Book Reviews

IMAGINE ME BY TAHEREH MAFI // book talk: mini defy me review ft. sad feelings and hardcore warnette shipping

My life now has a hollow hole because I’m SAD and EMO this series is over.

Somebody send me HELP please and thank you.

Also, I have no self-control and read this book in an entire sitting YAY FOR ME. I think I’m an ACTUAL reader now, a reader whizz if you will. I’VE MADE IT! Watch me do all the 24 hour readathons.



I relate to R2 on a deeply personal level rn


Before we start, I again have to apologise because I was supposed to do a review of Defy Me ages ago when I read it but never got around to it. Should we do it now? Why the heck not I suppose…

Defy Me (Shatter Me #5) by Tahereh Mafi

Seeing as I read this book like a year ago, excuse any stupidity. I mean you already do that most of the time but still. But from what I can remember, and I’ve actually been rereading parts of the books because I’m emo and truly don’t want this series to end welp. I did not love the end of Restore Me, it was way too much drama and I HATE a particular ‘trope’ when it comes to relations (trying to not spoil) so Warnette annoyed me a little. I just always find that plotline unnecessary and aghhhh!!

And then this book was just a bit too short, it felt like it was two short stories together and rather incomplete. I LOVED the ending but everything else was just all a bit choppy. I still enjoyed it though, like I read the book in two sittings or something and ADDICTED!! I was invested and needed to know what was going to happen. I also always love Tahereh’s writing, stunning as per usual.

So there we go, the mini-est review you ever saw. Moving on to my thoughts that make no sense at all. Enjoy.

Title: Imagine Me
Series: Shatter Me book #6
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Page count: 464
Date published: 31 March 2020
Genre: Young Adult dystopian


Juliette Ferrars.

Ella Sommers.

Which is the truth and which is the lie?

Now that Ella knows who Juliette is and what she was created for, things have only become more complicated. As she struggles to understand the past that haunts her and looks to a future more uncertain than ever, the lines between right and wrong—between Ella and Juliette—blur. And with old enemies looming, her destiny may not be her own to control.

The day of reckoning for the Reestablishment is coming. But she may not get to choose what side she fights on.

STAR RATING: (4.5 out of 5 stars)

Big thanks to Penguin Books South Africa for sending a review copy of this book my way! All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Boy oh boy, am I AM IN FEELS!! And let me tell you it is a lonely place over here, where the Shatter Me series is over. Somebody send help and rescue me from this desolate place where Warner is gone.

And you thought I was dramatic or something?

currently me, sobbing uncontrollably

Where to freaking start with this review? I guess I can gush for about the millionth time over Tahereh’s beautiful writing style. We know it’s good since I’m positively sure 99.9% sometimes I don’t know what the sentence means but we’re still here marvelling our eyes like newborn children. It did occur to me that I could be dumb but I’m positive that it’s also Tahereh’s writing *insert facepalm*. I know, I’ve gone all poetic on you all, it’s the quarantine.

Also HA I guess we can all relate to Juliette right now. Not the right time for jokes Ruby come on.

Can I tell you about my current situation? As soon as I finished this book, which by the way I read in an entire day (technically two since I finished it at like 2 am but whatever that’s a technicality), I immediately wanted to start rereading my favourite parts of the previous books. Which if you don’t know me, that’s a sign of pure Ruby obsession mode. And it’s not a healthy time period lemme tell ya.

The plot I think was a lot more consistent than the last book, it was a bit slow at the beginning but picked up around 40% in.

I truly spent the entirety of the next day rereading my fave Warnette parts of Ignite Me and reminiscing the good times when I first binge-read the series. Dude, this series is not the best thing ever but there’s just something about it. And I truly love the characters, even when I want to strangle them.

Speaking of the precious characters…

  • Nazeera: to be quite frank, I didn’t really care for her at first, but she became super ‘helpful’ then I, you know, appreciated her??
  • Kenji: okay about Kenji, we all love him. He’s a funny guy and I like his and J’s friendship, truly I do. But to be honest, I just was so exasperated when we had to read from his POV. And then we didn’t have a Warner POV in this book so I was just so irritated whenever we were in his head because tbh the guy is a tad self-centred. So yeah, I love him but much prefer reading about him from a Juliette or Warner POV. Don’t @ me, please. I did like his lil romance though, it was ~ cute ~ and that is all. I shall crawl into my hole and not come out
  • Juliette: I aspire to have as much strength as this girl does. I also wish I was her sometimes (see below for obvious reasons). She’s grown so much as a character over the series and we’re just all standing around clapping hands like proud moms tbh.
  • Warner: hands down my favourite character who I’d give a leg for. No, I am not over-exaggerating. I mean he’s not the only YA character I’d give a leg for but that doesn’t diminish the gesture. I just wanted to hold the poor boy and stroke his hair or something BECAUSE DAMN HE HAD A ROUGH TIME. *composes self* I just love him a lot and my heart literally aches. Okay, I don’t think I can do this right now *tries hard not to cry* and I just,,, need some time.

And aghh THE FREAKING ROMANCE!!! We didn’t have enough and I was emo. It is why I went back and sobbed my eyes out in previous books BECAUSE I MISSED WARNETTE AND JUST AHHHH!!  Somebody send help. I’ll talk about my favourite scenes specifically in a second but I just,,, wanted more. It’s just me being greedy I know, but I’ve come to expect more romance scenes so I do find it strange that there weren’t as many.

Still sitting in my feels though, I’M NOT READY TO SAY GOODBYE.

I did like how the book ended. I do think there are a lot of loose ends though, and I was genuinely shocked as to why there was such a short epilogue?? The endings of Tahereh’s books usually are very anti-climatic and short so I did kinda lowkey expect it. Yet I still have questions and certain plotlines didn’t end properly so it makes me wonder.

