AKA the book that made me cry! I highly doubt this will be a coherent review, but I will try my hardest, lol!
So my expectations for this book were pretty high. I really enjoyed Restore Me and after that ending (cliffhanger!), I was greatly anticipating the next book in the series, and when I picked it up, I devoured it in 3 days and basically flailed to my one friend whom I knew was obsessed with it too and read it way quicker than I did!
Content warning: Violence, mentions of physical abuse
Title: Defy Me (Shatter Me #5)
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release date: April 2, 2019
Genre: Young adult, sci-fi, fantasy, dystopian
Length: 352 pages (hardcover)
Synopsis: (via Goodreads) “The gripping fifth installment in the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling Shatter Me series. Will Juliette’s broken heart make her vulnerable to the strengthening darkness within her?
Juliette’s short tenure as the supreme commander of North America has been an utter disaster. When the children of the other world leaders show up on her doorstep, she wants nothing more than to turn to Warner for support and guidance. But he shatters her heart when he reveals that he’s been keeping secrets about her family and her identity from her—secrets that change everything.
Juliette is devastated, and the darkness that’s always dwelled within her threatens to consume her. An explosive encounter with unexpected visitors might be enough to push her over the edge.”
“Happiness does not happen. Happiness must be uncovered, separated from the skin of pain. It must be claimed. Kept close. Protected.”
This book was an absolute wild ride from start to finish. The plot was incredibly fast-paced compared to Restore Me. Because of this, I was able to devour this book because I wasn’t focused or concentrated too much on the details of a slow-moving, descriptive plot. Because of how the previous book ended, we’re dropped right into the action. Yes, we do get a little bit more backstory and world-building (which was always my fault with the first three books in the series), so if you’re worried about that, don’t worry! The more I read this series, the more I realize it would make a great TV series (especially the later books). The slow reveal of what happened to Juliette and Warner, and how their past intertwined really gutted me (but…in a good way?).
I absolutely forgot we were getting chapters in Kenji’s POV! I’m not bothered by it because I really do adore Kenji so much as a character. I will say it was super hard to trust Nazira when I first met her and the suspicions were still prevalent in this book but it was all for good reason, I think. And her interactions with Kenji are priceless because no one else can make Kenji so flustered like she can. However, I did feel like Juliette was a bit… out of character. This might seem silly to say after the revelations of the previous book… But she was kind of blah in Restore Me. Perhaps she’s still growing into herself and who she is, which is fine, but it’s the one thing that’s irked me a bit about this series. Not to say that it makes the series horrible, though. It’s definitely not that. As for Warner, he’s a total cinnamon roll of a boy at heart and when it comes to Juliette–I just want to scream it from the rooftops.
Mafi’s writing is completely engrossing in this novel. It’s definitely due to the way she’s developed her characters over the course of this series, along with the quick, action-filled plots. Granted, I was engrossed from the very beginning but in a different way. I really don’t have much else to say here except that I continue to love this series more as I read each book. I can’t imagine of Mafi has in store for us in the final book!
If you’re a teen and you’d like me to link your review of Defy Me, please leave a link to your blog review in my comments. It was a real struggle to find teen reviews for this book.