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.
Synopsis from Goodreads
After a decade long wait, we are finally at the end of the Shatter Me series. Originally meant to be a trilogy (which ended when Juliette became the leader of Sector 45), this second trilogy showed readers what the rest of the world looks like and introduced Juliette and friends to the other Supreme Commanders. Unfortunately, this ended up being three books that dragged out unnecessarily and completely changed character personalities. Imagine Me gives us a final conclusion to the entire story, but it is a good one?
Everything Big Happens Off-Page
I was incredibly frustrated that so many of the big moments in this book happen between chapters, not in the chapters themselves. There's a proposal, a massive kidnapping, a plane theft, and numerous battle scenes...but readers are only ever told about them in summary after the fact. This was so frustrating! It felt like we were getting the short end of the stick with just enough information to tell us what had happened, but not actually let us read about it and feel like we were part of it. Mafi had done this a bit in in first Shatter Me trilogy, but in Imagine Me (and the other two books of this trilogy) it often left like we were being rushed along for no reason.
Kenji Isn't Strong Enough to be Main Narrator
I'm a fan of Kenji and really loved him in the first trilogy, but oh my goodness, this character CANNOT be one of two main narrators, especially when the other narrator is essentially loosing control of her mind or is brainwashed for almost the entire book. Yes, he's funny, but not actually funny enough to carry the book. And (sorry Kenji fans!) he seems like he can barely keep up with more powerful characters, like Warner and Nareeza, either physically or mentally, which is strange because he's basically been training since childhood (and was actually decent at battle tactics in the first trilogy). Maybe if he was one of many narrators (gives us Warner or Nareeza!), he could've helped the story, but he came off as weak and ineffectual when given this much of a voice.
Needed a Third-Person Narrator
As I was reading, I kept having to think about what was bothering me about the book. Then I realized it was having first-person narrators. I won't rag on Kenji again, but he and Juliette simply don't know enough about what is happening in the world, the battle, or in Oceania to give us a clear idea of what's going on! I wonder how much stronger this book, and trilogy, would've been if it was written in third-person POV, so readers could get both insight into characters but also a greater understanding of this world. These first-person POVs were missing so much.
Overall, while I'm happy we got some kind of happy ending (although it was super rushed and didn't really go anywhere?) for these characters, this book, and its trilogy, did not feel like it connected to the first trilogy and didn't feel like it was worth my time. I really enjoyed the first Shatter Me trilogy, but I don't know if I'd ever read it again after such a frustrating experience with this second trilogy. Sadly, this isn't a book or series I'd recommend at this point, unless - like me - you need to know how a series ends.
FINAL RATING: 1/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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