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We Were Restless Things

3.32  ·  Rating details ·  168 ratings  ·  140 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 3.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  168 ratings  ·  140 reviews

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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
daph pink
have read 10+ 3 star reviews and 2 5 star reviews , I should be convinced that this isn't a good read , but i wanna invest my time in it because of that cover !
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
Virginie *No more time to write reviews for the moment :( *
Adding a book because of its gorgeous cover: check!
Julie Zantopoulos
Aug 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, read-in-2020
"...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
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!
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.
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
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
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
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
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 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.
Sep 09, 2020 rated it liked it
*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
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
♛ cameron ♛
Oct 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
Half of why I wanted to read this book is because of how beautiful this cover is. The other half was because I heard people compare this to The Raven Cycle, and that’s enough to peak my interest in any book. After finishing this, however, I can easily say this is not like TRC. There is a mystery, there is a ghost boy, and there is a girl who isn’t afraid to speak her mind while somehow gaining the attraction of every boy she knows. But that’s where the similarities end.

I feel like part of why I’
Francisca Viegas
Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire & Netgalley for an advance copy. My thoughts are always my own and are not influenced by the receiving of ARCs.

2.75 stars

Congratulations to this book for its originality. It kept me guessing until the very last moment. While I did find it very unique both plotwise and in narrative style, it didn't completely work for me, and I'll try to explain why without going into spoilers.
I'm not well-versed in YA mysteries so I wasn't going into this with a pre-formed idea. I'm
Toya (the reading chemist)
In all honesty, the best part of this book was the asexual representation. Noemi questions her sexual identity and has a really amazing conversation addressing such. I think these types of questions and conversations need to be normalized in stories, especially when it comes to young adult, so that is my positive takeaway from this book.

The rest of this book is just a trainwreck and not in a good way. The pacing of this story is painstakingly slow (which is saying something considering I was li
Celia McMahon
Aug 14, 2020 marked it as to-read
I once submitted my pitch to Cole in Pitchwars a few years back and I am so excited to read her debut!
Julie (Bookish.Intoxication)
Sep 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is thought provoking, omniscient and lyrical.
It takes menial things and gives them such a magical and dream like quality.

The characters are gritty, each with their own traumas and secrets, none of them are perfect or whitty or overly charismatic. They are real. They feel real.

For the most part, it felt like the woods was our protagonist, I have never read a book like this one before, I wanted to know more about the woods, how and why it was created. Why it chose the little girl with w
Naomi Smart
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
We Were Restless Things by Cole Nagamatsu is a lyrical and imaginative contemporary fantasy novel. This novel deals with death, grief, obsession, abuse, sexuality and many other adult problems. A teenage boy, Link, is found a victim of accidental drowning on dry land. Noemi Amato, the victim's high school crush and close friend. suspects the impossible lake in the middle of the woods that appears and disappears at will is somehow at fault. Lyle, Jonas, Gaetan and Amberlynn, classmates of Link, a ...more
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
Boring. Anticlimactic. Annoying.

I initially picked this up because of the stunning cover and beautiful, haunting synopsis. Although I thought the beginning to be slow, I was enjoying myself and was absolutely loving the lyrical prose. I adored Noemi from the get go, and knew almost immediately that she would be my favorite character.

The beginning soon bled into the middle of the novel, and this is where I started to struggle. I found it difficult to stay focused on what was happening, and nothi
Jessie Mckinnon
Apr 23, 2020 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Nobody to be honest
Recommended to Jessie by: Net Galley and Goodreads
(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
Oct 07, 2020 rated it liked it
The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher Sourcebooks Fire via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

We Were Restless Things by Cole Nagamatsu is a contemporary fantasy debut novel whose paranormal and mysterious synopsis intrigued me quite a lot (not to mention its breath-taking cover!).
The story follows three teens: Noemi, the main character and the most interesting one to read about; Jonas, the new boy in town; and Amberlyn, the sister of the boy who had drowned on dry land.
Oct 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Before I start my review, I just want to say: LOOK AT THAT GORGEOUS COVER!! I wish I had loved the story as much as I love the cover. Sadly, this story did not work that well for me, but I still appreciated some elements in the story.

I love that one of the book's main characters is asexual. I wish more books would represent asexuality because I don't feel like there are many books out there that do. Next to asexuality, there also was some queer representation. Also, I was very interested in the
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