…on Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi {Audiobook}

Posted January 22, 2013 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 8 Comments

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me #1
Published by HarperTeen
Publish Date: November 15, 2011
338 Pages
Source: Audio – Library, Book – Won

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. -(from Goodreads)

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

My Thoughts:  Another audiobook re-read! I followed along with my print copy. I had just finished reading Destroy Me and Unravel Me, and my Tahereh Mafi-loving world was pretty much upside down. I had intense loyalties – I thought – but I needed to be reminded of them, quickly and firmly. The best way for me to do this was with a re-read, Asheley-style. (Also, in the picture up there, I used the cover that I have. I’m totally like that.)


When I read Shatter Me for the first time over a year ago, I thought the book was brilliantly written…because it is. Tahereh Mafi has her very own signature style that needs to FIRST be witnessed visually. I believe wholeheartedly that Shatter Me is best experienced in print on the first read because Juliette’s thoughts are as visual as they are anything else – Mafi’s style is unusual and takes some time to get used to, and certainly the strikethroughs are the biggest part of this. I have not been surprised when a few people have had a difficult time connecting with the writing style – but I have also not been surprised that people have absolutely loved the story and inhaled it in practically no time at all, just as I did – turning the pages faster and faster, desperate to follow the story of Juliette and Adam and Warner from the beginning to the end of the book. 

I had a good idea that I would connect instantly with Destroy Me and Unravel Me when I recently had the chance to read them. And I did. I loved them. So brilliant and challenging! I loved the way that Tahereh Mafi was able to get inside of my head and mix up my thoughts so easily. She provoked me. She made me question myself and my loyalties. She made me confused and I didn’t even realize it. She made me sympathize with the enemy. Tahereh Mafi is an even better writer than I could have ever imagined and I’m such a huge fan. 

BUT…with the amazement at the continuation of her series…with the respect of her work and the excitement over the new books came my very own brand of bookish stress. So stressed was I over my confused loyalties that I decided to go back to the very beginning…in audiobook format. As it turns out, I checked the audiobook out of my library through the Overdrive audio system and immediately – immediately – I was hooked.  


In Shatter Me, Juliette has been locked up/imprisoned for a long time. She hasn’t touched anyone for 264 days. She hasn’t had conversation or interacted with anyone. Her mind is so fragile, so unlike the mind of anyone else. She isn’t “crazy” but her thoughts have certainly been affected by her isolation. This is obvious when you read the book in print – as I’ve mentioned above, Tahereh Mafi uses run-on sentences, repetition, and strikethroughs. In audio format, the audio reader is not relying on these visual forms of assistance to make these inferences as to the state of Juliette’s mind. Everything has to be completely obvious by ear. 

First of all, Kate Simses has the perfect voice. She has a very feminine pitch that is neither too loud nor too bold. She has a remarkable ability to make Juliette sound meek and somewhat quiet, which is perfect for those times when Juliette is expressing her inner thoughts or dialogue. Kate also has this wonderfully perfect inflection – she changes her pitch so well when Juliette repeats words and phrases. It’s absolutely amazing and perfect and astonishing. There were times (Chapter 4!) in which I had to rewind and rewind and rewind to listen to parts over and over again because they were so incredible. Kate Simses was Juliette, period. She sounded angry when Juliette needed to be angry. She sounded sad when Juliette needed to be sad. She sounded tearful or wounded or exasperated or like she had lost hope when those times were right.

Throughout the entire audiobook, throughout everything, in every scene – I have to admit that Kate Simses’ delivery of Juliette’s thoughts (the strikethroughs) were my favorite parts EVERY SINGLE TIME. It had everything to do with Kate’s delivery. Her inflection and pitch were perfect in every single case. In my opinion, this is why this audiobook is so fantasic and wonderful for re-readers –  because you’re already familiar with Juliette’s mind and how she thinks. 

 My favorite part of the audiobook.
Beginning of Chapter Four – so intense! 

It is interesting how the strikethroughs were presented in the audiobook, but very difficult to describe. The narrator read each strikethrough-sentence as she would a regular sentence, and at the end of the strike, there would be this unusual noise. It sounded like a rip of some sort, or a zipper, or something similar to that. So…the listener would be able to imply that there is something going on there, some thing to take notice of, but I’m not sure that the reader would know that it was necessarily a strikethrough if it were his/her first read-through. If it were me, as a first-time reader, I still would have enjoyed the book, but I sincerely want to impress upon everyone that I feel strongly that print is the way to go for the first read and audiobook format is an excellent, excellent option for re-read for this book. 

