Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi
Published by HarperCollins on March 6, 2018
“I cannot let the broken girl inside of me inhale all that I’ve become. I cannot revert back to another version of myself. I will not shatter, not again, in the wake of an emotional earthquake.”
You can’t see me, but I’m dying.
After expecting the series to be over after Ignite Me and accepting it (for almost 4 years, might I add), Restore Me swept in and ruined me. Okay, okay, I’m not ruined but my heart hurts and this book ripped open wounds I never thought I’d have.
My spoiler free part of the review will stay short and sweet since we’re officially 4 books in and if you’re reading this, you should know most of what’s going on. If you like the first 3, you’ll love this one. Even skeptics. I know people aren’t too big of fans of the first one and it’s understandable. Juliette as a narrator was so destroyed in the first one, it’s hard to get into. She develops as a narrator and a character. At the end of Ignite Me she’s so much stronger than where we found her book one. In Restore Me, we see the aftermath and she regresses a bit, but that’s normal. Everyone regresses some in response to intense change. On top of it, Tahereh Mafi has grown so much as an author. Restore Me gives reader’s everything the first three lacked. World building, character development outside of the romance, W O R L D B U I L D I N G.
Anyway, if you are a fan of the original trilogy, you’ll love this one. I promise. It’s so much better.
Now, if you’ve read Restore Me please continue reading….because I’m going to drop some serious spoilers
I have a lot of emotions and the first one I’m going to address is: why why why why why why why did Mafi do this not only to my heart but to precious Warner?
There were so many revelations in this book but the most intriguing and the one that needed to be answered since book one: who are Juliette’s parents?
This one question drove the entire book. It wasn’t obvious the entire time (quite honestly, it wasn’t clear until Castle was hammering it in) but looking at the story arc as a whole, it definitely was the center point. The other piece of this question: who is Juliette? Now this ended up being a completely different question at the end of the book, but at first Juliette had to figure out who she was as Supreme Commander. Where she fit in this world, how she was going to fully adjust to a life with other people outside of Omega Point, and how she was going to deal with having such power. Juliette hardly had the chance to figure out who she was, most of the book she stumbled around self-doubting and unsure of what to do (regression). Only when Castle was pressuring Warner to read Anderson’s files on Juliette did we get a different answer to this question. (Side note: Castle annoyed me SO MUCH in this book) Which leads me to…who Juliette really is. Which is someone we don’t even know.
At the very end we find out Juliette’s real parents are the Supreme Commanders of Oceania. I-I still don’t know what to do with this information. I didn’t see it coming. I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop where Juliette’s sister Emmaline is concerned. Also, why did she get to keep her real name? We also find out Juliette’s real name is Ella. Do we refer to her as Juliette or Ella? Another revelation is the fact that she and Warner hung out when they were b a b i e s. I can’t get over that. Imagine if she had never been given up. I can’t. I just really love the fact that we get to see more outside of Sector 45 and the other Commanders. I love, even more, the kids.
Nazeera. I love her. She starts off as so shady and we don’t know if we can trust her then she shows up when Juliette is having her breakdown and has powers. She turned out to be so much better than I thought she’d be and I’m pleasantly surprised. Outside of her brother Haider, we didn’t see too much of the other kids. I hope we see them more because I like their dynamics.
Soooooo, Warner. My favorite lil bean. He was so sad in this book. He starts out working through the stages of grief from losing his father, even though he doesn’t know why he’s mourning his dad. Then he doesn’t really know how to be in a relationship and then he learns all this information about Juliette and Warner has to be the bearer of the bad news. (Hey, Juliette. Don’t shoot the messenger, someone should’ve told you that) And then Juliette freaks out and they are on temporary hiatus. (I’m very distraught about it) He agonizes over Juliette and he has so much to work through over the next two books. He formed an unwilling friendship with Kenji, but I think he needs Kenji in his life. Kenji helped him and tells him what he needs to do to be a functioning human being in society. Including, how to handle relationships. So funny when Kenji is talking to him about how clueless Warner is for relationships. I hope we see more of those two in the next books and hopefully Warner and Juliette can patch up their relationship. After all, most of what Juliette is mad about can be fixed if they COMMUNICATE. My biggest pet peeve was how much they both separately in their minds thought about how much they wanted to tell the other something or wanted to communicate, but neither made the effort. UGH.
Anyway….I really loved the world building and now this version of Earth feels more real. I’m intrigued and want to learn more about the Reestablishment. I want to know more about the Supreme Commanders. I love this plot. There wasn’t a plot like this in the first three so I am thriving.
I can’t wait a year for #5…don’t make me wait Mafi.