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Believe Me was there perfect conclusion to the Shadow Me series.
This year I read most of the second half of the series: Defy Me, short story collection Find Me, and Imagine Me. I was so excited after finished Imagine and when I found out that a novella was going to be released a couple weeks later which took place right where the previous book ended. And the cover is just unbelievably gorgeous. They all are, but this one especially. The cover feels like a happy ending, and it did not disappoint.
This is a book that shows the obstacles and difficulties that leaders have to deal with after having won the war. How trying to fix the leftover pieces, hoping to help them flourish, takes over your life, can make the important personal things low on the priority list. How it can be so difficult to grasp your happy ending even after it’s been promised to you. Realizing you finally will get your happy ending.
I was so happy that this was written in Warner’s pov. I love Ella/Juliette but Warner is the one I identify with the most. Ella has come into her own, even though of course she still suffers anxiety, but she’s happy to be helping people. Warner, who always appears to have it all together, who suffers from anxiety and panic disorders (I’m guessing - it’s not explicitly said in the series), always is sensing the emotions of everyone around him (whether it be anger or sadness or lust), which overwhelms him and is part of why he chooses to isolate himself.
Here Warner has to struggle with the sudden news that he might not be able to marry Ella anytime in the near future, when all he wants is to have the happiness he’s finally thought he’s gotten. The light of marrying the live of his life after the dark tunnel of the battle they just went through and worrying she might not survive her injuries. All the years of being separated over and over again. All the battles they’d fought together and against each other, the fights they’d had, the near death experiences, the traumas. He’s dealing with the inability to understand kindness from others after everything he’s been through. His desperation over the news he received on his wedding day that he won’t be marrying Ella on the day. The anxiety over losing her and keeping her safe and the need for stability. The need for control and not having it, the anxiety of realizing that everyone, including Ella, is hiding things from him. The anger and panic he feels when no one will tell him.
I loved that the book was longer than I thought it would be. The ending was so amazing. The only thing I wish was that it had been cut off slightly later so we’d see the entire marriage scene, especially the vows.
I loved that we got this conclusion to the series and I could not be happier with it. I’d love to see a novella later on set after they’ve gotten everything under relative control, how the new government looks, and what their lives are like now.
This was so beautiful, from cover to cover. I’m so happy that it did address Warner’s anxiety, and I’m so happy that he finally gets an beginning that’s so much more than what he had imagine. Both he and Ella deserve it.
This is a conclusion to the Aaron/ Warner Juliette/Ella romance.
And BELIEVE ME, this is HEAVY on the Romance.
Juliette/Ella is given such a sumptuous characterisation in this book, you would swear she was going for sainthood.
Like a cross between Mother Theresa and Princess Diana.
A future leader for the forgotten and down trodden.
Beloved by all the common people who she comes in contact with.
A fighter for humanity.
Blah, Blah, Blah
So as Sanctuary deals with trying to struggle for survival and feed its people after the fall of The Reestablishment, and the new world order
It’s time for everyone to…Take a breath….Recollect their thoughts..And rally around Juliette/ Ella, to help plan her and Aaron’s “surprise” Wedding.
Which it basically what the rest of the book is about, as all the Character’s we’ve known and loved over the series, pool their resources to provide the Happy Couple with a big day they’ll never forget.
While Aaron loses his S### thinking he’s being plotted against.
Juliette/ Ella didn’t want a hodge pudge wedding.
Even though Aaron was happy to do it anywhere..
She wanted to do it, and only do it once, using it as an occasion for celebration for EVERYONE ( see Mother Theresa)
So, it all hands in deck to make it a success.
Of course the Big Day also allows all characters to wrap up their storyline’s.
Tie up all those lose ends.
Aaron to develop a heart and feelings, and….Well…Lots of introspection.. And just LOOSEN UP!
So we get page, after page of all the grand schemes the amazing Juliette has planned for this new world before the big day.
And, what a visionary this EIGHTEEN year old is…
Aaron is beside himself with pride.
Then it’s time for the Wedding, with Kenji’s character at full force.
He almost single-handedly provides the Romantic Comedy element.
He is on fire here, with his one liners and snappy banter…
( also extremely annoying)
I found his obsession with being Aaron’s buddy to be disturbing at the best of times,.
He is problem the most clingy of Juliette and Aaron’s friends, but they are all super invested in getting these two hitched.
I guess the super soppy romantics will LOVE this sort of extended epilogue to the series, with all the OTT wedding…stuff…but I found it to be profoundly cringy.
It was just too obvious the way everything fell magically into place like a little loved up puzzle.
I really wished I hadn’t read it as I began to dislike Juliette in this one and the Scooby gang of friends Three stars
I enjoyed the book, it rounded everything off I'm just not sure if it was needed. I have read all of the other books and novellas of the series so didn't want to miss out and I wasn't ready to leave that world yet. It's not very long