Review | An Emotion of Great Delight by Tahereh Mafi

An Emotion of Great Delight

by Tahereh Mafi

YA Romance, Contemporary

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It’s 2003, several months since the US officially declared war on Iraq, and the American political world has evolved. Tensions are high, hate crimes are on the rise, FBI agents are infiltrating local mosques, and the Muslim community is harassed and targeted more than ever. Shadi, who wears hijab, keeps her head down.

She’s too busy drowning in her own troubles to find the time to deal with bigots.

Shadi is named for joy, but she’s haunted by sorrow. Her brother is dead, her father is dying, her mother is falling apart, and her best friend has mysteriously dropped out of her life. And then, of course, there’s the small matter of her heart–

It’s broken.

Shadi tries to navigate her crumbling world by soldiering through, saying nothing. She devours her own pain, each day retreating farther and farther inside herself until finally, one day, everything changes.

She explodes.

I have read a good few Tahereh Mafi books now, and I find that I either feel one way with them – that I love them – or another – that I find them disappointing. There never seems to be any in between, I either love them or don’t. And unfortunately, An Emotion of Great Delight was one that disappointed me. I was eagerly looking forward to this book’s release because I really loved Mafi’s previous contemporary YA, A Very Large Expanse of Sea.

Mafi’s latest contemporary YA follows the story of Shadi, who amongst a troubling family home life and the prejudice she faces every day for being Muslim, has to navigate the highs and lows of high school and romance. There’s friendships and romance and estranged relationships, and it’s generally just a messy story of one girl’s high school life.

I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t rate this much. As usual, Mafi’s writing was incredible, and she wrote with this razor-sharp scalpel. I haven’t read many writers who write as beautifully and elegantly as Mafi, so that was definitely one of the book’s biggest strengths.

However, the book as a whole fell flat for me. I didn’t exactly like Shadi as a main character, which made me not as invested in the book as I should have been. I also think there were some elements that definitely needed to be developed more, like her messy relationship with her ex-best friend. I also thought the ending was so abrupt and I low-key thought some of the book had been left out. Also, what was the point in Noah’s character? It just served nothing to the plot, and I wish Mafi developed on him or else left him out entirely.

Overall, I didn’t really enjoy this book and unfortunately I felt like it let me down a little.

Review: Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi



by Tahereh Mafi

MG Fantasy

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A new adventure about a girl who is fated to wash the bodies of the dead in this companion to Furthermore.

Our story begins on a frosty night…

Laylee can barely remember the happier times before her beloved mother died. Before her father, driven by grief, lost his wits (and his way). Before she was left as the sole remaining mordeshoor in the village of Whichwood, destined to spend her days washing the bodies of the dead and preparing their souls for the afterlife. It’s become easy to forget and easier still to ignore the way her hands are stiffening and turning silver, just like her hair, and her own ever-increasing loneliness and fear.

But soon, a pair of familiar strangers appears, and Laylee’s world is turned upside down as she rediscovers color, magic, and the healing power of friendship.

Tahereh Mafi’s writing is actually exceptional. Whatever she’s writing, whether it’s a MG, a contemporary YA, a dystopian YA, even if she ventured into the adult world – I would read everything she writes. She’s got such a fluidity to her voice and her prose is so beautiful and lyrical. I think even if for some reason I hated what the actual story was, I would still enjoy the book anyway just because of Mafi’s prose.

However, hating the story was not the case with Whichwood. This was such a lovely read. I read Furthermore a few years ago and loved it, so I was really excited to read this as part of this year’s #RamadanReadathon! Also, can we just take a moment to appreciate the cover?! It is without a bout one my favourite covers of all time. It’s just so beautiful. The ROSES!

Mafi explores a Persian fairytale in this novel, telling the story of Laylee, who is tasked with the difficult job of washing the dead and preparing their bodies for the afterlife. Already with a hook like this, I was intrigued and I was so happy to be transported back to this magical world with some of the characters from Futhermore too!

