Books like Shatter Me are dramatic. Monstrously powerful teenage girls are on the loose and they are coming for your job. The rebellions creating chaos behind them are ready to trample government rule. Get prepared for a battle of extremes, a litany of tropes, and a collection of wonderful writing.
Unraveling The Obsession With Shatter Me
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi follows Juliette’s freedom from solitary confinement in a Dystopian prison. Her lethal touch landed her in a cell, but upon her release, she discovers that her power is just the thing the military needs. Environmental collapse and food insecurity have paved the way for dictatorial leadership that believes in strength and austerity. Most literature is banned, art is confiscated, and citizens are too busy trying to survive to protest. When Juliette discovers a growing rebellion, she begins to find her voice and discover her place in society among people who love her.
Readers love the superpower reveal, the dystopian post-apocalyptic world, and the bait and switch love triangle. A combination of an unreliable narrator and lyrical prose with an iconic writing style makes the book stand out. When it first came out, other books were experimenting with single-word paragraphs, journaling, and unique interior voices, especially in dystopian and post-apocalyptic YA, but Shatter Me stood apart from the crowd.
Ignite a Personal Passion
In 2011, the book hit my shelf at the right time, and I will readily admit the series has become inextricably linked to my personality. Is it the reason why I started counting while I was bored or went through a dramatically poetic stage in my writing style?
Yes. Who’s to say.
Nevertheless, I am a big fan willing to admit I am not able to objectively examine the series. I am just here to provide some books like Shatter Me if you too are a fan and need something new to obsess over.
How to Restore a Shelf With Books like Shatter Me?
Between the six books in the series and the four novellas, readers are given a complete picture of rebellion and what comes after a government is overthrown. Books in the Shatter Me series have steadily been released up through 2021 with a brief break between Ignite Me in 2014 and Restore Me in 2018. It is only right to include a mix of backlist YA picks and new releases to reflect this release schedule.
Now, let’s get down to the details. The books like Shatter Me are sorted by sub-genres: Dystopian, High Fantasy, Post-apocalyptic, and Urban Fantasy. Much like Juliette, I also “spent my life folded between the pages of books” so I hope these picks suit you (Shatter Me, Tahereh Mafi).
Dystopian Books Like Shatter Me
Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta
Content Warnings: Death of a Loved One, Torture
Eris will do anything to stop the tyrannical ruler and their giant mechanical Windups from enforcing a life of war and oppression on citizens. She is a rebel who can take any Windup down from the inside. Unfortunately, with one wrong move she finds herself in a prison. Now, she has to deal with Sona, a windup pilot cybernetically enhanced for the job. But when Sona reveals her plan to take down the Windup program, Eris cannot help but team up with her and cannot resist falling in love along the way.
Internment by Samira Ahmed
Content Warnings: Internment, Islamophobia
The government is relocating Muslim American citizens to internment camps as a wartime precaution. Anyone the census identifies as dangerous risks immediate relocation. Layla and her parents suddenly find themselves in a detention center with no legal way out. Unexpected allies may be able to deliver information to the outside world, and her boyfriend is on the other side of the wall, ready to help. Layla might just be able to lead a revolution against the internment camp’s director, but when the biggest threat to freedom is silence, she will have to fight to be heard.
Rebel Seoul by Axie Oh
Content Warnings: Death of a Loved One, Parental Abuse
Like any child of a rebel who wants to rise through military ranks, Lee is happy to leave his past behind to prove his loyalty. He will take on any mission, but when a weapons-development site recruits the young soldier, he is unsure what to do with his new partner. Tera is a test subject. Your classic supersoldier trained to kill. Respecting your partner is one thing, but when Lee begins to fall in love he questions his loyalty and begins to wonder if his father’s rebellion might just be right. Another book with a powerful girl stuck in a lab is always a great addition to your shelf.
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Content Warning: Violence Against Children
One day, Ruby woke up and her parents forgot she ever existed. A mysterious disease killed children or left them with telekinetic abilities across America, and Ruby gained the ability to manipulate minds. Now, she is just one of the teens locked in government-run rehabilitation camps. When she escapes, she encounters a group of kids who are on the run, looking for a safe haven. She wants to blend into the background of the rebellion, that is, if she can avoid revealing her powers. If you enjoy character arcs about learning to embrace power instead of repressing it, this is the book for you.
