May 26, 2020

Review--Imagine Me by Tahereh Mafi

The explosive finale to the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Shatter Me series.

Juliette Ferrars.

Ella Sommers.

Which is the truth and which is the lie?

Now that Ella knows who Juliette is and what she was created for, things have only become more complicated. As she struggles to understand the past that haunts her and looks to a future more uncertain than ever, the lines between right and wrong—between Ella and Juliette—blur. And with old enemies looming, her destiny may not be her own to control.

The day of reckoning for the Reestablishment is coming. But she may not get to choose what side she fights on.

I finally picked up Tahereh Mafi's Imagine Me that once again brings us the conclusion to the Shatter Me series...perhaps for the last time this go around. Things have been hectic in this new trilogy as Juliette's mysterious past has been revealed and what her destiny was all along. It was a bit of a wild ride and I'll also admit confusing, probably because I couldn't really recall the first trilogy all that well.

Juliette and Warner were trying to have a happy moment after his birthday celebration when Juliette is attacked from the inside. It seems her sister Emmaline is trying to reach her and is in some way taking Juliette over, it's a battle of wills. Warner struggles to help her and it's not long before the camp is attacked by Anderson.

As we learned last go around, Warner's father isn't dead like we all had hoped. He's very much alive and wants to drag Juliette back to the compound where the other commander's children are being held prisoner. We soon learn that Anderson has his own plans for Juliette and through a matter of science and whatnot, he's able to use mind control on her, she's now his puppet and virtually has no memory of her past or friends who are fighting to get her back.

Meanwhile we have Kenji and Warner doing just that. Fighting hard to find a way to get Juliette back to them. Kenji once again has equal parts in the storytelling with Juliette in this one. I felt like this was more his story to tell, as poor Juliette wasn't really herself for most of this book.

In a lot of ways, this one was harder to read because of that. Since Juliette isn't in her right mind anymore, it was almost like her early days in Shatter Me when things were muddled and hard to read. There's no crossing words out anymore, but there's the repeating and overflowing. It's a unique way of storytelling, I'll give Tahereh that, but at the same time, it's also really complicated to read through as a reader. And I get it. We're supposed to be as confused as Juliette, not understanding much of anything while these strange and horrible things are being done to her body and soul...but on a comprehensive level, it's really, really hard to grasp sometimes.

In some sense, I felt like even this plot was too simple. It was mostly a rescue mission, once Juliette is kidnapped, we have Kenji and Warner and everyone else trying to form a plan to get her back, then enacting on the plan, and having all sorts of hubble trouble happening along the way. Meanwhile we have Juliette dealing with her own internal struggles and sometimes not knowing about said struggles.

Imagine Me was definitely a trip! Take that as you will. I can't say I hated it, because I didn't. But I also won't say it was flawless either. It's definitely somewhere in between, but since Kenji was around a lot, he provided the necessary comedic relief!

I was also a little dismayed that Aaron and Ella didn't get to have enough time together. And yes, it was also another trippy experience when we had Aaron and Ella being referenced as such and then also as Warner and Juliette. But in the long run, Aaron and Ella are only the names they use when they are with each other. Which was sweet, but it was still confusing in the beginning.

I guess one thing I have issues with is the ending. The ending itself was great! But there are so many lingering questions I have about all the different characters in the end, mostly just what happened to them. I feel like a few were alluded to, some were mentioned, and a few others were ignored, but we're to assume they're well off enough. There was just a wide cast of characters in this one, both good and evil, I just would've liked to know who was left standing in this grand finale, but since our core characters are all okay, I guess it didn't really matter in the long run.

Imagine Me wasn't a flawless read for me, it was a little touch and go in some areas. The ending was happy enough as far as series finales go. I don't have any issue with that, not as much as I did with Ignite Me's ending when we thought that that was THE END! This is definitely worth reading if you're invested in the Shatter Me trilogies. While it was a little rough reading for me, I still enjoyed it as a whole, I just felt like something was missing at the same time. But overall, it was still an enjoyable read.

Overall Rating 3.5/5 stars

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