In book review

REVIEW: Defy Me


Title: Defy Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Genre(s):  Young Adult, Fantasy
Release: 2 April 2019
Rating: ✭✭✭✭/5

MY FAVORITE YA FANTASY OF ALL TIME IS BACK! I've missed these characters so much, you guys. After Restore Me I wasn't sure how to survive a whole year without them, but I magically did. Defy Me has been out for a month (or even longer... yikes), so I figured it was high-time for my review of this fifth book in the Shatter Me series!

What is this book about?
Defy Me is part five in the well-loved Shatter Me series, and follows Juliette, Warner and Kenji after the end of Restore Me. Juliette is now Supreme Commander of America, but has been taken by her biological parents to aid in their original plan. The team has to get back together and pick up the pieces before it's all too late.

What did I think of Defy Me?
Now, it's no secret I tend to love most of what Tahereh writes. Every single novel I've read by her has been a 5-star read. From her fantasy to her contemporary ones, she can do no wrong for me. I love the way she develops characters, her writing style (especially the poetic one in Shatter Me), and the way she crafts stories. It's again no surprise that Defy Me formed no exception to this.

I absolutely adore all of these characters, the characters are mostly what make books for me, but my favorite ones are Juliette, Warner and Kenji. Kenji's POV, then, provided such a nice addition to this series. We've gotten a brief introduction to Kenji's thoughts in Shadow Me, but that book was too short. To be fair, it was only a novella. I ended up loving every minute of Kenji's POV in both Defy Me and Shadow Me, and if he wasn't already my favorite male character... ever, he would be by now. I really like how having his own perspective added a lot more depth to his character. How he's not just there for comic relief, but also has a lot of emotional layers underneath (I know opinions are divided on this book, but I loved him a lot!)

Juliette and Warner, too, really did it for me. This series has some of my favorite character development of ALL TIME, and getting to see Warner happy for once was a very welcome change. Also, can we talk about how ADORABLE that last chapter was... please. I know that there have been a lot of diverging opinions regarding this specific matter, but the relationship development between Warner and Juliette was very welcome for me. For people who plan to read this book but still haven't found the time: I won't spoil any major plot-points, but I personally thought that, especially considering the dystopian setting, the plot wasn't rushed at all.

I also quickly want to address Nazeera's character, because OH MY! She ended up being one of the highlights of the book for me. I will admit, I'm still not 100% set on her relationship with Kenji that seems to be a thing, which eyes very much like insta-lust at the moment, but it is such a joy to read her dialogue! I absolutely adore her and want an infinite amount of scenes with just her and Juliette... I need them to be BFF's.

In the end, the majority of the plot of Defy Me dealt with the repercussions of the last book, as well as setting up for the final instalment, which made this book kind of filler-y in my opinion. The first half was enjoyable, but not overly so, however, the last 100 pages are what made the book for me. The final part, including the infinite plot-twists, and crazy scenarios were nice, but the real magic happens during the emotional moments between certain characters.

Once again, I think Tahereh can do no wrong when it comes to writing and I love every single book she writes. From my perspective, Defy Me ended up doing the characters justice which is what is most important to me. All in all, the book provided a nice set-up for the finale, but at this point Tahereh could write them going to the supermarket for 25 chapters and I'd still give this five stars.

Goodreads


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