Restore Me is the 4th instalment of my beloved “Shatter Me” series by Tahereh Mafi, and I definitely have some thoughts. TL/DR: 3.5 fangirl squees out of 5. Answers a lot of questions left over after Ignite Me, but I personally could have done without it.
Disclaimer: The following post could be spoiler-ish if you haven’t read Restore Me yet.
I wrote a couple of earlier posts about the “Shatter Me” series (see here and here. Also here.) because I fell completely in love with Juliette and Warner. And I was under the impression that Ignite Me was the end of the series (possibly because it was called the “heart-stopping conclusion”). So I was a little confused, and extremely excited, to hear that there was going to be a new book! (My friend doesn’t share my love for these books.)
And all I can say is that I should have known this book was going to set fire to the happy, hopeful takeaway I had from Ignite Me since the book summary starts with “Juliette Ferrars thought she’d won.” -_- And not only does this book upend Juliette’s takeover of Sector 45, but it also puts tension between Warner and Juliette where I feel there should or would be none.
This book left me feeling the same sense of betrayal as I did in 2008 with the release of the first Sex and the City movie. The series finale of the SATC show finally had Carrie and Big together, Charlotte and what’s-his-name got their baby, Miranda had a beautiful moment of love and compassion for Steve’s mom, and Samantha realized maybe she had everything she needed in Smith.
Everything was finally beautiful and hopeful and happy, and then four years later someone decided to shit all over it for the sake of entertainment. It just makes me crazy when an author/director/whatever decides to mess with something that was perfectly fine and accepted as finished. Ignite Me was supposed to be the end!
Were there questions left unanswered? Yes, quite a few actually. The books before Restore Me never really explained things like how this dystopia came to be, how the Reestablishment came to power, or how anyone received their special abilities. And if nothing else, Mafi addresses most of that very soon into book #4.
I just feel like Mafi could have answered these questions by revisiting this world with a story dedicated to Kenji. Or maybe by introducing us to brand new characters in another sector and taking us on new adventures. She didn’t need to go “just kidding” and take away the things she gave us four years ago.
Just know that my anger is coming from a place of fear. I made my peace with the murky hopefulness of Ignite Me back in 2014, so this new direction worries me just a bit. I don’t know how many books Mafi is planning to add to this series, but I will be beyond devastated if it ends anything like Allegiant.
Please Tahereh, don’t go breaking my heart. 💔