Why books that leave you with mixed feelings still may attract your students | Mentoring in the Middle

Why books that leave you with mixed feelings still may attract your students

Some books grab you, others don't.  Why should you consider giving them to students?  Read on....

Shatter Me is dystopian in a Divergent sort of way, where characters have unexpected abilities that they use at just the right time.  

Juliette: You meet Juliette in prison, where she's been held in solitary confinement for almost a year for murdering someone.  She thinks out loud - almost like in a diary - and the author is really creative with strikeouts to erase what she thinks vs. what she writes.  You slowly learn that her touch is fatal.  She hasn't been held by her parents since she was a very young child and people steer clear of her.

Adam: Soon after the novel starts, Adam is put into her cell.  His job is to guard her.  Juliette feels like she knows him from long ago, but she's not sure.  They stay apart from each other but then slowly start to get closer.  It turns out that when she touches Adam, nothing happens.  So, they fall in love.  

Of course.  

Of course?!  


They hardly know each other.  Does she only love him because he can hold her?   Her memories of him treating her kindly when she was a child...is that enough to fall in love with someone?

Warner:  But then, there's Warner.  He's the leader of Sector 45 where Juliette is being held.  He loves Juliette and always has.  But in a kind of creepy, stalkerish way.  It's hard to tell whether he's in love with her or with her power to kill.  But he's willing to do anything to get her.  

And that's what I couldn't get past.

There's enough action to keep some kids reading, some love interests to keep others going, some interesting characters who felt a little too stereotyped for me.  

Still:  So, why should your kids read it?  I'm more critical of books than most students are, and I can see some kids falling head over heels into the series (6 books with 4 additional novellas.)  Pick up a book and see for yourself!  Maybe it's one to put on your shelves. 

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