Novel: Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi | Goodreads
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Rating: 4.5 stars
Originally Published On: A Charming Reverie
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.”
With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her.
The Shatter Me series is perfect for fans who crave action-packed young adult novels with tantalizing romance like Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Legend by Marie Lu. Tahereh Mafi has created a captivating and original story that combines 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.” Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and satisfying end.
This is the third (and sadly the final) book in the Shatter Me trilogy. THIS BOOK WAS *ALMOST* PERFECT. I loved it- it was everything I hoped for it to be without even realizing it. As far as dystopian trilogy conclusions go, this was by far one of the best. Everything happened the way I wanted it to without being dragged out unnecessarily and annoyingly. WARNER, sigh. Juliette was so incredibly, surprisingly strong in this book. She completely redeemed herself in my eyes and I found myself really admiring her strength as a protagonist. Tahereh Mafi’s writing was beautiful as always, and possibly even more poetic than in the previous two books. No strike-throughs, which showed Juliette’s internal development.
Wuliette. Jarner. Warniette. Jaaron. I give up. Tahereh Mafi has made it impossible to ship Juliette and Warner with a cool name but it doesn’t matter because they’re going to be together forever, HALLELUJAH. I love Warner. Aaron. Whatever his name is. So. Freaking. Much. I’d like a Warner in my life, please. It was agony when they were cordially distant in the middle of this book. I think I squealed when Juliette finallydeclared her love for him.
I was so thankful that Juliette wasn’t wishy-washy with Adam; I appreciated that she made her decision and stuck to it unwaveringly. Speaking of Adam, what a jerk. I understood where he was coming from completely, I really did. But the way he lashed out at Juliette was very surprising to me, and at times in this book he reminded me of his father (much more so than Warner). I feel *slightly* bad for Adam, and I wish we got more of an ending for him, but I know that this needed to happen for my sanity and Juliette’s character development. But mostly for my sanity. Adam changed a lot throughout this installment. He behaved quite appallingly for most of the book. By the end, he was tolerable. I knew after Unravel Me that I wanted Juliette to be with Warner, but I still cared about Adam a lot as a love interest and a character. I think Mafi did a good job of smoothly transitioning the romantic plot from Adam’s favor to Warner’s. She explained and proved why Warner was a better match for Juliette very well, showing that the choice represents more than just romance- Juliette is stronger as an individual with Warner.
If Adam hadn’t been so hurtful in Ignite Me, I would’ve felt more torn- I still would’ve shipped Warniette, but would’ve wanted a super happy ending for Adam and probably would’ve resented Juliette for hurting him. But Mafi did an excellent job of changing readers’ opinions realistically and gradually so that everyone can logically (and emotionally) accept the ending to this fantastic love triangle.
I also thought it was awesome that Juliette learned to project and control her power so that she could be invincible or turn it off. Now she can touch Kenji (who is one of my favorite characters in this series). I loved all of the Warner scenes, especially the ones that occurred in Adam’s house. Laughed. Out. Loud. Warner is a boss. I also loved learning about Warner’s true motives in the early chapters of the book, when he revealed to Juliette why he had first studied her journal that he retrieved from the asylum. We learned a bit in his novella, Destroy Me, but having it all pieced together changed both Juliette’s and my impression of him. He is a truly unique, fascinating, and wonderful character to read about.
*END OF SPOILERS*
My single qualm with this book (other than the continuation of lackluster world-building that was present in the previous two installments) is the rather abrupt ending. The rebellion was a bit rushed, but I honestly didn’t mind that. After the final chapter, I was expecting either another chapter, an epilogue, SOMETHING. It left off almost as if there would be a fourth book, but then there was an author’s note that made it very clear that the series was finished. *SLIGHT SPOILER* After all these characters have worked so hard to bring down The Reestablishment, I feel like we deserve to see how their lives have changed and how they have changed the world. I would have liked a “One Year Later” or “Five Years Later” or a novella to show us the aftermath of this revolution. The last page in this book didn’t feel like the last page in a series- it felt like a cliffhanger that would be followed by another book. I want some closure! How are Juliette and Warner doing? How is the new government? What is the world like now? How’s Adam? Is he with Alia now? Have Warner and Adam bonded? Does James know Warner is his brother? ETC., ETC., ETC. Also, I was hoping for a really cute, sweet, sentimental Juliette-Warner scene at the end, kind of like Bella and Edward’s “forever” scene at the end of Breaking Dawn. *OKAY SLIGHT SPOILER IS OVER*
So up until the final page, when I said “Seriously? That’s it?” I loved the book wholeheartedly. I still do for the most part. I just think it could’ve really, really used something in addition to the original ending to give readers closure for the future and a chance to contentedly say goodbye to the characters we’ve grown to love, knowing that they are thriving. The non-ending is rather frustrating. Okay, extremely frustrating the more I think about it… I feel like I haven’t said goodbye to these characters yet because I keep expecting something more that is never coming. And the more I think about it, the more I think that everything was almost too easy. Everything worked out exactly the way I wanted it to, which was awesome when I was reading the book because that hardly ever (okay never) happens.
But now, two days later, I don’t find myself still thinking about this book. Because I didn’t encounter any struggles while reading in getting what I wanted, I can blissfully forget the book. I think of it positively and with happy thoughts, but I don’t think “Yeah, everything almost went wrong, but then I ended up being satisfied.” This wasn’t a Champion or a Mockingjay where I felt like I’d lost some and won some. I won everything with this book. So why am I strangely disappointed? Because when I am too satisfied with a book, it tends to be less memorable after awhile in my mind. I’ll remember liking it and being happy at the end, but not much else. Whereas other dystopian trilogy conclusions I may not have liked or enjoyed reading as much, but I remember more. This all made more sense in my head. (Pulls hair out in frustration at not being able to properly express nonsensical feelings.)
Overall, I found Ignite Me to be a very beautiful, well-written book and conclusion to this wonderful trilogy. I also think this would’ve been a great book to have dual POVs or a second POV sprinkled in occasionally, but Juliette’s POV was very interesting and much more than bearable. I hope this review doesn’t come across as negative- I thought the book was phenomenal so I can only pick apart the things I didn’t like (otherwise this would be ten pages of absolute gushing). The ending was more like a non-ending, but otherwise I loved this book and don’t think anyone who has loved this trilogy will be (very) disappointed!
Thanks for reading.