Book Review: 8 Impressive Things about IMAGINE ME by Tahereh Mafi

“Imagine Me”

Shatter Me #6

by Tahereh Mafi

Nikki’s Rating: 8 out of 10

Summary: Ella Sommers and Juliette Ferrars are wiped from her mind and forgotten. In her place, a powerful soldier to The Reestablishment awakens and is fully loyal to Anderson. Juliette knows nothing of Warner, Kenji, or her life with Omega Point. But Warner will never give up on her. He is willing to take on his father and the other supreme commanders, the world itself if that’s what it takes. Warner will bring Juliette back, or die trying.

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8 Impressive Things about IMAGINE ME by Tahereh Mafi

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Pacing

As with all the books in the Shatter Me series, “Imagine Me” had fantastic pacing. There was plenty of action and suspense that kept me apprehensive and engaged. I had a hard time putting the book down because I absolutely NEEDED to know what was going to happen next. “Imagine Me” also included opportunities for characters to grow and for readers to get to know them better.

2. Kenji

Kenji of course is a beloved character and “Imagine Me” really allowed him and Warner to bond in a way that they never had before. With their shared goal of wanting to save Juliette, regardless of the danger, they were able to find common ground and actually get to know one another without the interference of Juliette trying to force them together. It was essential for Warner to have another person in his life who cared about him beyond just Juliette.

3. Children of Monsters

One of the things that I really enjoyed about the Shatter Me series is that the children of the supreme commanders weren’t monstrous like their horrible parents. On the contrary, they were all victims of their parents in many ways. And they chose to be something different, regardless of what their parents wanted, which is never an easy feat.

4. Cycle of Abuse

While I could not truly give a shit about what Anderson had to endure in his life, the tiny glimpse we see of his upbringing clearly paints the picture of the cycle of abuse. His mother abused him, he abused his children, and his children definitely ended up with some issues. While none of this excuses any bad behavior, it shows how damaging even one abusive person is. Thankfully Adam and Warner were able to consciously decide they didn’t want to be like their father but they both have some serious emotional scars from the abuse they suffered.

5. Death All Around

Juliette ripping her mother’s heart out of her chest was so fucking satisfying, that woman was an absolute crazy bitch! And thankfully she wasn’t the only one to die. All the supreme commanders were dead by the end of “Imagine Me.” While they each deserved a much more slow, humiliating, and agonizing death for what they did to the world, I’m just happy that they are gone.

6. Warner and Juliette

Warner’s devotion and love for Juliette knows no bounds! Their shared history of falling in love over and over. Being there for each other when no one else in the world was. Showing kindness, compassion, understanding, and acceptance when their own parents were too cruel to. Juliette and Warner truly have an unbreakable bond that is absolutely heart wrenchingly beautiful!

7. Emmaline

Emmaline is finally at peace. Used and abused by her parents and in constant turmoil, Emmaline needed death to escape the agony of her life. And while it was sad that death was her only respite, she got to leave in the hands of her sister, loved, cherished, and taken out on her own terms. Bittersweet.

8. Happy Ending

I could cry from the happily ever after Juliette finally got with Warner in the end. I was extremely worried that he would lose his life in his quest to bring her back. These two characters have been through so much, I don’t think I could have handled them not being together at the end of the Shatter Me series. So I cannot express my gratitude to Mafi that she ended “Imagine Me” on a positive note with Warner and Juliette getting married and Juliette holding a puppy for the first time in her life with no fear of hurting it or those around her.


As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me or comment below. If you would like to support this blog and/or my paintings please become my patron.

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Book Review: 7 Dynamic Things about DEFY ME by Tahereh Mafi

“Defy Me”

Shatter Me #5

by Tahereh Mafi

Nikki’s Rating: 7 out of 10

Summary: Juliette’s time as supreme commander of North America comes to a screeching halt. As she awakens in a place that is hauntingly familiar and yet forgotten, she comes to know the devastating reality of her past and how evil The Reestablishment truly is. Without Juliette and Warner, Kenji and the rest of the Omega Point gang are forced to trust the children of the other supreme commanders and hope they can get to Juliette and Warner before it’s too late.

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7 Dynamic Things about DEFY ME by Tahereh Mafi

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. The Past

I about lost it when I read about Warner and Juliette’s past! Over and over again they gravitated towards each other. Like finding your soulmate in every reincarnation, no matter how many times their memories were wiped, Warner and Juliette always developed a strong attachment. They were meant for each other and it’s so beautiful.