The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He
Content Warning: Death of a Loved One
Kasey and Celia used to live together in an eco-city keeping people safe from natural disasters. Citizens agree to spend a third of their time in stasis pods and conduct work virtually in exchange for protection. As an introverted STEM gal, Kasey happily follows the rules, unlike her fun-loving sister Celia. Until Celia escaped on a boat, Kasey believed her sister’s complaints were harmless. Now Cee is on an empty island with no memory of her past except the knowledge that her sister Kay is across the ocean. Back in the city, Kasey knows she can find her sister if she follows the right clues. A path of secrets might just lead them back to one another or forever keep them apart.
Shatter Me, But Make it High Fantasy
A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
Content Warnings: Death of a Loved One, Torture, Sexism
A Beauty and the Beast retelling equipped with a cruel enchantress, a loyal guard, and a prince cursed to repeat his 18th autumn indefinitely. Prince Rehn’s only hope is to find true love. As his kingdom crumbles around him and his castle is ravaged by a monster he cannot control, his guard must collect a girl from a strange realm each season to break the cycle. Enter Harper, a teen girl living with cerebral palsy in Washington, D.C., with her dying mother and protective older brother. When a mysterious guard pulls her into a magic land, she knows she will do anything to get back home. Even if it means breaking a curse. Another tortured heir for all the Warner stans out there.
From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Content Warnings: Emotional Abuse, Physical Abuse, Death of a Loved One, Torture, Animal Death
Poppy knows she’s just a figurehead. She cannot be touched, spoken to, or looked at. One day she will be judged by the gods, but until that day comes, she is willing to skirt every rule set out for her. Hawke is honor-bound to protect her as her completely platonic guard. But when one secret outing leads to a romantic encounter, the temptation for something more is irresistible. With the growing threat of a once-fallen kingdom, the confines of Poppy’s life start to unravel. The histories she learned are far from the truth, but will she have time to be brought up to speed before death catches up to her?
Roar by Cora Carmack
In a world where the oldest Stormling families control the storms, strong magic is the key to power. As the last remaining heir, Aurora should have effortless control to protect her people. Instead, she is powerless. She will be a smart queen, but her lack of power threatens to undermine her future rule. An arranged marriage to a dark and powerful prince should solve her problems, but when he reveals his intention to overthrow the crown, she will do anything to stop him- even if she has to run away in disguise to do so. Turns out the key to gaining magic might lay in the black market with a group of storm hunters who steal magic from the raging storms. What could go wrong?
The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri
Content Warnings: Homophobia, Emotional Abuse, Suicidal ideation, Self-mutilation, Child Murder
An Indian epic–inspired fantasy follows a princess in a tower and a maidservant with a deadly secret on a quest to save the empire. Having a dictator for a brother has not been easy for Malini. Trapped in a dilapidated ruin, she expects to rot away in obscurity, until her maidservant, Priya reveals her forbidden magic, and her dreams of a coup become achingly possible. Dethroning Malini’s brother will serve them both if they can pull it off. Hopefully, when magic flourishes and romance buds, rescuing an empire will be easy. This book serves you the cruel-ruler-whom-I-am-unfortunately-related-to-but-want-to-overthrow trope on a platter.
Books Like Shatter Me: Post-Apocalyptic Picks
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
Content Warnings: Racism, Slavery
Jane barely knew a world before the dead rose on the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, amid the civil war. The Native and Negro Reeducation Act now demands children attend combat schools to fight the dead. Even Jane, a mixed child of wealthy white southern women, is not exempt. Now, she trains in the hope of returning home as a trained Attendant — that is, until she catches the eye of a particularly dangerous Baltimore official and finds herself stuck in a place where the living are more lethal than the restless dead.
Skyhunter by Marie Lu
Content Warnings: Non-Consensual Medical Procedures, Physical Abuse
Infected humans threaten Mara, the last free nation holding out from the Karensa Federation’s invasion. The Strikers are an elite combat force fighting in pairs that hold off the worst of the infected and the Federation. As a child, Talin became mute during a Federation invasion. Now, she is one of the only citizens with asylum status in Mara who is a Striker. When an unexpected death threatens her position, she must set out on one road trip to save the free world. Dramatic wasteland energy with a bit of a bodyguard love story thrown in is perfect for readers.
