The DNF Files: Shatter Me and the Purple Prose

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi cover

It has been a while since I D(id) N(ot) F(inish) a book, but in light of all the Top Ten Tuesday advice I read about cutting yourself a break and not reading things that don’t make you happy, I decided it was time to cut a few books loose.  Shatter Me is one book that I decided I really didn’t want to finish.

A lot of people loved this book and if you are looking for a real review of the whole book, I suggest you check out Lucy’s review.

I was unable to get past page 32 of this book because of the language.  To me this is a perfect example of purple prose.  I know that some people would find this writing style beautiful, but it made me roll my eyes.  Let me provide a brief example.  If this is something you dig, read this book.  If it is something that makes you gag, skip this book.

“The moon is a loyal companion.

It never leaves.  It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do.  Every day it’s a different version of itself.  Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light.  The moon understands what it means to be human.

Uncertain.  Alone.  Cratered by imperfections.” (page 26)

I stopped at this metaphor and thought, wow, that’s provocative, but somehow it is just too flowery and too angsty for my tastes.  I don’t think I could read this paragraph out loud without affecting a soap opera voice.  Ultimately, as much as I was interested in this story, I couldn’t get past the purple prose.

Does language ever make you put a book down?  Bonus points if you share your favorite example of purple prose.