Shadow Me is pretty irrelevant to the series as a whole. The only reason I’ve given it a favourable rating is that it adds some dimension to Kenji’s character, which has been sorely lacking in the Shatter Me series so far.
Unfortunately, I think Shadow Me overlaps too many of the events from Restore Me to feel worth reading. I understand that it had to take place within these events – with what happens at the end, it’s not like you can have a little detour after the world explodes to catch up with Kenji and explore his enormous well of emotions. He’s always come off as very superficial, but in a very obvious way. He’s loud and obnoxious, but what little we’ve learned of his past has made it clear that it’s to cover up what’s really going on inside.
The part that’s starting to grate on my nerves is Juliette and Kenji’s ‘amazing relationship‘. They make a point here to comment on how much longer they’ve known each other – am I wrong? I swear they’ve been friends for weeks here. Because you can’t count the beginning where Juliette thought Kenji was a brainless peon showing up injured and useless. You can’t even count when she and Adam were together because Kenji was basically just the annoying roommate. It wasn’t until Castle forced them to work together that Juliette had more than a few words to say to him. But that would be less than three months of friendship. And three months is being generous. Be friends, we get it; just stop harping on how you’re the best friends that ever existed and always have been. The whole best friend thing feels pretty immature, regardless.
Really all Shadow Me manages to do is shine a light on how stupid it is to have all this relationship drama going on while the entire world is at stake. Grow up. Figure out how to be a leader and not get everyone blown up. And then feel free to fight about your drama.