Apr 2, 2019

Review--Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi

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.


It never ceases to amaze me how truly incredible and amazing Tahereh Mafi is! The Shatter Me series is definitely one of my favorites and it’s so different from my usual kind of read. Defy Me picks up right where we left off in Restore Me and holy wow, this book will blow you out of the water!

I was excited to see that Kenji gets a few chapters in the beginning half of this novel. We pretty much rely on him for moving the story forward for a while as Warner and Juliette’s chapters are kind of scattered and mostly deal in flashbacks/memories. While those were still a lot of fun to read and were insightful to their character growth, I was desperate to know if they were okay, because you don’t get much out of a memory when it comes to knowing how the character is in the present.

When it comes down to it, this book deals in escapes and the ultimate of shocking revelations! If you thought Restore Me brought on the shock waves, well, Defy Me will definitely have your jaw dropping even further. In this one we get to know more about Juliette’s past and who she was before the events of Shatter Me too place. It was very eye-opening and just whoa.

The storyline here had Warner and Juliette being held prisoner by new enemies and they have very specific plans in mind for Juliette. It was all very secretive for the most part and even as answers slowly trickled in, they weren’t quite forthcoming with explanations. That eventually came along towards the end that basically was a huge eye-opener for more than one reason! The final book of this series is bound to be the most action pack and chaotic out of the bunch! I really can’t wait to see what Tahereh will do to us next!

In terms of pacing, I feel like this is Tahereh’s method in basically having one major event told slowly over the course of the novel through a variety of points of view. This time it’s three, but Kenji’s perspective is mostly in the beginning and then it goes back to being Juliette and Warner. Though it seems like not much really happens, there’s a greater plot in play here, one that we’re only just starting to see at the end and it’s world-changing!! The wait for the next book will be killer! And I find myself even excited for the novella as I wonder if it will be Kenji again and perhaps fill the gap that took place in between his chapters with Warner and Juliette’s. It sounds confusing coming from me, but I am basically leaving out events. You’ll know what I mean after you read this one, trust me!

Sadly, since Warner and Juliette were pretty much separated the whole book, there wasn’t much room for romance. Though I will say that Tahereh doesn’t not disappoint! Less is always more in my book and since I did read the B&N special edition one, I can say that the deleted scene does add more to that less even more! Lol! I truly have enjoyed Warner and Juliette’s relationship. It didn’t start out perfectly, but I feel like we’ve gotten to know them even better in this novel and I can’t help but feel all gushy about them!

Though Adam and James do make a popup appearance in the beginning, they aren’t around for the rest of the story. I still can’t help but want to see more of them, Adam included. I’ve warmed up to him since the events of the first trilogy that had me questioning everything I ever liked about the guy. He’s a troubled character and I honestly do hope for the best for him! I am curious to see if Tahereh brings him back into the fold for the finale!

It’s hard to really talk about this series without divulging too much information. As I said, the plot always seems somewhat simplified and there’s only so much I can discuss before heading to spoiler territory which I always avoid like the bubonic plague! So I will leave you with this, if you’ve made it this far into the series, you know you have to pick this one up! The ending was definitely more relieving than its predecessor. Though I am aching to know what will happen next, I feel like at least for once, Tahereh leaves us at a happy pause in the moment. You won’t be screaming bloody murder, let’s just say that! Defy Me was without a doubt a GREAT read that’s not to be missed! This is one you can easily pick up now and devour and not worry about the devastatingly long wait ahead of us for the grand finale! ;)

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars


1 comment:

  1. Goodness, is this series still going? I read the first and remember enjoying it at the time, despite the cover art of a girl in a “prom dress”, the kind that infested YA girls’ fiction in those days. Glad to see the cover art has proved!


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