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We Were Restless Things

3.28  ·  Rating details ·  419 ratings  ·  225 reviews

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

Hardcover, 416 pages
Published October 6th 2020 by Sourcebooks Fire
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Average rating 3.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  419 ratings  ·  225 reviews

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Jessica | JustReadingJess
Oct 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
We Were Restless Things by Cole Nagamatsu is a very unique novel.

We Were Restless Things took me a while to get into, but once I got into it I was hooked. This is a very unique story. There is the mystery of what actually happened, the complicated relationship between the characters and so many revelations. One of the characters is asexual, which is a topic that isn’t usually discussed. I found this very interesting especially being in that character’s head.

We Were Restless is told from multipl
Nilufer Ozmekik
May 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
After falling in love with this spectacular cover and being intrigued with the promising paranormal, mystical plot, I was sold! I was definitely ready to go blind but in the middle of somewhere my mind screamed; “this is not working for me. This is not for me, this is book! I should break up with it ASAP! I’m slowly dunking into a mud and I cannot move my body!”

Here are the facts: I was one of the most patient readers who are never afraid of long, boring, suffocating reads. But this time I gave
10/06/2020: Happy pub day to this gorgeous novel!

If I could make you happy, I might not deserve to be alone.

This book is hard for me to encapsulate because it's a story I don't see very often in YA.

We Were Restless Things is not plot-driven. The mystery of Link's drowning-on-land unravels not through clever detective work or unexpected twists, but rather in the strange minutiae of the lives of the people he left behind. Noemi, the prickly girl he loved. Jonas, the boy who never knew him
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
*Thank you to Netgalley and Sourcebooks for a digital copy of this book!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Elle (ellexamines)
This book feels good on paper: an emotional premise, eerie writing, representation, and an excellent ending that ties into thematic ideas. I only wanted more ensemble cast, and maybe a bit less of whatever was going on with the romance.

We Were Restless Things follows the mysterious death of Link Miller by drowning… in the middle of the woods. In various ways, they all hurt from this: Noemi as she grieves for the boy she had feelings for, Amberlyn as she grieves her brother, Gaetan as he grieves
Melanie (mells_view)
Sep 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
If only you could hold on to light, climb it out of the unknown.

I’m going to be completely honest and say that I’m not 100% sure I understand what I just read, but I will say that I finished WWRT quietly crying. It’s haunting, magical, and a little bit odd. The writing has this poetic feel to it. Like each line is meaningful, even if you’re not quite sure what exactly it’s meant to mean, it means something. I feel like We Were Restless Things will be a story that people interpret and feel differ
Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth
Unfortunately this did not work for me, it couldn't hold my attention. It was boring, without any obvious direction, the characters were flat and annoying. This was nothing I expected from the blurb which was so promising.

As always, keep in mind that this is my personal opinion and you might have a completely different experience!

ARC provided by the publisher - thank you!
Apr 04, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
3.5 stars

I don't really know how I feel about this book. It's one of those cases where the last portion ruined the whole book for me. I was so ready to give it four stars, but alas~I just really disliked where it went (both with the plot and the ace rep).

I'm not usually one for this type of book, but a thing I absolutely loved is how character-driven it is. I was very interested in knowing more about the characters and the dynamics between them after finally realizing that this book was less ab
Oct 10, 2020 marked it as dnf
Thank you to SourceBooks Fire for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All thoughts are my own.

Well this is a first. I usually don't DNF, but I've been thinking about all the books I want to read lately and I won't waste anymore time reading books that just don't grab my attention. We Were Restless Things has an extremely interesting premise. I knew that I was walking into a contemporary fantasy; however, it was so dry. I'm more of plot driven narrative type of reader and this is c
Mar 09, 2020 marked it as lost-interest
Adding a book because of its gorgeous cover: check!
Julie Zantopoulos
Aug 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020, arc
"...the days I didn't see you at all, but I knew you were still out there, and I was so glad that you lived in Shivery and in the world and in my life..."

I was really excited to be provided this arc that was part mystery and part fantasy. It's a true contemporary fantasy, in that it had mild fantasy elements but reads like a contemporary for 95% of the time. The writing is pretty, if odd at times. Toward the start of the book there's a description of kissing so long "her mouth tasted like raw ch
Amy Imogene Reads
1.5-2 stars

I spent most of the reading experience debating DNFing this book, to give you an idea of what I felt about it. Yikes. Cool premise and beautiful cover, but it really, really didn’t work for me. At the end of the story my overwhelming takeaway was...what was the point? Apologies for the harsh words, but after 400 pages it felt like a wasted reading experience. (Just my personal opinion. I’m usually not this harsh but am a bit salty at the hours wasted reading this.)

Definitely more char
Oct 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Oh my gosh. This story was absolutely BRILLIANT. It was one of those instances where I (foolishly) figured, hey I'll just start this story and read a bit before bed.

A few hours later... OOPS. I could not set this book down! It is definitely a book readers should go into with the right kinds of expectations. This is an atmospheric story with ghosts, mild fantasy elements, and really well-written character dynamics. There is a mystery element, but the story is slow-paced, primarily character-drive
Apr 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A lyrical and haunting debut. WE WERE RESTLESS THINGS is a captivating new contemporary fantasy novel in which a boy is found drowned on dry land in the middle of the forest. His death is ruled an accident, but then his friends discover an impossible lake in the woods that seems to appear and vanish at will. A lake that calls to them, drawing them ever closer, forcing them to try to uncover its dark secrets before it can claim another.
I received a free arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.

