Do you know who Tahereh Mafi is?
I think she is the YA writer to watch.
Last spring, I had never heard of this talented writer. I was attending an event hosted by Books of Wonder, because Lauren Oliver was scheduled to be there. I really loved Oliver’s book Delirium and was dying to get my hands on the sequel Pandemonium.
There were three other women on the panel that evening and I was struck most by Tahereh Mafi. There was a deep thoughtfulness about how she answered questions and spoke about her book. She graciously signed a copy of her book Shatter Me for my class library. When she found out that I was a teacher, she also gave me some Shatter Me swag in the form of a necklace.
When I read Shatter Me, the beauty of Mafi’s writing transfixed me. Her ability to translate Juliette’s experiences into words was quite possibly the most intimate I have ever seen a writer communicate. Her writing is the opposite of being littered with clichés. Her writing is richly descriptive and always surprising.
Mafi has the most distinct and fresh voice in YA literature:
“I know I didn’t cry as I was taken away. I know the sky falls down every day. The sun drops into the ocean and splashes browns and reds and yellows and oranges into the world outside my window. A million leaves from a hundred different branches dip in the wind, fluttering with the false promise of flight. The gust catches their withered wings only to force them downward, forgotten, left trampled by the soldiers stationed just below” (2).
“Isn’t he supposed to be watching me? Because he’s not here. Does that mean you’re going to kill him, too?” I’m feeling stupid. I’m feeling brave because I’m feeling stupid. My words wear no parachutes as they fall out of my mouth” (110).
Reading Shatter Me left me breathless. I was all too excited to read her next effort in the series, Unravel Me (Shatter Me). And now I await book three. In the mean time, I will settle for reading her novella Destroy Me and her always entertaining tweets.