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Content Warning: Torture
Bite into a post-apocalyptic vampire novel that examines what it means to be a monster. Allison is surviving on the fringes away from the vampire city where humans like her are kept around for their blood. So, when she is given a choice between death and vampirism, she chooses to become an immortal monster. Fleeing into the unknown and joining up with rebel humans looking for a cure is definitely a bad idea, but protecting the group is all that keeps her sane. Will she be able to pass for human, or will they reveal the monster in their midst?
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Content Warning: Emotional Abuse
When a girl grows up in a bubble, the outside world is a scary place. Aria grew up in an enclosed community surrounded by an outer wasteland filled with cannibals, energy storms, and a deadly landscape to boot. Her exile should lead to certain death, but when she meets an outsider who is willing to help her survive, she might just stand a chance. As they make their way back to his community, Aria begins to understand the outside world and discover some hidden abilities up her sleeve.
Vanguard by Ann Aguirre
The war is over, peace has settled between the humans and the Uroch, and Tegan is ready to set off on a journey as a ship doctor. Along for the ride, a warrior poet and the kindest girl around are ready to set sail. But when they come across Szarok, a Uroch vanguard, in the midst of battle, one more is added to their rank. An alien relationship on the high seas to mysterious lands — what more could you want? As a side note, this is a companion novel that can be read apart from the Razorland trilogy. A story about power, isolation, and friendship is a must on a list of books like Shatter Me.
Ultimate Urban Fantasy Books Like Shatter Me
Soul Screamers Volume One by Rachel Vincent
Content Warning: Death of a Loved One
When you are a bean sidhe screaming for the souls of the dead, it is hard to lead a normal life. After her recent hospitalization for uncontrollable screaming, Kaylee just wants a date with a nice, normal guy. Only when her classmates start mysteriously dying do Kaylee and her supernaturally astute love interest begin to realize there is something demonic afoot. This is a backlist series I always find myself going back to. Fans of the bait and switch love triangle will be particularly pleased with this series.
This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron
Content Warning: Death of a Loved One
Blossoming into powers in rural New York should be easier for Bri, a girl with a supernatural green thumb. This summer, her family will go from Brooklyn to her late aunt’s estate. Their ideal getaway quickly turns poisonous when instructions for a traditional apothecary come with the keys to the house. It isn’t until Bri meets Marie that she discovers the dark secrets lying in wait. Between a group looking to her for the key to immortality, a dangerous curse, and a lethal plant, she has quite a bit to deal with if she wants to keep her family safe. I couldn’t help but pair a girl who can create poisons and a girl who has a poisonous touch.
The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
Content Warning: Child Abuse
Getting your period is always a pain, but when it coincides with hallucinating the dead you know you have a bloody problem on your hands. Chloe is just a film buff with a distant father before hallucinations get her locked in a group home for troubled teens. One problem: those hallucinations are ghosts who can talk back and the group home is more sinister than it first appears. You see, the other teens are more supernatural than troubled, and the only way to dodge the plans the group home has in store for them is to escape. An iconic bait and switch love triangle for the records, so far in the backlist it is basically history at this point.
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
Content Warning: Death of a Loved One
When you are made to cull the souls of sinners, can you love the daughter of the city’s biggest crime lord? Every time violence takes place in the city, a monster is born. One monster just wants to be normal, go to school, be a good son, and avoid playing the violin around any living soul. That is becoming harder than August could have ever imagined, and Kate is at the center of it all. Kate longs to be just like her father, a ruthless man who charges humans for protection from the monsters he lets loose. As their paths converge, Kate and August begin to doubt their ability to be either the villain or hero of the story. Hidden powers, all-powerful parental figures, and a complicated love story make for a wonderful read-alike.
Defy Convention With A Recommendation
Despite having a truly terrible original cover, I bought a copy of Shatter Me ten years ago. Trust me when I say convincing people the book was a great dystopian pick with the girl in a wedding dress on the cover was a hard time. I will always patiently await the next book in the series and am happy the rest of the covers are stunning.
I hope this bundle of fantastic books like Shatter Me is enough to help you wait for the release of the novella Believe Me this November 2021.
Imagine More For Your TBR
If you are looking for more targeted recommendations, TBR, Book Riot’s Tailored Book Recommendations Service, is for you. TBR is a book recommendation service that pairs you with a qualified book nerd who finds specific-to-you book recommendations. TBR will find the next book for you. Check out other lists showcasing books similar to Legendborn or The Selection if you’re fans of those books!