2. Kenji

Kenji is probably one of the best supporting characters in a book series, ever! The ridiculousness that comes out of his mouth makes him hilarious but his overall loyalty, kindness, and bravery make him an outstanding character. “Defy Me” includes chapters from his point of view which I loved but more importantly, another character sees the worth in him romantically and he finally has a girlfriend of sorts. The man deserves some happiness and romance.

3. The Reestablishment

Just when I thought The Reestablishment couldn’t get more sinister, Mafi had to introduce the twisted parents of Juliette. Ugh, they suck so much! Regardless, the twist that the desolate, destroyed world is actually a worldwide illusion was pretty clever. And of course, as Emma is dying, The Reestablishment plans to use Juliette’s powers to destroy the world for real.

4. Emma

Being Juliette’s long lost sister, it makes total sense that Emma is immensely powerful and just as rebellious. And although her life has been nothing but tragic and painful, I’m glad that she is still a good person regardless of the trauma she has been through. I was happy that she could distinguish who her enemies were and that she did not punish Juliette out of jealousy for having an actual life. Emma realized that Juliette is her salvation and working together they can take down The Reestablishment.

5. Anderson

While I am no way really happy that this terrible man is alive, I am impressed. The fucker has a healing factor now and is therefore really incredibly hard to kill. I suggest beheading and hope Warner or Adam get the honor of killing him for good!

6. Celebrations

“Defy Me” had some serious heartwarming moments, one being the celebration of Warner’s birthday. Having the whole gang come together to make better birthday memories for Warner and to show him that he was included and that he was cared about and loved was beyond heartwarming. Another beautiful moment was obviously the engagement of Juliette and Warner. And I’m so glad Warner didn’t listen to Kenji for once! While many girls would enjoy a man making a huge show when they propose, I couldn’t imagine Juliette wanting that or needing it, which totally makes sense to me. My own husband, who I’ve been happily married to for almost 5 years, asked me out of the blue one day at home. No ring, no extravagant dinner, no public displays, just asked me to marry him and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

7. Imagine Me

Juliette and Warner’s story continues in Book 6 of the Shatter Me series, “Imagine Me” and I’m hoping it will end with a happily ever after wedding ceremony. Is it bad that I’m really concerned that one of them is going to heartbreakingly die in order to save the other? Like this is a legitimate concern. So apprehensive to read “Imagine Me” but I must satisfy my curiosity!


As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me or comment below. If you would like to support this blog and/or my paintings please become my patron.

Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.

Book Review: THE SANDCASTLE EMPIRE by Kayla Olson (OwlCrate Book June 2017)

The Sandcastle Empire

by Kayla Olson

Nikki’s Rating: 5 out of 10

Summary: Day Zero changed everything. As land started being swallowed by the sea, the poor rose up against the wealthy through a group known as the Wolves. Those that survived, now live in work camps and continue to be at the mercy of the Wolfpack. But Eden refuses to live another day as a prisoner and makes an escape. As she and three other girls sail to find Sanctuary, they come to realize that the Wolves’ claws are further reaching than they thought and that Sanctuary may not be the safehaven they hoped for.

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5 Superb Things about THE SANDCASTLE EMPIRE by Kayla Olson

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Our World

The world that Olson imagined is actually our world in the future. It mirrors a lot of what is currently going on and also where many of us are afraid we are headed. One of the main parallels between the novel and our current world is the top few controlling the world, and all its resources. So instead of doing the best for the majority of humanity, decisions are based on what is best for the few at the top.

2. Moving On

One of the themes seen in The Sandcastle Empire is that of moving on. While moving on does not entail forgetting loved ones that have passed on, it does involve giving yourself permission to live even though they cannot. Eden struggled with this as she began to develop feelings for Lonan since her past love was killed during the revolution. Both Eden and Lonan have obvious survivor’s guilt but were able to ultimately embrace their feelings for each other and step closer to healing.

