Review: Restore Me (Shatter Me, #4) by Tahereh Mafi

7:25 PM

Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi | Rating: ★★★★★

"I cannot let the broken girl inside of me inhale all that I've become. I cannot revert back to another version of myself. I will not shatter, not again, in the wake of an emotional earthquake.”

I'll be honest: I was skeptical of this book when it was announced. I absolutely adored the original trilogy and was hesitant about Restore Me. In spite of my initial "eh" reaction to the continuation of the series, I had faith that Mafi wouldn't let the fans down and she truly didn't. I was mostly concerned that everything that was built up in the first three books would be pulled apart in the worst way possible.

Plus, I had it in my mind that the previous book was the conclusion. It takes me a while to adjust to changes. But, at the end of the day, Restore Me isn't a change. It honors the beginning and end of the original run, expanding both the world and its characters; their relationships and the politics. Restore Me makes the series richer in tone and detail and proves to be Mafi's best release to date.

First things first, HOLY CRAP HER WRITING. It just keeps getting better. Pick up Shatter Me, reread the first three books, and then look at how much she has grown right there with the characters. I'm stunned. This was definitely one of my most anticipated reads of 2018 and one of the only books I literally could not put down, even if I wanted/needed to.

There's a bit of a change to these characters that comes only with time. Moreso, they feel just as flawed as ever--it's a very human trait that is explored further. It reminds us that sometimes even the brave get scared, the right goes wrong, our own history comes back to haunt us. I liked the way we see a sort of rise and fall to the plot and we are able to bring in new and old characters alike.

I'll admit I was never that big of a fan of Warner but he did grow on me as time went on but I found his portions of Restore Me to be a lot more intriguing than Juliette's. Which was, admittedly, a bit of culture shock or whatever the literary equivalent of that would be called. The entire time I was like, "Ugh, Warner, no." but also, "Crap. Am I Warner fan, now?"

A lot of fans seem to be put off by Juliette's changes in this one. I don't really see where they get that feeling from? I found it to be realistic and refreshing. She is going through changes. Trial and error. It shows her age and her resilience. Even the most powerful people have moments of weakness and it just felt very genuine because, at the end of the day, it doesn't change her.

There were a lot of good scenes that I want to point out but can't without spoiling the plot. I will say that Juliette makes some interesting new connections, has some MASSIVE moments that will leave you reeling, there are some great scenes between Warner and Adam. I--I just can't get over certain reveals that... cannot... be spoiled... in my review. Sigh. Let's just say that I was SHOCKED. Just... completely and utterly shook.

So much so that I've spent months trying to process my thoughts and get used to the fact that we have to wait to learn more. And, well, I've never been good at waiting. We'll get to that in a minute--I want to focus on a few other things.

I will say that DANG, there was a lot of suspense and tension in this. Romance, too. Mafi, as usual, is able to keenly create the perfect combination of plotlines and characteristics. Where there's fear, there is laughter. Where there is snark, there is seriousness. I love the balance. I love the tension. I love the flaws and everything in between.

Even though my mind felt thoroughly messed with by the final pages, I would gladly get messed up again by reading Restore Me. Like, 10/10 would recommend this PAIN and JOY to all of you.

By the time I finished the book, my jaw was on the floor. I need more, I say, more! Mafi, please, please, hook a girl up and spill the tea for the next installment so I don't have to wait. I have questions!

Overall, fans of the original run will be appreciative in seeing their favourite characters again.

Restore Me is proof that Tahereh Mafi's prose is ever-growing and deserving of more and more praise. I cannot wait to see where the series takes us! As always, she keeps you wanting more.

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