“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.“
*Warning* Spoilers ahead
I’m in the middle of my reread of the Shatter Me series and I am still in love with the story, characters, and writing. It is on my favorites list and is one of my many guilty pleasure reads. I understand why this series gets some of the hate that it does, but I don’t necessarily believe it and I love it anyways. I was going to write a review for each individual book, but I was reading reviews of Goodreads and seeing a lot of people who didn’t like the books and they all had similar reasons as to why they didn’t like it. I decided to write a post explaining why I disagree with some of their points and some points that I actually agree with.
When I first read the book, I never understood how people could say that Juliette was whiny, but after reading it a second time, I could see it (especially in Unravel Me). Juliette was kind of getting on my nerves and I was getting annoyed since she was being selfish and inconsiderate while at Omega Point. Then, I started to think about it and attempted to understand her behavior. Juliette spent 17 years of her life ostracized, thought the world would be better off without her, couldn’t touch anyone, has never been loved by anyone, and was thought of as a monster. For a good portion of Unravel Me, she only thought of her feelings and her relationship with the first person who ever showed her kindness and could touch her. After thinking about it, I don’t blame her. Of course she was only thinking about her feelings and those for Adam because what else has she ever known? She didn’t make friends at Omega Point because she doesn’t know how to and is only familiar with everyone hating her. I don’t think anyone who was in her mental state could have done much better. I also believe that Castle was asking way too much of her. After only one week at Omega Point, Castle expected Juliette to change the way she has been thinking for 17 YEARS. That does not happen overnight and I feel bad that she was expected to change her entire mental state that quickly.
I love Warner and Juliette’s relationship, but the fact that Taherah Mafi wrote Adam to be an awful person rubs me the wrong way. I’ve seen this type of writing before (ahem…Sarah J. Maas) and it was done well, but this felt forced. He goes from wanting the best for her to him wishing she was dead. Adam never got a good redemption arc and is barely even mentioned by the end of the serie. She should have just let fans chose who they like better instead of forcing them into loving Warner.
In a lot of the reviews I was reading, I noticed how a lot of people wished Taherah Mafi kept Shatter Me as a trilogy, which is what she originally intended. Well, I have a very unpopular opinion…I love that she expanded the series. The trilogy ended with Juliette taking over the Reestablishment in North America. Multiple other leaders would want to kill Juliette for murdering Anderson and taking over an entire continent, so it doesn’t make sense for the book to end happily ever after. The second half gave me what I wanted and the real ending is much more satisfying. Another reason people dislike the second half of the series is because they hate the whole story-line with Ella and who Juliette truly is, but I absolutely loved it. I thought the history between Ella and Warner was extremely sweet and I thought that the history between Juliette and her true family was fascinating. Her expanding the series also gave her a chance to tie up the side character’s stories. Kenji fell in love, Winston and Brendan started a relationship, and it gave her a chance to write a redemption arc for Adam (she didn’t, but the extra three books gave her a chance to). I was entertained by the books and the fifth one remains my favorite book in the series.
A lot of people hated that Warner didn’t get a POV in Imagine Me, but I’m glad that Taherah Mafi didn’t give him one. Since Juliette was kidnapped in the finale, Warner was in a dark place and was acting extremely cruel towards everyone around him. If he was given a POV and saw him in that dark and cold-hearted place, I’m afraid that I would have liked him less. Also, seeing what was going on in his head would have been depressing and it was gross enough seeing Juliette attracted to Anderson.
Another reason that Imagine Me gets a lot of hate is that Juliette and Warner were separated for the majority of the book. I wish that it had happened in a different book so we get more Warnette scenes in the finale, but I understand why Taherah Mafi wrote it this way. It was getting a little bit suspicious that a handful of teenagers were repeatedly defeating a group of adults that have been working on the Reestablishment for 14 years. They needed at least one win and I wish it happened in a different book, but I don’t hate that it happened in Imagine Me. Defy Me was filled with a bunch of great scenes between the two and the couple of scenes Juliette and Warner had together in Imagine Me, were some of my favorites.
Through my reread, I lowered my rating of Unravel Me from 5 stars to 4 stars, but overall, Shatter Me is a 5-star series and it will remain on my favorites list. It may be a guilty pleasure read, but it has some of my favorite writing and this dystopian romance will always have a place in my heart.