I really wanted to love this book. For the first 1/3 of the book, I was so intrigued. The mystery of finding out how this boy drowned in the middle of the forest had me enthralled until the relationship took over the story. I didn’t care for any of the characters except for one, and the romance between the step-siblings bothered me a lot. Also, while I liked the side characters and their relationship,
Sep 16, 2020 marked it as to-read
This cover? Truly one of the prettiest covers I have ever seen.
The premise also sounds really intriguing!

I'm basically here for all of it fnjfsngjdfg
Jun 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
We Were Restless Things is a fantastical tale of a group of teenagers wading through life in the wake of a friends mysterious death in the forest of a small town. Our main lead, Noemi, finds herself experiencing some strange circumstances, starting with the fact she's recieving text messages from an unknown number claiming to be Link, the boy who drowned in a forest with no body of water. As she navigates between reality and her dreams that seem to be coming to life she begins to trust and rely ...more
Bertie (LuminosityLibrary)
That this book took me three months to complete probably tells you a lot of what you need to know. The thing is the author is obviously incredibly talented, the writing was often beautiful, and the atmosphere was immaculate. There just wasn't anything else I truly enjoyed. I will say I listened to this as an audiobook, and although the narrators' voices fit the book they also added to the slow, dry, melancholic feeling that I didn't enjoy. The mystery is interesting, but it takes well over halfw ...more
Lauren Stoolfire
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

We Were Restless Things by Cole Nagamatsu looks and sounds excellent. However, it just wasn't for me. I considered giving it up several times, but once I made it to the 60% mark I figured I might as well just keep going. In a way, it reminds me of The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, but it does not have anything that makes that all time favorite series of mine work. This is far to slow and boring for me to become invested and ve
Kristin Sledge
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for and eARC in exchange for an honest review.

We Were Restless Things follows people left behind by a tragic drowning of Link Miller. Noemi, his crush and one of his best friends: she works through Links mysterious death. It's so mysterious because Link was found miles from the nearest body of water. Noemi is receiving text messages from an unknown number claiming to be Link. What secrets could Noemi be keeping that could help solve this mystery? We also
A huge thanks to NetGalley, Cole Nagamatsu, and RB Media for providing me with an audio-ARC of this book. All opinions are my own.

Wow. I honestly didn't know what to expect going into this book, but it intrigued me with the cover and the premise. It was definitely a ride and I liked it a lot more than I would have guessed. The characters in this book were fascinating to me and I loved watching their story unfold, though it was a slower story. This wasn't an action-packed story by any means, but
Caidyn (he/him/his)
DNF at 51%

CW: death and grieving

I wanted to like this book so much and, the thing is, that I was. But I was at 50% and I didn't have the motivation to finish it. It's a fine book. Interesting premise, good characters, good writing. Yet, the pacing is off. I kept wondering when things would start happening and I couldn't justify finishing it with how little enjoyment I was getting from the book. I wasn't hooked into it at all.
Aug 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-releases
Overall, this book was beautiful. The writing and the mysterious atmosphere that lingered throughout the story is what drove me to continue.
I went into this book thinking that it was going to be heavily focused on the mystery but it ended up taking a back seat to the contemporary aspects. It felt like I was waiting the entirely of the book for the plot to pick up, which it never really did.
The characters were likable, though I only connected to a couple of them, and the diversity in sexuality wa
Apr 23, 2020 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Nobody to be honest
Recommended to Jessie by: Net Galley and Goodreads
Shelves: young-adult
(I understand this review is not very composed- I will refine it once I have arranged my thoughts)

Thank you to Net Galley for sending me this E-book in exchange for an honest review.

I do not know where to begin with this review.
The plot-line, if I can even call it that, was erratic and purposeless to the point that it felt like you were reading two different novels.
On one side, there is the strange forced breaking and moulding of relationships that seem invisible at the fantastical points in th
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received this book from NetGalley and loved it, I couldn't put the book down and the cover is gorgeous. ...more
Sep 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, read-in-2020, weird
*I received an advance copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*


You could’ve been everything...but you weren’t.

I honestly had no idea how to feel, or even piece together my thoughts once I had finished this. On one hand, there were elements that I really enjoyed, and would even go so far as to say I loved. On the other, there was so much here that put me off that it was impossible for me to fully be immersed.

The magical aspects of the book- the lake and every
2.5 stars
I thought this would be more fantasy, but it was surprisingly contemporary and the mystery around Link's death and the magical lake seemed to take a back seat to the relationship drama. Because of this, I felt like the plot was so slow and wanted more of the creepy things going on. There are ghosts and dreamed up creatures and people dying, why didn't we focus more on that?

Noemi is difficult to relate to, she almost comes across as neuro-divergent because of her difficulties socializing
Dec 07, 2020 rated it liked it
2.5 Stars!

Okay so this book. This was one of those books that attempted to be beautiful both in writing and in meaning and in some ways, it succeeded. In others, it just came off as awkward and full of tropes that I haven’t seen in a novel in a while.

The beauty of this book comes from the mystery of how Lincoln died. It also comes from the magic of the forest that lives in the heart of this story, haunting every page and character. The premise was unique enough that it held my attention captive
Renee Godding
Oct 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-releases
2.5/5 stars
Ishi Time
Aug 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book cover is GORGEOUS and that is what first drew me to it. The synopsis sounded intriguing and the book was also compared to The Raven Boys, which is one of my favorite books. This book was as lyrical and whimsical as I expected it to be and overall, I enjoyed it.

My favourite character was Noemi, and I looked forward to reading through her perspective the most. I really loved Link as well, even though he was
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