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Throw Back Thursday: Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh Mafi

“I spent my life folded between the pages of books. In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.” 

“All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.” 

“I’m oxygen and he’s dying to breathe.” 

“I’ve been screaming for years and no one has ever heard me.” 

“Raindrops are my only reminder that clouds have a heartbeat. That I have one, too.” 

“Hope is hugging me, holding me in its arms, wiping away my tears and telling me that today and tomorrow and two days from now I will be just fine and I’m so delirious I actually dare to believe it.” 

“I am nothing but novocaine. I am numb, a world of nothing, all feeling and emotion gone forever. I am a whisper that never was.”

“Adam stares at me so long I begin to blush. He tips my chin up so I meet his eyes. Blue blue blue boring into me. His voice is deep, steady. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard you laugh.”

He’s so excruciatingly correct I don’t know how to respond except with the truth. My smile is tucked into a straight line. “Laughter comes from living.” I shrug, try to sound indifferent. “I’ve never really been alive before.” 

“He whispers, “You have no idea how much I’ve thought about you. How many times I’ve dreamt”-he takes a tight breath- “how many times I’ve dreamt about being this close to you.” He moves to run a hand through his hair before he changes his mind. Looks down. Looks up. “God, Juliette, I’d follow you anywhere. You’re the only good thing left in this world.” 

I have a curse
I have a gift

I am a monster
I’m more than human

My touch is lethal
My touch is power

I am their weapon
I will fight back

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.

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