Book Review : Restore Me (Shatter Me #4) by Tahereh Mafi
Juliette Ferrars thought she’d won. She took over Sector 45, was named the new Supreme Commander, and now has Warner by her side. But she’s still the girl with the ability to kill with a single touch—and now she’s got the whole world in the palm of her hand. When tragedy hits, who will she become? Will she be able to control the power she wields and use it for good?
Check out my review of book 1 : Click here for my review of Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1)
A Sneak Peek Into The Story :
Juliette Ferrars has won. All these months she and her friends have been training and planning for this purpose. To defeat The Supreme Commander. And they have succeeded. Since that day, Juliette has crowned herself as the Supreme Commander of The Reestablishment and take over sector 45.
Despite having just defeated the late Supreme Commander Anderson, Juliette is ready for a bigger war. She has a vision to restore the world to the way it used to be. Where people are free to do whatever they want, and go wherever they desire, be whatever they choose, instead of being chained down by the rules The Reestablishment has set out for them. So she waits. Juliette waits and waits and waits, but nothing.
In the sixteen days since she has gained power over sector 45, Juliette has faced zero opposition. No one has tried to arrest her. No other supreme commanders – the other 5 who are still alive – have come to challenge her and her authority. No one has protested. And not a single soul has spoken ill of her. However, when there are 555 sectors all over the world – 554, minus her own – this silence is unnerving. Because of that, Juliette is starting to get restless. She had expected it to turn out into an all out war, but all she gets is radio silence.
“ Right now, my biggest problem is also the most confusing:
Wars require enemies, and I can’t seem to find any.”
This strange quiet has thrown her and her group of friends off balance. Juliette has been trying to figure out what it is that the 5 other supreme commanders are planning. Why is it that they have been allowed to do as they pleases with no interference. And everyone else – the whole world – seems to be continuing as if nothing has changed. As if their victory has been for naught. As if their presence are so insignificant, the supreme commanders have seen no immediate need to rectify the situation.
“The destruction of the world didn’t happen overnight, and neither will saving it.”
Castle – one of Juliette’s friends – suggests that Juliette take the upper hand. Instead of waiting around and being on the defensive, she should take a step forward and reach out to the other 5 supreme commanders around the world. Make a connection. Stake a claim, he had said. Try to form an alliance with the other supreme commanders. Connect with them. Learn what you can about them, Castle had advised. And to that Juliette agrees. She may now speak for North America, but there a still a big part of the world that Juliette does not yet understand. There is still so much more to learn with so little time. So Juliette agrees. For now, before launching assaults, she will be diplomatic. For now, she will play nice.
“They are awaiting your next move, Ms Ferrars. I implore you to make it a good one.”
I think, even after all these years of me being an avid reader, I have never been this excited for a book release before. The release of “Restore Me” had me so, very excited that I felt as if I was high a week before the book was published. Along with this level of excitement and anticipation, it inevitably comes with expectations. And when those expectations are not met ? Disappointment follows.
After spending the whole week re-reading the series just to refresh my memory on what is going on in this book, I must admit I feel a little bit disappointed. I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, but it is definitely more than what I got.
First, let’s talk about our main character, Juliette Ferrars. In the first book of this series – Shatter Me – , Juliette is this timid young lady who was easily scared into submission and who wanted nothing more than to fit in. This, more than anything else, has been the issue that Juliette has been struggling with on and off in the series. And in the third book – Ignite Me – we see her peel off this fearful and shy layer and become the strong and confident woman we have all undoubtedly been waiting for her to become.
When I was reading Ignite Me, I could not be happier seeing that Juliette finally found this courage in herself to be who she has always wanted to be. The third book – Ignite Me – ended on such a good note that I cannot wait to see how her character is going to grow and evolve in book four – Restore Me.
But after reading this book, it feels as if Juliette went back into the girl she used to be. The shy and quiet girl who is reserved and weighted down. While it is understandable that with her new position as the Supreme Commander, especially with her inexperience, she undoubtedly will be shocked and overwhelmed. Especially with the people around her doubting her authority and constantly advising her on what is best, I get that she feels like she has the need to prove that she can handle things on her own. Even when it might not have been the best course of action, I understand where she is coming from.
But her character development in this book shocked me. Because under all that pressure, it feel as if she is holding back. Somehow, to me, it seems like she did not try her best to overcome it and has kind of given up trying to catch up with what is going on. Rather than tackling the task at hand with determination, instead her character regressed back into this quiet and shy girl.
“I’ve not been myself lately.”
This book is narrated in both Warner – Juliette’s boyfriend – and Juliette’s POV. So readers are getting the much needed insight into the story from dual POV. In Restore Me, Warner too has a lot of things going on that he deals with. But instead of sharing it with Juliette, he chooses to be quiet and not mention it at all. His reasons are understandable. He does not want to scare Juliette away with all the things that he is dealing with. And after following his journey and knowing how hard Warner has fought to get to where he is with Juliette, I get that he might not want to do anything to jeopardize that. While his actions are justifiable to a certain point, I think that some of his actions and his need for secrecy may have cause Juliette to sink further into herself.
In Restore Me, we get a deeper look into who Warner is a character. In the past 3 books, it was all written in Juliette’s POV, and Warner has always been so stoic and hard to read for her that it is very refreshing to be able to see things from his POV. His emotions are very well portrayed in Restore Me. And just like how he is a rock to Juliette, having Warner’s part in the book balances out Juliette’s erratic and emotional part really well.
“There’s too much to do, and there’s no way out of this but through.
I have to face it. Deal with it, whatever it is. ”
Despite my disagreement with how this book turn out to be, I get that these developments on both Warner and Juliette and all the other supporting characters are necessary to the story. Of course things don’t just all change overnight. I understand that, I really do. And I love Tahereh for showcasing these issues. But I don’t know. I wished for something more. I wished for more action and more I don’t know, bad-assery ? And getting this as the continuation after I have waited for so long just feels lacking and frustrating.
And I might have been okay with it, had the plot been good. But throughout the book, basically nothing happened. Most of the time they are running around like headless chicken doing and worrying about I-don’t-know-what. And when they are not doing that, they are stressing out about their current situation. Although nobody seems to want to talk about it. They are all going through problems and they are all going through hard times, but everyone seems to have this silent agreement to just be quiet and not discuss it.
The Verdict :
About 80% of this book is basically just like a soap opera, to be honest. The last 20% is the only part where things are really happening, but then it ended abruptly right when things are about to get interesting. So I really don’t know what I think about this book. On one hand, I know that these progresses and developments are necessary. But some other part of me wished that those parts aren’t as dragged out and prominent as they were so there are more space for other things. Because after reading Restore Me, I don’t feel like I know these characters any better nor do I get more insight onto what is going on.
Altogether, the writing was beautiful as always. And despite what I mentioned above, I still enjoyed the book. Although, need to be mentioned that it ends with a cliffhanger, so if you are one of the readers who dislike cliffhangers I would suggest wait until the whole series has been published to start reading. And despite all the things that I have said above, I will be waiting for the next book as I am curious as to what is going to happen next. And I am hoping that things will finally pick up pace in book 5.
“It’s a picture of a little boy standing next to a little girl. She’s sitting in a stairwell.
He looks at her as she eats a piece of cake.
I flip it over.
Aaron and Ella”