Monday, June 24, 2019

Review: Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi

* SPOILER WARNING: This review contains spoilers for the previous book, Restore Me. *

Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi
Defy Me (Shatter Me #5)
By Tahereh Mafi
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

To Sum It Up: Not only has The Reestablishment publicly discredited Juliette’s ability to lead as Supreme Commander of North America, but they’ve also used the ensuing chaos as a distraction to capture her and Warner. Separated from one another, each clings to the hope that the other is still alive. Juliette and Warner are also both experiencing strange flashbacks that make them question whether they can trust their own memories. As The Reestablishment moves forward with their plan to turn Juliette into their ultimate weapon, Kenji must rely on help from an unlikely source to find her before that happens.

Review: I admit I was a tad nervous going into Defy Me because I’d just read Shadow Me, a novella from Kenji’s POV, and it wasn’t quite what I’d hoped it would be. Although I loved reading from his perspective, the novella didn’t delve into his backstory as much as I’d expected. Shadow Me was basically the last few chapters of the previous book, Restore Me, as told by Kenji. So I wasn’t sure what awaited in Defy Me, but I’m thrilled to say that it was one explosive roller coaster ride of a read.

Tahereh Mafi doubles down on the dystopia in this second book of the new trilogy. We find out just how terrifying The Reestablishment is and the lengths the supreme commanders will go to in order to cement their grip on the world. We’re talking genetically engineering their children and reprogramming them when necessary, among other extremes.

Restore Me ended in chaos, first with Juliette appearing to have killed a roomful of people and then her and Warner’s capture. In Defy Me, we discover that of course The Reestablishment orchestrated everything. Juliette once again becomes their science experiment in their quest to create the perfect weapon at all costs. There is literally nothing more important than maintaining their power, even their children’s lives.

Flashbacks play an important role in Defy Me, and once it becomes clear how they figure into the present, prepare for some serious heartbreak. The book keeps the intensity level on maximum high until nearly the end. There were many times when I was almost too afraid to continue reading because I feared for Juliette, Warner, Kenji, and their friends so much. The novel’s spot-on pacing, however, compelled me to keep turning the pages even when I wasn’t sure I wanted to know what might happen next in those pages.

The ending of Defy Me was a bit of a surprise, but in a good way. After everything that preceded it, I expected a cliffhanger, but this was a quieter close, though no less effective. I hope that the wait for the final book, Imagine Me, goes by as fast as the wait for Defy Me did because I need that last book like air.

All in All: I’m loving the continuation of this series so much. Defy Me did not disappoint.


  1. This sounds like a pretty great dystopian! I've been wondering about this series on and off for a few years, never did start it, but I'm kind of dystopia- hungry these days (haven't read one in ages, seems like) so I might have to get these!

    1. It's a good series! I think the dystopian aspects have picked up more with the books in the new trilogy, and I've really been enjoying how she's filled in more details of the world.


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