This was a cute read but I think if it were a YA novel I would’ve loved it even more, to be able to go deeper into the characters and the stories and make it all more complex. However for an MG story, it was completely immersive and the world Mafi created was so colourful and vivid. I’ve never read anything like this before, so I definitely recommend!

4 star

Review: Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi

restore me

Restore Me

by Tahereh Mafi

YA Romance, Fantasy

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Juliette Ferrars thought she’d won. She took over Sector 45, was named the new Supreme Commander, and now has Warner by her side. But she’s still the girl with the ability to kill with a single touch—and now she’s got the whole world in the palm of her hand. When tragedy hits, who will she become? Will she be able to control the power she wields and use it for good?

I’m definitely a bit late to the party on this one, but I have my reasons! First of all, I read the original 3 Shatter Me books a few years after they were published so I could read them all in one go! I loved them and wanted the same sort of experience with the next 3, so I told myself I wouldn’t continue this series until Imagine Me was out! And thankfully I did, because Restore Me ended on such a cliffhanger that I don’t know how I would’ve been able to wait a whole year for the next. Bravo if you did!

Following on from the first three books, Mafi takes us straight back into the dystopian world of Juliette Ferrars and the Reestablishment. She thought she’d won and finally got her life exactly where she wanted it to be—but it’s not long before reality comes crashing down around her and secrets start to be unearthed that will change everything.

I did enjoy this book. Tahereh Mafi has such a special way with words that you practically absorb the story into your skin. These books are easy and quick to read, because the pace is so perfect and the story so engaging.

However, looking back, I feel like nothing really happened in this book and that maybe it was 400 pages unnecessarily long. I know this was setting the new groundwork for what’s to come in the final 2 books, but it still felt like it lacked a lot of plot. I liked reading this and loved finding myself back in the world. The characters, Juliette, Warner and Kenji are some of the best characters I’ve ever read but the lack of story in this book was very obvious to me as I devoured it. I’ll definitely be reading Defy Me soon but this just felt like a bridge between Ignite Me and what’s to come in Defy Me

3.5 star


Review: Ignite Me, by Tahereh Mafi


Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: Walker
Release Date: 4th February 2014
Genre: YA, Romance, Dystopian
Pages: 421

The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, called “a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love.”

With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her.

The Shatter Me series is perfect for fans who crave action-packed young adult novels with tantalizing romance like Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Legend by Marie Lu. Tahereh Mafi has created a captivating and original story that combines the best of dystopian and paranormal, and was praised by Publishers Weekly as “a gripping read from an author who’s not afraid to take risks.” Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and satisfying end.

I loved this series. Ignite Me was everything I wanted in the conclusion (wink wink). It was epic, fast paced, full of moments that keep you hooked and the ever burning love triangle between Juliette and Adam and Warner keeps the reader enthralled.

Another word I would use to describe this book/this conclusion was satisfying. I feel like every character ended up where I wanted them to be. Also Kenji’s character development in this one was really fantastic; I love him so much now that he’s grown on both me and Juliette.

I love the shocking twists about Adam’s parentage and how Anderson was ruthless and the one dictating Sector 45 the entire time. I also loved the secret about Warner’s mother.

It was written incredibly well. Mafi has this sort of lyrical prose almost that I just adore. She lays out her words in the best way and it definitely adds to the story. As for the plot, it was so intense that I could barely put it down. And, well, I didn’t. I finished it in three hours.

The ending was such an empowering moment for Juliette and I could’ve been more proud. I’m really, really excited for the next three books now. I would recommend this series to anyone – it’s so easy to read and I definitely think it’s right up the street of those who enjoyed The Hunger Games or Noughts & Crosses.

5 out of 5 stars!!

