Review: Defy Me
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 adore this series and I couldn't wait to read this book. After I preordered it months ago in extreme anticipation, of course, I'd wait nearly two weeks after release to read it (ugh, Julia, stop procrastinating). Once I started reading it, however, I devoured this book. Quite literally. I think I read it in record time - about 2 - 2.5 hours. Not sure how that's possible with a 350-page book but hey, I did it. And strangely enough, it felt incredibly short and I felt myself longing for more time with these characters.
Defy Me continues immediately after Restore Me's earth-shattering ending. We're graced with Kenji, Juliette, and Warner's POVs and are thrown into three different locations and situations post-symposium. Honestly, the first 60% of this book was just dealing with a lot of memories and was kind of stagnant. The last 40% of the book picked up and had some motion to it but it definitely was not on par with its predecessors. I get that the second or fifth books in a series are usually the fillers and are there to build up to the finale but I was actually surprised at how much it lacked. I’m looking forward to the next one which will have an action-packed showdown I’m sure.
I've always admired Mafi's unique writing style because it is so easy to get lost in the casual banter and conversation. The formatting of the words on the page also contributes to the emotional attachments I have to these characters and I was pleased to see that she continued her unique prose methods in this.
On to the characters - I've always loved Juliette, Warner, and Kenji and was happy to be on this journey with them again against the Supreme Commanders regime.
I enjoyed learning more about her true identity and backstory after that shocking cliff-hanger at the end of Restore Me. I can't wait to see what a stronger, more efficient Juliette/Ella has going on in the next book.
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.
Can we take a moment to acknowledge and appreciate their pure sweetness? I mean sure, they're all-powerful killers but I can't get over how precious they are together.
Best book boyfriend/fiancé around. He's easily had the most character development and growth throughout the series and I loved that he was so emotionally vulnerable in this book.
And she smiles. Smiles at me and my heart shatters. "Trust me," she says. "I'd remember you."
Ugh. Yes. All the feelings.
Kenji is one of the best characters to ever grace this series. His back and forth banter with both Juliette/Ella and Warner/Aaron is my favorite thing to read. He's the best friend we all deserve.
"Can we cry about it later? I'll tell you everything"
"Hell yeah we can cry about it later." Kenji tugs gently on my hand to get us moving again. "I have so much shit to cry about, J. So much. We should make, like, a list."
I'll end with this. Because finally.
We're going to find time for happiness. Because how can we stand against tyranny if we ourselves are filled with hate? Or worse -- nothing?