Title: Restore Me (Shatter Me #4)
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Published by: HarperCollins
About the Book from Goodreads
Juliette Ferrars thought she’d won. She took over Sector 45, was named the new Supreme Commander, and now has Warner by her side. But she’s still the girl with the ability to kill with a single touch—and now she’s got the whole world in the palm of her hand. When tragedy hits, who will she become? Will she be able to control the power she wields and use it for good?
I finished this book nearly a month ago and it is just now that I’m able to sit down and express coherent (okay fine, almost coherent) thoughts on it. I just want to start off by saying my expectations for this book were so ridiculously high, I was afraid Mafi would disappoint me.
I was wrong.
I finished this book in one sitting (something I haven’t done in a while so that should be able to tell you something) and I’ve been putting off writing this review to have a chance at organizing my thoughts before realizing that that’s just not possible.
Mafi blew my mind.
The first thing I was relieved to notice as soon as I started reading this book was that it had not lost the unique quality that were present in the first three books. It felt like no time at all had passed since Ignite Me was released.
The characters had very much the same essence and it was a true delight to get to know them more deeply in this book. I have to admit I was a little scared when I learned about the dual POV but I realize now it was absolutely necessary for the story to continue. Juliette’s knowledge about the world around her was very limited in the first three books, which is part of the reason why the world building suffered. Warner’s POV provides details regarding the Reestablishment and the world he grew up in – details Juliette had no way of knowing given the years of confinement she had to endure. Warner’s POV provides much needed insight for the reader to understand that the plot has gotten much bigger than just Juliette and Warner’s love story.
Warner was always hinted at to be a very complex character but I always felt the reader knew very little about him. I am so happy Mafi did not reduce him to just a love interest. Instead, we get to know him so much better in this book. He felt so real, deeply flawed and honestly so relatable. He wasn’t shoved into the “I’m the misunderstood book boyfriend that can do no wrong” mold or the “I’m the character that has been reduced to a supporting role so I can make my love interest – the main character – look good” mold. He is very much his own person, with his own story line and issues to deal with.
Juliette has a lot of character development to do. The poor girl has taken on an impossible job and she’s realizing only now how little she knows about the world she is supposed to take over. I loved that Mafi didn’t rush her character arc though, because having her be super kickass as Supreme Commander from the get-go would’ve been extremely unrealistic. My heart aches for her.
Neither Adam or James are central to the plot in this story but I can tell there’s been a lot of character growth for Adam. I was loving all the Adam and Warner scenes.
There were new characters introduced into the story, which I thought was very refreshing and different from the first trilogy, which was very stale in that department. Nazeera has a competition with Kenji for my New Favorite Character. She is possibly the strongest female character in the series now and I’m loving what she’s bringing into the story.
Speaking of Kenji, my baby gets a lot of page time in this book, plus background story, and just for this reason I loved this book.
YOU BETTER NOT HURT KENJI, MISS TAHEREH MAFI, OR I WILL COME FOR YOU!
One thing I was very dissatisfied with was the very little page time the other members of the crew were granted. Alia, Castle, Ian, Brendan, Winston, all important characters in the other three books that were now reduced to nearly inconsequential supporting roles. Restore Me, as with the the previous books, is extremely character driven but I can assure you there is no shortage of plot twists or shocking revelations (oh, the revelations!).
It is obvious Mafi worked really hard to include diversity into this book. There are very important representations featured that are lacking in almost all books that fall into this genre.
There’s racism and mental health issues addressed, as well as a scene were transphobic comments were made. This particular scene has caused quite a bit of controversy in the booksphere, mostly due to very innacurate and unfair representation of the queer community. Here’s to hoping Mafi can redeem herself on that front in the upcoming books.
Now, I obviously can’t say anything about the ending but
OMG WHAT WAS THAT. It was, by far, one of the most shocking and unexpected cliffhangers I’ve ever read (but so worth it).
Follow me on social media
Email me for any book review requests or inquiries