This is the fourth and latest book in the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi. It’ll be hard not to talk about this book without kind of giving a review on the whole series up to this point so just be warned that’s probably what you’ll be getting.
The series was initially supposed to be completed with the first three books and two novellas/short stories: Shatter Me 1, Destroy Me 1.5, Unravel Me 2, Fracture Me 2.5, and Ignite Me 3. I’m not always a fan of series that have the .5 in-between stories but omg you guys these ones are SO recommended, they add so much to the story and character development of two characters who don’t have POV in the main works. Also they are quick reads at like 100 and 60 ish pages respectively.
I first read the Shatter Me series in 2015 and I was in love, I was trying to tell everyone I knew to read them (ugh I wish I had bookworm friends in real life!) and I was going back to read over specific scenes and chapters that had me swooning. This series is a dystopian, young adult, paranormal, romance, sci-fi mix and I really loved it. At first it was a little weird to get used to the main character’s POV as it’s really kind of repetitive, poetic, and written as entries from her journal while in isolation in an insane asylum. Juliette takes a while to come out of her shell and we are along for her ride through the world, so this series starts out with her and us being providing only a small window to look out into the world, small introductions to just a few characters, and this slowly increases throughout the series. Initially I would have said we got to walk through a fully opened door by the end of book three but wow did book four change my mind on this.
Like I said, Mafi initially didn’t intend to continue the series and from this article I read, it seems after rereading her own series she decided to continue it with three additional books when she realized that Juliette and the other character’s stories were just beginning at the end of book three. And honestly I couldn’t agree more. Instead of walking through a fully opened door at the end of the book three I honestly think we were still just looking through a crack or peep hole, perhaps with the door just being blown back as it ended but never walking through. Sorry for the metaphors… ugh I think this series kinda just does that to you. Anyways, Juliette & co have accomplished a lot by the end of book three but the whole wide world is now open to them and looking at them and there were a lot of unanswered questions about what they were going to do now. Also the character development is honestly so good in the first three books but really everyone is standing on this precipice at the end that it’s clear they aren’t done being tested or done growing into themselves.
I found out about the fourth book just a few months before it was due to come out and I was so excited to just be back in that world and drool all over Warner again (Team Warner!! Sorry not sorry!!). But I never stopped to consider that although things ended on a precipice in the previous book, things were mostly good with and between the characters. I started reading the fourth book and suddenly it dawned on me that with this book, and two more still to come, bad things were going to happen to the characters, their world, and their relationships. And I just could not deal you guys!! I could not make myself binge read it! I was having SO much anxiety feeling like if I kept reading I was essentially making the bad things happen to my
friends beloved characters.
Spoiler alert: bad things did happen!!!!!!!! But not in a way that the book was bad, but that you gotta have your characters go through a big fat shit storm first for there to be any payout in the end with *hopes* of a happy ending.
Remember my window/peephole, cracked door metaphor? Well the world definitely got bigger in book four but we’re still so blinded by the limited view and knowledge that Juliette has. If the door was blast off in the third book than all the fourth book did was introduce as to another door down the hall that’s barely cracked. And I feel pretty confident that the only way we’re gonna see our happy ending is if Juliette can rip all the doors off and figure out exactly what the heck is going in her world and see it clearly for what is it. Also I’d really like that because I have SO many questions!!! I think Mafi did an awesome job with this book building more to the world and history to our characters and making it so seamless like it was always her intent to continue the story with this information.
Juliette’s development in the book is a confusing mix of positive self love, utilizing coping skills from her old self hate, and then complete combustion. The other character’s didn’t seem to develop much at all and honestly I didn’t feel like we got to see any of them much. Warner possibly had some development in the learning how to be a person way but mostly he was disintegrating too. (Their POV go back and forth between chapters). I disliked that we kept getting excerpts from Juliette’s old journal, I skimmed all of it but I got it’s point as a device in the book.
The tone and mood of the book was very emo and honestly reminded me of what the 5th Harry Potter book did. Lack of communication between characters was causing problems, our main character is freaking out that things aren’t fair etc etc, our other main character’s are all grieving and moody and avoiding everyone, we learn some shocking truths about our main character, shit goes south real hard, we lose some (or lots) of people, and *hopefully* our main characters have learned a valuable lesson in how they’ve f**ked up real bad and now they gotta deal and fix things.
One pet peeve: our two love interests obviously hit some rocks during this book and they were SO EMO about it. I get that whatever, they’re teenagers with a lot on their plate and poor social and emotional skills but ugh. Girl, calm the eff down. and Boy, you going on about I can’t believe she used to love me once, when you “broke-up” YESTERDAY! Love doesn’t turn off like that, dummies.
Okay wow I guess I had a lot to say haha! Anyways I definitely recommend this series so far but if you like to binge read with a happy ending in sight then I suggest starting with the first half and not picking up book four until five and six are on their way. Ugh I so hate waiting for the next book in a series to come out…
Recommended for fans of the series so far, and fans of young adult dystopians and paranormal romance.