Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi

The basics

Title: Defy Me


Series: Shatter Me #5

- Shatter Me (November 2011)
- Unravel Me (February 2013)
- Ignite Me (February 2014)
- Restore Me (April 2018)
- Defy Me (2019)
- Imagine Me (2020)

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Goodreads Summary:

Juliette’s short tenure as the supreme commander of North America has been an utter disaster. When the children of the other world leaders show up on her doorstep, she wants nothing more than to turn to Warner for support and guidance. But he shatters her heart when he reveals that he’s been keeping secrets about her family and her identity from her—secrets that change everything.

Juliette is devastated, and the darkness that’s always dwelled within her threatens to consume her. An explosive encounter with unexpected visitors might be enough to push her over the edge.

Here is a spoiler summary of what happened in Defy Me, the fifth book in Tahereh Mafi’s bestselling Shatter Me series. We have recaps of the whole series so far if you need a refresher on what happened.

This recap of Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi was written by Lukyan Oppedisano!

what happened in Defy Me?

  • Kenji sees Juliette kill an entire room filled with people. She vanishes in his arms.
  • Warner – Flashback – Warner talks to Ella (Juliette) about his father. He is upset because his mother is sick.
  • Kenji, Nazeera, and the rest of the Omega Point members all gather to base to discuss the disappearance of both Juliette and Warner. They make a plan to find them, and bring them back to Sector 45.
  • Juliette – Flashback – She is talking to Anderson when Warner comes in. Anderson calls her a mistake. Just like her namesake. (Because her real name is Ella).
  • Nazeera shows Kenji the photos of her, Ella (Juliette), and Emmaline. Kenji is completely shocked. Castle comes in and states that he wants to help because he knows where Warner and Juliette are.
  • Warner – Flashback – He talks to Anderson about not wanting to move to the capital. Warner wants to stay with his sick, dying mother. Anderson calls Delalieu, and tells him to “bring her up” – meaning Juliette. (Their flashbacks are not in chronological order in the book, they are just flashback as Warner and Juliette remember them.)
  • Warner is back in reality – someone kicks him in the gut. He passes out. Kenji and Nazeera kind of fight – (everything is unclear – nothing is sacred), and they make-out. It seems like they’ll go all the way before Ian bangs on Kenji’s door telling him to come to dinner.
  • Nazeera and Kenji clarify that they can’t be together. 🙁
  • Juliette – Flashback – She is in a police car, and arrives in Sector 45 headquarters. There, she meets Warner. The flashback ends, and Juliette is visited by her mother, Evie who slaps her twice after Juliette asks where her friends are. Max (Juliette’s dad) sedates her. She passes out.
  • Kenji and everyone else are eating dinner (pizza party – woot!) Castle comes in. He has something serious to talk about. Kenji thinks is something about his daughter, Nouria “going rogue.”
  • Warner – Flashback – He remembers talking to Juliette. In the memory, he asks if he knows her. She tells him that she’d remember him if he did. Delalieu enters, and tells Kenji and everyone else about everything that happened.
  • Everyone is mad at Delalieu for not telling anyone everything that he knew. He says that Paris (Anderson) was always manipulating everything, and that he was the controller of everybody’s lives.
  • Adam, Juliette, Warner, etc. He begins to talk about something called Operation Synthesis that involves Juliette and Emmaline. When Castle asks what it is, Delalieu states that it revolves around the Architect and the Executioner.
  • Before Delalieu can say anything further, he is shot. He falls to the floor, and Anderson appears. (We all thought he was dead, BTW.)
  • Juliette is with her parents. They torture her. Her mother tells her that the original plan was a mistake. Evie says that now, it’s about her. Kenji can’t belive what just happened. He passes out.
  • Warner – Flashback – He remembers his father yelling to him about getting too close to Juliette. After the flashback, Warner hears footsteps. He falls asleep, drifting into nightmare again. Kenji is in the asylum. His cell doesn’t have a window like the one Juliette had. He has to take a cold quick shower like Juliette used to do. Somebody puts him in a choke hold. He passes out.
  • Juliette/Ella – Flashback – She and Aaron/Warner talk. She asks when his birthday is. He tells her it is April 24th. She says they’ll celebrate with a cake. After the flashback, she goes to the bathroom. She realizes her hair had grown back, and she is at an international base. Her mother gives her a yellow outfit to wear.
  • Kenji wakes up in a plane. Nazeera and Castle are there. He asks what is happening. Nazeera tells them they’re in Oceania to save Juliette/Ella.
  • Warner – Flashback – He and Juliette/Ella are by a lake. Flashback over – He realizes he is being held hostage by Evie and Max. He wonders if Emmaline is here as well.
  • Flashback – He tells Juliette/Ella that they can’t live in a lake. Flashback over – His mind starts to spin. The door opens. It is his father. Anderson says “Hi birthday boy.”
  • Juliette/Ella – Flashback – She and Emmaline are grossed out by their parents kissing.
  • Flashback over – Ella is shackled with manacles. She hears a voice. When she listens to it, the voice takes her around the halls. Ella thinks it is Emmaline.
  • Warner – He and Anderson talk. Anderson tells Warner what his plan was. Warner throws a knife at Anderson. It hits Anderson in the throat. He collapses. Warner tells him to “Enjoy hell.”
  • Juliette/Ella – Ella reaches a room with a tank in it. Emmaline is inside. She is completely disheveled. She lost four of her five senses. Ella learns that Emmaline is the one who gave her back her memories. Emmaline asks Ella to kill her.
  • Emmaline causes Ella’s manacles to open, and fall off. Evie walks in. Ella kills her. Emmaline says “thank you.”
  • Warner – He is stopped by Max. Anderson is still alive. They tell him more about Operation Synthesis, and that Emmaline is not actually psychokinetic, but telepathic, and that she is very, very powerful. More than anyone ever imagined.
  • Nazeera takes Warner. Juliette/Ella – Ella bumps into Kenji. They leave to go on the plane Kenji and crew flew over to Oceania.
  • Warner – Nazeera tells him they have little time. Warner’s leg is injured, he doesn’t think he can make it. Nazeera lifts him up, and they’re in the air.

how did Defy Me end?

  • Juliette/Ella – On the plane, she and Warner reunite.
  • Warner – Ella is asleep in his arms. He wants to marry her.
  • Juliette/Ella – She, Kenji, and Nazeera talk. Nazeera asks if Ella remembers her yet.
  • Warner – He and Kenji talk about Bruce Lee. The plane jolts. They have to jump.
  • Juliette/Ella – They land, and meet Nouria. Ella says, “Emmaline and I were designed for something called Operation Synthesis. She was meant to be the architect of the world, and I was to be the executioner. But Emmaline is dying. They need another powerful weapon with which to control the people. A contingency. A backup plan.” She also states that the only way everything will work is if she kills Emmaline.
  • Warner – He and Ella smash.
  • Juliette/Ella – Warner proposes. She says yes.
  • Warner – Ella tells him they are throwing him a birthday party.
  • Juliette/Ella – They celebrate Warner’s birthday.

That’s what happened in Defy Me! We have recaps of the entire Shatter Me series if you need a refresher of what happened in previous books before you dive into Imagine Me.

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