Okay, THAT BEGINNING scared the heck out of me. I was like WTF is happening and what does this mean for the rest of the book??

Also, it’s been like 3 years since I first read Ignite Me but this bish immediately recognised THOSE LINES!! Don’t ask me how my memory is usually this good but STILL. FREAKING loved that.

The scene at the end when Warner was making Juliette remember him LITERALLY DESTROYED MY LIFE AND THEN BROUGHT ME BACK FROM THE DEAD OMG!!!! I just,,, my heart could not handle it.

I may have fainted because [clenches fist] I LOVE THEM
Questions that need answers:

– Adam betrayed everyone but he was just there all smiley at the end? Where are the repercussions? I just want to know why they forgave him??

– How did Anderson really die this time? What was different?

– What’s happening with the rest of the world? Who’s running it?

– Where is our wedding scene? EXCUSE ME IM WAITING!! THE VOWS!!

FYI: These aren’t quotes necessarily only from the final book, but from all of them. So  I guess don’t read if you haven’t at least gotten to Ignite Me. Sorry, I’m lazy and don’t feel like organising them, this is just for fun and nostalgia anyways welp 🙂

“The tattoo is just setting below his hp bone.
H e l l i s e m p t y
a n d a l l t h e d e v i l s a r e h e r e

I kiss my way across the words.
Kissing away the devils.
Kissing away the pain.”


It’s like a drop of honey, a field of tulips blooming in the springtime. It’s a fresh rain, a whispered promise, a cloudless sky, the perfect punctuation mark at the end of a sentence. And it’s the only thing in the world keeping me afloat.

“I am going to MURDER YOU—”
“No,” he says, pointing at me as he shifts backward again. “Bad Juliette. You don’t like to kill people, remember? You’re against that, remember? You like to talk about feelings and rainbows—”

“For so many years I lived in constant terror of myself. Doubt had married my fear and moved into my mind, where it built castles and ruled kingdoms and reigned over me, bowing my will to its whispers until I was little more than an acquiescing peon, too terrified to disobey, too terrified to disagree. I had been shackled, a prisoner in my own mind.

But finally, finally, I have learned to break free.”

“Have you ever been in love?” I ask, turning on my side to look at him. He stares up at the sky. Blinks a few times.
I roll back, disappointed.
“This is so depressing,” Kenji says.
“We suck.”

“Can you, like, see invisible people, too?”
“No,” Warner says to him, eyes focused in front of him. “I can feel your presence. Hers, most of all.”
“Really?” Kenji says. “That’s some weird shit. What do I feel like? Peanut butter?”

Warner is unamused.”

“She searches me with those odd, blue-green eyes and I feel guilty so suddenly, without understanding why. But there’s something about the way she looks at me that always makes me feel insignificant, as if she’s the only one who’s realized I’m entirely hollow inside. She’s found the cracks in this cast I’m forced to wear every day, and it petrifies me. That this girl would know exactly how to shatter me.”

“I never even tried. Because I let the world teach me to hate myself. I was a coward who needed someone else to tell me I was worth something before I took any steps to save myself.”

“I love you, Ella. I will love you for the rest of my life. My heart is yours. Please don’t ever give it back to me.”

“You think these recent events are everything. You think Aaron fell in love with your friend of several months, a rebel girl named Juliette. You don’t know. You don’t know. You don’t know that Aaron has been in love with Ella for the better part of his entire life. They’ve known each other since childhood…….. The reason he had to keep wiping their memories was because it didn’t matter how many times he reset the story or remade the introductions – Aaron always fell in love with her. Every time.”

“Gone is the boy with the guns and the skeletons in his closet. These hands holding me have never held a weapon. These hands have never touched death. These hands are perfect and kind and tender.”

“I can’t remember a single time in my life when someone apologized to me for hurting my feelings. No one has ever cared about my feelings long enough to apologize for hurting them. In my experience, I’m usually the monster. I’m the one expected to make amends.”

“Warner has collapsed in the corner.
He’s curled into himself, kness pulled up to his chest. arms wrapped around his legs, his head buried in this arms. And he’s shaking.
Tremors are rocking his entire body.
I’ve never, ever seen him look like a child before. Never, not once, not in all the time I’ve known him. But right now, he looks just like a little boy. Scared, Vulnerable. All alone.

I touch his arms, so gently. I run my hand down his back, his shoulders. And then I dare to wrap myself around him until he slowly breaks apart, unfolding in front of me.
He lifts his head.
His eyes are red-rimmed and a startling, striking shade of green, shining with barely restrained emotion. His face is the picture of so much pain.
I almost can’t breathe.
An earthquake hits my heart then, cracks it right down the middle. And I think here, in him, there is more feeling then any one person should ever have to contain.
I try to hold him closer but he wraps his arms around my hips instead, his head falling into my lap. I bend over him instinctively, shielding his body with my own.
I press my cheek to his forehead. Press a kiss to his temple.
And then he breaks.
Shaking violently, shattering in my arms, a million gasping, choking pieces I’m trying so hard to hold together. And I promise myself then, in that moment that I will hold him forever, just like this, until all the pain and torture and suffering is gone, until he’s given a chance to live the kind of life where no one can wound him this deeply ever again.”

“Because Warner is beautiful in ways even Adam isn’t.”

I read this book like 2 months ago and I,,, still love this book?

My feelings are so conflicted like wtf?!?! Literally lowkey want to bump it up to 5 stars. But Imma not be hasty because I don’t remember a lot.

Just the Warnette scenes. Oh well.

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