Another audiobook favorite – the
beginning of Chapter Six. 


After re-reading Shatter Me, I’m once again firm in my loyalties. (Phew!) I enjoyed every single second, every syllable of this re-read via audiobook. I cannot tell fans of this series how great it is and I cannot recommend it enough. 

A super-fun question was recently posed to me: Will my loyalties be confused again after listening to Unravel Me via audiobook? (because I will certainly be re-reading Unravel Me in audiobook format, especially since Kate Simses is again narrating) – My answer is that I don’t know! I wonder if this narrator is strong enough that she can keep me loyal to my camp. She read Warner a certain way – with the way that Unravel Me is written, I wonder if she will be reading his voice the same way this time, or differently? It’s certainly food for thought…


The audiobook format of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi is published by Harper Audio and is 9 hours and 12 minutes, Unabridged. I cannot fangirl enough on how Kate Simses read the voice and thoughts of Juliette, and I even love how she read the evil Warner. After initially using my library for this audiobook, I am purchasing it and the sequel, Unravel Me.

If you’re one of those that have not begun this series yet, I have to urge you to go ahead and start it. It’s really quite fantastic. If you’re a fan of YA dystopian romances (yes, there’s plenty of romance), you will find plenty in this series to love and discuss with other fans. I urge you to read in print first, but please consider the audiobook format for re-reads because it is fantastic.


Shatter Me will appeal to fans of:

YA Sci-Fi/Dystopian/Paranormal
Romance: Fantastic, steamy romance. Potential triangle. 
Fantastic Characterization

Great Audiobook Narrator

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
is currently available for purchase.


Read my thoughts on Shatter Me HERE.
Read my thoughts on Destroy Me HERE.
Read my thoughts on Unravel Me HERE.


Have you read Shatter Me?
Would you consider an audio re-read?


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


8 responses to “…on Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi {Audiobook}

  1. I think Shatter Me would provide an interesting experience for me if I did what you did and read along while listening to the audiobook. I loved the way it was written the first time I read it, so it would be cool to hear how the narrator performs it!

    • It is an amazing audiobook experience. One of the best I've had. It would be a great audiobook even if it weren't written the way it is, but with Mafi's style – it's just SO much better.

      Also, I don't know that it is necessary to have the print copy by your side to listen if you've read the book before because you'd definitely recognize the strikethroughs – but it does enhance the experience! I recommend it!

  2. That is SO cool how the strike throughs, which are probably the thing that stands out most to readers, are handled in the audio version! It makes me want to go and listen so I can experience it as well.

    Btw: just purchased my first audiobook in about 5 years. Guess what it is? The Scorpio Races:)Can't wait to start it!

    • I hope you love The Scorpio Races! It's so great.

      And honestly, you'll love this one too. I'm gonna be listening to Unravel Me before too long. I want to compare this to Unravel Me to see if Warner sounds the same as read by this reader – and Lauren of course posed the question about my opinion changing. So I need to investigate that!

    • She really IS amazing. I couldn't believe how much I loved this audiobook and how well she captures the fragile mind of Juliette, and then how she gets stronger along with Juliette. I can't wait to listen to her read Unravel Me. I hope you can find a copy. 🙂

  3. I really look forward to "reading" this again on audio. Sadly, my library doesn't have it so it might a while because I don't have Audible credits right now. I put my monthly account on hold because I realized my library has so many awesome ones to pick from and needed to start there first.

    Anyway, I'm really excited to experience this narrator, especially since you loved her so much. I know I haven't listened to this yet, but I totally agree that Shatter Me needs to be read first. Mafi's writing is so unique and different that it really needs to be SEEN first.

    • Yes. And now I want to listen to Unravel Me but I'm nervous to do that! I asked T Mafi at Pitch Dark if she had listened to her audiobook and she had listened to bits and pieces of it – she loved both of the parts that I highlighted above! She especially loved Chapter Four! My favorite part!

      But yes, you really only know what the strikethroughs are if you can see them visually, so hopefully everyone or most everyone is experiencing these books in print first.

      It's so good! I hope you love this one when you get to hear it. 🙂

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