Review: Unite Me, by Tahereh Mafi


Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: Harper
Release Date: February 4th 2014
Genre: YA, Romance, Dystopian
Pages: 197

Perfect for fans of Tahereh Mafi’s New York Times bestselling Shatter Me trilogy, this book collects her two companion novellas, Fracture Me and Destroy Me, in print for the first time ever. It also features an exclusive look into Juliette’s journal and a preview of Ignite Me, the hotly anticipated final novel of the series.
Destroy Me tells the events between Shatter Me and Unravel Me from Warner’s point of view. Even though Juliette shot him in order to escape, Warner can’t stop thinking about her—and he’ll do anything to get her back. But when the Supreme Commander of The Reestablishment arrives, he has much different plans for Juliette. Plans Warner cannot allow.
Fracture Me is told from Adam’s perspective and bridges the gap between Unravel Me and Ignite Me. As the Omega Point rebels prepare to fight the Sector 45 soldiers, Adam’s more focused on the safety of Juliette, Kenji, and his brother. The Reestablishment will do anything to crush the resistance . . . including killing everyone Adam cares about.

Destroy Me: 3.5/5 stars
This was the story of Warner when Juliette escaped from the Reestablishment. I didn’t like Warner in Shatter Me but I could sense the inevitable love triangle between him and Juliette and Adam. I thought this really explored Warner as a character well, giving the reader depth to him with his backstory and his perspective on things. However, I found it a bit boring reading from Warner’s POV and I already knew everything that happened. So I don’t think I enjoyed this as much because it was Warner who was telling the story, one of which I kind of already knew.

Fracture Me: 4/5 stars
This was a novella about Adam trying to get Juliette back after she goes after Anderson. However, something happens which forces him to choose between Juliette and his brother, James. I love Adam as a character ughhh. But like, why make that choice? The ending was absolutely devastating for Adam but I feel like it’s what he deserved.

Overall I’m going to give Unite Me: 4 stars out of 5. ​

Review: Unravel Me, by Tahereh Mafi


Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: Harper
Release Date: February 5th 2013
Genre: YA, Romance, Dystopian
Pages: 461
it’s almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She’s finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam’s life.

So I was a very big fan of Shatter Me. And then I read Destroy Me, which is the novella in between books one and two, and I thought it was okay and I put my disappointment down to my dislike of Warner’s character.

Unravel Me was really something else. It was amazing. I love how the plot reminded me so much of books like The Hunger Games but instead of it being focused on the actual rebellion, it zoned in on Juliette as a character and her romance between both Adam and Warner.

The Love Triangle trope is quite often very overused but Mafi is a master of it. With Juliette, Warner and Adam she pulled it off so well. And then the plot twist regarding Warner and Adam’s relationship – oh my god, I did not expect that at all.

I love Mafi’s characters so much too. Juliette’s character arc is superb and I’m loving watching her go from a broken, ashamed girl to a super badass independent woman who finds power in what she’s told is her weakness.

Also, speaking of the romance, I really can’t decide who to ship. I love Adam but now I love Warner. Idk, I feel like there’s a plot twist or something to come in the third book for Adam to show he’s not a good man or something?

Anyways, I’ve finished Unravel Me today and also devoured Fracture Me so I can get stuck into Ignite Me now!

5 out of 5 stars for this engaging, gripping story and development of amazing characters.


Review: Shatter Me, by Tahereh Mafi


Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: Harper
Release Date: November 15th 2011
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance, Dystopia
Pages: 338

I have a curse
I have a gift

I am a monster
I’m more than human

My touch is lethal
My touch is power

I am their weapon
I will fight back

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

This was the first book I read this month for the #RamadanReadathon and my amazing friend let me borrow the ENTIRE series from her (check her out at The Blue Eyed Demon!)

I’m so glad it was my first. I really, really enjoyed this and sped through it. It was the right amount of engaging to keep me hooked and I could barely put it down. In my opinion, it felt, weirdly, like a mix between The Hunger Games and Noughts & Crosses. These are two series I’d never picture together but Shatter Me felt like that and it was amazing!

It follows the story of Juliette, who has a power which renders her touch lethal to anyone other person. Until she meets Adam, who helps her escape from the Reestablishment – an asylum she was locked up in for committing a murder when she was younger.

I really loved how frail Juliette was for most of the book, and how she crosses out some of her thoughts as the book goes along. It added a certain uniqueness to it, and I thought Warner was a fantastic villain too because he has so much depth to him. I can’t wait to read the sequel now!

4 out of 5 stars!