Defy Me. Tahereh Mafi. Young adult/Dystopian. 2019. 352 pages. 3.5 stars.
It’s not insane to imagine that sometimes even horrible people are searching for a way out of their own darkness.
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.
“I had no idea how much we’d lost, no idea how much of him I’d longed for. I had no idea how desperately we’d been fighting. How many years we’d fought for moments – minutes – to be together.”
I want to start this review by saying that I loved the Shatter Me series before it was resurrected by Mafi. I have a rather confusing relationship with the extended Shatter Me series because it feels like there are a lot of conflicts between the latter half and first half of the series.
As I was starting the fifth book in the installment, the only things swirling around my head were question marks. When did this happen? Why is this happening? Who is this character? What is the plot of this extended series? It seemed super convenient that the first three books could be rewritten or have their histories modified because of that plot device.
However, I do have to say that the latter half of the novel was worth reading. As things started getting traction, I found myself invested in the story again despite its rocky beginning. I still think that the direction this series is taking in light of the new books is more Mara Dyer-esque than its own unique path that it once used to have.
As much as I want to say that I still love this series the same way that I used to (or better yet, even more than before), doing so would be a lie. I now have my apprehensions on picking up the last book. 3.5 stars.
Tahereh Mafi is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Shatter Me series. She was born in a small city somewhere in Connecticut and currently resides in Santa Monica, California with her husband, fellow author Ransom Riggs. She can usually be found over-caffeinated and stuck in a book. Shatter Me is her first series, with television rights optioned by ABC Signature Studios.