3. Not a True Wolf

Just as there were Nazi’s during WWII that did not agree with the teachings, beliefs, goals, and plans of the Nazi party and simply went along to save themselves and/or their loved ones, Olson included a character who did much the same in the Wolfpack. Alexa never intended on hurting anyone and went along with the Wolves in order to be able to help her boyfriend Cass who was targeted by the Pack. Of course, the natural consequence of this is that others cannot read your mind and therefore don’t know what your true intentions are and then become distrustful of you. It can really backfire as Alexa found out in The Sandcastle Empire.

4. Descriptive

The Sandcastle Empire is full of vivid descriptions of the beautiful scenery that Eden comes across during her journey. No matter the horrors that Eden lives through, she is still able to recognize the awe of nature around her and enjoy it. She doesn’t take anything for granted. Olson also does an amazing job of describing Eden’s feelings to the reader in a way that is powerful and at times emotional.

5. Technology

Olson really ran with her imagination when creating the technology that is seen in The Sandcastle Empire. Better still, they seem entirely possible in the future as we come to understand physics, DNA, and the brain more. There were so many cool and terrifying things such as beetles that targeted blood, a procedure that allowed a person to be controlled remotely, and vines that trapped you and then created life-like nightmares that were personally tailored to the victim’s worst fears. Hopefully we don’t make any of these but focus rather on creating things that could save us and the planet as Eden’s father did.


As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me or comment below. If you would like to support this blog and/or my paintings please become my patron.

Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.

Book Review: 7 Becoming Things about BROKEN THRONE by Victoria Aveyard

“Broken Throne”

Red Queen #4.5

by Victoria Aveyard

Nikki’s Rating: 7 out of 10

Summary: A collection of short stories from the exciting Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard. With some of the stories taking place before and some taking place during the events of the Red Queen series, it is a must read for all fans to better understand the world’s history and characters. But most importantly, “Broken Throne” ties up loose ends and concludes the Red Queen series.

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7 Becoming Things about BROKEN THRONE by Victoria Aveyard

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. The Red Queen Series

The Red Queen series as a whole is an enchanting and fun read and it was a pleasure to dive back into the world. “Broken Throne” explores more of the Red Queen series featuring stories from side characters, maps, information, and history from different areas of the continent, and details of the Calore line. All these extra details add more vividness and richness to the world and characters.

2. Our World

The world in the Red Queen series is actually supposed to be our world in an alternate future. A dystopian setting where the continent and people are much changed due to time, global warming, and war. While things ultimately ended up working out in the Red Queen series in the sense that humans actually survived, the series remains as a warning for the damage we are currently doing to our world.

3. LGBTQ

The difficulty and acceptance of being part of the LGBTQ community was a common theme throughout the Red Queen series and “Broken Throne” was no exception. Evangeline Samos is seen struggling with the decision to publicly come out after hiding her preference for females for years. Readers get to witness her internal turmoil knowing the disapproval and rejection she may receive from others, especially her mother. This situation really mirrors the reality that millions of individuals experience in real life as they struggle with their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

4. Iron Heart

“Iron Heart” was one of my favorite short stories within “Broken Throne.” While Evangeline Samos was pretty villainous throughout the Red Queen series, her character changes as the story progresses and readers, as well as other characters in the novels, begin to understand why she was the way she was. Her story in “Broken Throne” continues showing the more human aspect of her as well as the ways in which she is trying to become a better person.

5. Writing

As with all the books in the Red Queen series, “Broken Throne” was well written, fast-paced, and enthralling. As a reader who generally does not like short stories, I was pleasantly surprised that each story was satisfying and enjoyable.

6. Cal & Mare

As a hopeless romantic, my absolute favorite thing about “Broken Throne” was that Mare and Cal found their way back to each other. Seriously, I thought they were going to continue being stupid and not talk about how they felt about each other. Thankfully this did not happen. Cal respected Mare’s wishes of wanting time to heal and sort her feelings out, Cal did not hold it against her or try to make her change her mind. And then when they were both ready, they were able to get their happily ever after with each other

7. The End

This reader was really disappointed with the ending in “War Storm” and feels that “Broken Throne” rectified this. Totally unsure if Aveyard always intended for the ending in “Broken Throne” or if she put it together due to outcry from fans being disappointed with the ending in “War Storm.” Regardless, “Broken Throne” gave the Red Queen series a conclusion that was gratifying, hopeful, and realistic.


As always, thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you so feel free to contact me or comment below. If you would like to support this blog and/or my paintings please become my patron.

Be Authentic. Be Unique. Be You.