CW: anxiety, panic attacks, transphobia, recollections of abuse, depression, mention of suicide
Restore Me is the continuation of the Shatter Me series (I once talked about it way, way back in the day and you can read that post here) and I got to read it with my very good friend Marie @Drizzle and Hurricane Books. Definitely stay on the lookout for her review in the near future!
When I first heard the announcement for the new additions to the series, I was both super excited and dreaded their release at the same time. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adored the original Shatter Me trilogy, but they were tied up nice enough for me. Obviously there was room for more to tell, but I was a little worried about whether the things to come were really necessary and afraid that they might change my feelings towards characters I love. I think Tahereh Mafi managed to truly create another plot element that made sense to the history of the characters and at least I wasn’t disappointed in that area.
I wish I could say this book was everything I had dreamed of, but that would be the overstatement of the year. It took me quite a while until I was really back in that world. Something about the writing style has changed and didn’t feel as enchanting and unique as it used to. I think that’s really a shame, because the writing style is what made the original trilogy so special to me and made me want to revisit it time and time again. Also, I felt myself being far more impatient with the characters than I used to be, annoyed at their utter lack of communication. They kept tiptoeing around each other, assuming things that sometimes weren’t even true or just plain exaggerating for … drama? I don’t even know.
As much as I just complained, it was nice to have the old gang back. Obviously, Kenji is still my most favourite person in the entire series (and I honestly don’t think that will ever change). At first, I struggled with Warner’s perspective a little bit, feeling quite detached from his narration style, but by the end, I think I often felt more with him than with Juliette. There are a lot of things that surface from his past and I just think that he was judged unfairly sometimes. Do I condone everything he did and feel like he shouldn’t suffer any repercussions? No. But the way he was brought up and plain had to survive sometimes, I just don’t think most of what he did was really news to anyone (except J apparently).
This book also introduced some new characters and I love, love, love one of them especially and am intrigued, to say the least, about the others. I don’t really want to talk about anyone by name just so you get to meet them all by yourself and can form your own opinion, but I have a weird trust for that person and hope they’ll continue to play an important role.
Overall, Restore Me was mostly an introduction of what these new books would be about. It was an incredibly fast read and interesting to see alternating chapters from Warner and Juliette’s POV. I didn’t find much of the plot surprising, but … maybe that’s just me? There was definitely A LOT happening without much happening at all at the same time. Again, it felt like a set-up for the future the majority of the time. There’s also a cruel cliffhanger, so consider yourself warned!
On a final side rant, I am really sad that the font for the paperback was changed. I do realise that they rereleased the entire series with Electric Monkey and changed the font for all the books, but why wasn’t it also available from the same publisher as the hardcover, that had the previously established font still? I will never understand certain decisions …
Fazit: 4/5 stars! Interesting continuation of one of my favourite series.
Have you read Restore Me? Do you want to? Have you read the original books in the Shatter Me series?