Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi – Review

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Quick Stats:
Overall:
 4.5/5 Stars
Characters: 5/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot and Themes: 4/5
Awesomeness Factor: 4/5
Review in a Nutshell: Defy Me is a fascinating new installment in theShatter Me universe that has me so excited for the next book!

“Happiness does not happen. Happiness must be uncovered, separated from the skin of pain. It must be claimed. Kept close. Protected.”


// Content Warning: Violence, Death, Assault, Gun Violence, Torture, Mature Content, Panic Attacks, Anxiety, Depression, Suicide Mention, Self Harm Mention, Child Abuse, Murder, Illness, Mental Illness, Islamophobia (Mention), Racism (Mention), Police Brutality (Mention), Kidnapping/Abduction //


– Premise –

Defy Me is told in three points of view, following Warner, Juliette, and Kenji (YES FINALLY HE GETS THE SPOTLIGHT HE DESERVES) after the chaotic ending of Restore Me.

– Writing & Setting-

I’m really loving where Tahereh Mafi is going with this world. This book has a lot of revelations (if you thought Restore Me was shocking, just you wait), and each one makes me want to go back and reread the first three books now that I have this information. Just when you think you finally understand what this world is like, and what’s going on, another twist is thrown at you. Mafi’s writing style is equally amazing. She’s definitely toned down the metaphors from the first three books, and seems to have found a balance between description and action. 

”This is, after all, what we’re fighting for, isn’t it?
A second chance at joy.”

– Plot –

This book is way more character driven than the others. Seriously. Don’t go into it expecting epic battles and fight scenes all the time, because not much happens. The fight in this book is definitely a more internal one, with a lot of the book comprising of flashbacks and secrets being revealed. That said, I love when a character’s development takes center stage, so I didn’t mind too much. I also mentioned before the twists and reveals. Like I said, I really liked them, but they did tend to feel a little info-dumpy at times and would occasionally fall into the range of too much exposition.

– Characters – 

So it’s no surprise that I adore all of these characters. I just love seeing how much they’ve grown! I feel like a proud parent. Kenji is and always will be my absolute favorite. I really loved reading from his POV, and it’s such a great addition to this book. This is definitely one of the few situations where you can clearly see why it was needed. The insight into his thoughts added depth to his character I didn’t even know I needed. Juliette and Warner both had great character arcs and development in this book, and they’re just as adorable as always. I honestly just love everything about all of these characters and I don’t know what else to say.

– Conclusion –

Pros- My brain is still reeling from some of the new things I learned, KENJI’S POV IS EVERYTHING I COULD HAVE EVER WANTED
Cons- Not much going on, too much exposition at times 
Overall- 4.5/5 stars. 
Defy Me is really about the characters, uncovering their past and coming to terms with who they are. While it may not be the thrilling, action-packed book I expected, I can’t wait to see where it goes next.

“It’s not insane to imagine that sometimes even horrible people are searching for a way out of their own darkness.” 

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