ARC Review: We Were Restless Things by Cole Nagamatsu

Posted October 8, 2020 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 4 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

We Were Restless Things by Cole Nagamatsu
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on October 6, 2020
Genres: YA Fantasy
Pages: 400
Source: the publisher
Format: ARC
My Rating: three-half-stars
Buy on AmazonBuy on Barnes & Noble


From debut author Cole Nagamatsu comes an atmospheric contemporary fantasy about three teens coming of age in the wake of a mysterious death.

Last summer, Link Miller drowned on dry land in the woods, miles away from the nearest body of water. His death was ruled a strange accident, and in the months since, his friends and family have struggled to make sense of it. But Link’s close friend Noemi Amato knows the truth: Link drowned in an impossible lake that only she can find. And what’s more, someone claiming to be Link has been contacting her, warning Noemi to stay out of the forest.

As these secrets become too heavy for Noemi to shoulder on her own, she turns to Jonas, her new housemate, and Amberlyn, Link’s younger sister. All three are trying to find their place—and together, they start to unravel the truth: about themselves, about the world, and about what happened to Link.

Unfolding over a year and told through multiple POVs and a dream journal, We Were Restless Things explores the ways society shapes our reality, how we can learn to love ourselves and others, and the incredible power of our own desires.

My Review:

This is a hard review to write. This was a very long book. And at first, I wasn’t quite sure if I’d be able to really get into it. So I went and checked the reviews on Goodreads to see what other people were thinking. It seems a lot of people weren’t the biggest fans of it. As I kept reading it did get better. I think that third person often takes a bit for me to get into. But if the writing is good and the story is good, then I can get into it and continue and enjoy it. There was a lot of uniqueness in this one. A lot of really cool imagery and settings. I think it is important that there was a asexual character in it, and reading about her and how she felt about things was really interesting.

Definitely a unique book. I gave it 3.5 stars, because of the interesting aspects and that even after that beginning, and how long it was, it kept me reading and interested every time I picked it up. Not sure how often I would recommend it to students unless I knew they were big readers and wanted to read things like that, so that’s why it got a lower rating.

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4 responses to “ARC Review: We Were Restless Things by Cole Nagamatsu

  1. Jess

    It felt like the book was dragging on and on throughout and then seemed like the author even got bored of reading it and decided to abruptly end it. It definitely wasn’t my favorite book I’ve ever read but a decent book to say the least.

    • Lisa Mandina

      Agreed! It seemed rather longer than necessary. But like you say, it ended up being pretty decent. Thanks for visiting!

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