I thought the topic was well handled and represented in Lia. The prose is both beautiful, almost bordering the magical realism realm and at the same time somehow irked me at points. I named magical realism because the writing sometimes almost has that otherwordly and magical feel, especially the descriptions of how Lia sees herself and the world. The story also has a hint of paranormal with a symbolic feel; those two aspects making it hard to properly place the story in just one genre. I suppose you can say this is mostly a realistic fiction story with a mental health angle, where we can see how the eating disorder takes over Lia’s life through her very own eyes. I had a hate/love relationship with the writing style, but there is no doubt that the writing has that original and almost otherworldly feel and I can understand why so many people seem to love this story.


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23 thoughts on “YVO’S SHORTIES #85 – Shatter Me (DNF) & Wintergirls

  1. YES to unpopular opinions!!!
    I’m very curious about the prose in the second book. I think it might help emphasize the disorder by seeing it the way the character does, but at the same time, going a tiny bit too far can make the reading difficult or less enjoyable!
    Great shorties, lovely! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • My reading year wouldn’t be complete without unpopular opinion reviews. xD

      And the prose in Wintergirls definitely adds something special to the story and I can really appreciate that… The magical realism feel isn’t for everyone though.

      Like

    • Thanks! It was hard expressing my feelings without it turning into a rant… The writing style was most definitely a turn off, and others have confirmed the second half is superhigh on the romance so I think I made the right decision just DNFing it. 😉

      Like

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    • I’ve heard others saying the romance will only get more focus as you continue reading, so I definitely think I made the right call thinking it’s simply not for me. 😉 At least I know for sure now haha.

      Liked by 1 person

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    • I think Shatter Me is one of those books that provokes strong reactions depending on how you react to the writing style and characters, and I always appreciate it when a book is able to do so. It’s the beauty of having so many different people reading books and getting different reactions out of them…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well… even though I am still curious about Shatter Me, I have a feeling I would feel the same way… I have also been wanting to read it while at the same time thinking- naah… maybe I should also listen to my intuition! 🙂
    but go you for going the DNF way… life’s too short to put up with reads that won’t sit with you and I also know that once I start to skimread this is the end!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Shatter Me is definitely one of those cases where you either love it or hate it depending on how you react to the writing style and characters. I should have known I was going to belong to the second group haha. 😉 I rarely DNF, but sometimes I just don’t see any other way out… Plus, with so many books pending I’d hate to spend more time with a story that really isn’t for me. Like you skimreading is a very bad sign!

      Liked by 1 person

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