Review: Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

Series: Shatter Me #3
Publication Date: February 4, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 416 (Hardcover)
Source: Bought
The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, called "a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love"

Juliette now knows she may be the only one who can stop the Reestablishment. But to take them down, she'll need the help of the one person she never thought she could trust: Warner. And as they work together, Juliette will discover that everything she thought she knew-about Warner, her abilities, and even Adam-was wrong.

In Shatter Me, Tahereh Mafi created a captivating and original story that combined the best of dystopian and paranormal and was praised by Publishers Weekly as "a gripping read from an author who's not afraid to take risks." The sequel, Unravel Me, blew readers away with heart-racing twists and turns, and New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia said it was "dangerous, sexy, romantic, and intense." Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and climactic end.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

This is, perhaps, the hardest review I have ever had to write. Normally, the hardest reviews I have ever written are five star reviews because it's so hard to properly explain why you love a book. but this book takes the cake. Why, you may ask? Because I so desperately wanted this book to be a five star book, and it simply isn't. This book has no plot, there was a lot of unnecessary character changing though there was some phenomenal character growth, and there was no additional world-building. Yet, in all truth, this book was beyond emotionally satisfying, hence my need to explain my very hesitant four star rating, though my complete frustration at the fact that I can't talk about so much in order to avoid insane spoilers.

This book picked up exactly where book two left off. A lot of people think other people are dead, there's no real certainty about what is going on in the world, and sides are drastically changing. The wonderfully dramatic chaos of war as at its peak and I loved every minute of it.

But the plot that was so important in book one and book two were nearly nonexistent in this book. I have to say there was no additional world-building as well. This book focused on revealing some huge secrets and planning for a huge event that will currently remain nameless that happened in the last forty pages and was overwith way too fast. There was over 350 pages of build-up for the book to be over all too soon. I found this to be incredibly frustrating. I was left with a lot of questions about the future that I am not emotionally and mentally prepared for them to remain unanswered.

The other thing that this book has is a lot of boy drama. Most of it is completely unnecessary because, to put it simply, Mafi sort of decimated the character growth of one of the leading men in Juliette's life to make the other man so domineering and perfect. And, well, he is perfect and I ship them hard, but I don't like the way she went about this. Though my ship docked successfully, it still felt like Mafi was catering to one team more then the other. The boy that was characteristically slaughtered, so to speak, showed no redeeming qualities until almost the very end of the book, which just wasn't right. Both Warner and Adam changed drastically. Mafi says this was her plan all along, but even I sit here slightly dissatisfied with how she presented the changes in both characters. Juliette went along with things a bit too easy in regards to one case and things were unnecessarily out of control in the other case. That's how things were in this book...too easy or too hard, and unfortunately the big showdown was also way too easy to be real.

These character mishaps, the lack of true plot, and the easy showdown disappointed me severely. I don't know how else to put it.

With that in mind, there was a lot of sexytimes in this book that made me explode with happiness. Seriously, if there is one thing Mafi knows how to write....just wow. But, all things aside, I was really happy to fall back into Mafi's poetic writing style. She immediately reintroduced it to us when trapped in Juliette's thoughts in the first chapter and in moments of intense emotion such beautiful writing returned and only intensified my feelings. I will never get enough of her beautiful story-telling.

The best part of this book was Juliette. She grew in ways I never thought imaginable. Last book when she had to be rebuilt a second time might as well have not existed. This girl's power is on the rise and there ain't nobody out there able to stop it. She's truly invincible and watching her finally realize that she is strong and able to stand on her own two feet was moving. Furthermore, watching her realize that she is loved by many and her coming to terms with her new family was great as well.

And, most importantly, there's the comic relief in this book. much I adore you is indescribable. Though I had several issues with this book, Kenji's constant comic relief often kept me from boiling over in moments of rage. Just like I can't let this story or Juliette or my ship go, I'm not ready to let Kenji go either. He needs his own series, I am telling you. Let's just revel in his hilariousness for a bit, shall we?

"I know I am an extremely attractive man, J, but I am not Bruce Lee."
"Who's Bruce Lee?
"Who's Bruce Lee?" Kenji asks, horrified. "Oh my God. We can't even be friends anymore."
"Why? Was he a friend of yours?
"You know what," he says, "just stop. Just--I can't even talk to you right now."

"You're not an ape, don't just throw your shit everywhere."

"I'll buy you a balloon the second the world stops shitting on itself."

"This shit is bananas!"

In the end, this is going to make some people really happy and some people really pissed off. I'm emotionally satisfied but analytically disappointed. Even then, this finale is unavoidable. It's not the best way to say good-bye to such a beloved series, but it certainly gets the job done in its own, interesting way.

Mafi, I simply cannot wait to see what you have in store for us next.

4 stars


1 comment:

  1. I agree with so much of your review! While I would say Juliette's relationship drama in the first two books overshadowed the plot (IMO), this one definitely takes the cake for having little-to-no plot at all! And there was way too much build up for such a rushed ending.

    As for how Mafi treated the two males. I would have loved to have seen her reflect back on her relationship with both boys and come to realize, on her own, why certain actions/emotions were unhealthy/abusive instead of having Mafi slaughter the characterization she had spent two other novels developing. I would have love to have seen things presented about both boys, so that certain actions were seen with new eyes or in a new light, which swayed my opinion of them one way or the other. Instead, Mafi just made one of them an asshole and the other a saint (which I felt was quite a cop out).