Review: Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi

“Desperate, terrified people,” Nouria says solemnly, “are much easier to control.”

I was really looking foward to the release of Defy Me, i have been a big fan of the Shatter Me series for years. Restore me had ended with chaos, so i needed to know what happened next. But i believe I might have put too much faith into Defy Me, I had hyped it up so much in my head that anything less than perfect would be bad, and this is how I found myself not enjoying th ebook as much as i wanted.

My first issue was with the plot, or lack thereof, at times it was almost as if there was none. I found myself at one point thinking about when the plot was actually goiong to start, only to find out i was half way through the book. There wasn’t a lot of action to push the story where it needed to go, so it just felt kind of flat.

It wasn’t that the plot moved slowly, just that I felt too much time was spent on certain parts, and this made the plot feel long drawn. Too much time was spent on trivial thing, and the actually interesting plot points were glossed over.

The ending wasn’t all that great either, the final action scene was bland, and didn’t feel all that exciting to read, and the conclusion fell kind of short due to lack of buildup. There was something off with this book when it comes to the plot, and it’s not something I’ve ever experienced with a Tahereh Mafi book before, so i was very surprised.

Another issue i had with the book was the characters, for parts of the books they all seemed out of character – especially Kenji as there were some of his actions that didn’t really feel like the Kenji we got to know in previous books. But other than that the other characters also felt kind of off, not as bad, but still not truly like themselves.

Reading it, I got the feeling that Mafi had tried writing a book that focussed more on the characters than the previous books she’s written, and while she’s been amazing at developing characters earlier, it just didn’t work out when she tried focussing on them. She wasn’t able to find the right balance between character and plot, and as a result both of them felt flat and forced. She didn’t use the lack of plot to further the characters’ thoughts and feelings, instead she tried making the character more than they were.

Overall it was a book that lacked a lot of what i like from a book, and part of my displeasure with it definitely comes from my sky high expectations. But there was lacking elements in both plot and characters.



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