Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Review: Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

Ignite Me

Author: Tahereh Mafi
Release: February 4th 2014
Genre: Dystopia, Paranormal, YA
#3 in the Shatter Me trilogy
Series: Shatter Me (#1), Unravel Me (#2)


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.


If I had to rate this purely by how much I'm invested in this series, it'd be a solid five stars. Seldom have I been so emotionally invested into a book series, but honestly... quality-wise, and objectively speaking, these books are seriously lacking finesse.

The only thing that makes me like this series so much (besides Warner, of course), is the fact that Juliette doesn't end up with the first guy in this love triangle. No, for once, she recognizes she doesn't love Adam, and chooses with whom to end up, proving the "first love true love" thingy wrong. Because this is how it's in real life, you probably won't stay with your first love, and it's unrealistic to portray anything else. It's something I see so, so rarely in books and movies and TV shows, I'm always happy when I do see it. No, not happy, I'm overjoyed. It's the reason why I love Teen Wolf, and Allisaac, so much as well. 

Speaking of which, want to know something really funny? When the clock struck midnight here in Germany, I immediately went and bought this on my kindle, since my hardcover copy is scheduled to arrive sometime in the next two weeks, which was way too long for me. Whoopsie. And, well, when I read Chapter fifty-five, the one where ... you know what happens between (spoilers) Warner and Juliette, thirty minutes later another OTP of mine (yeah, Allisaac) became officially canon as well. It was like Christmas came early.

And oh yeah, I read the whole night. Up until four in the morning, when I had to watch the new Teen Wolf episode obviously, and let me tell you, it was all worth it. I got up to 80% in Ignite Me and just finished as soon as I woke up. I haven't eaten breakfast yet, I want to write this review first.

I'll start off with the things I liked as well, besides the whole realistic relationship thing. And that would be the characterization of Juliette. She's never going to be one of my favorites, but she's finally taking matters into her own hands, standing up for herself and glowering at everyone who's standing in her way. I was like "YES," and pumped my fist into the air, I was so glad she finally shed her coward, naive, silly little girl skin and put on some big girl pants. She annoyed me up to no end in both of the first two installments, but in this one, I finally came around to liking her. This is still too late for her to finally get some courage, but still. Better late than never, right?

The second one would be Kenji and Juliette's friendship, 100% platonic and nothing more. Another very realistic thing about this book, that boy and girl can be just best friends and not fall in love with each other, which a lot of authors seem to be forgetting about. Like, seriously, a lot. My own very, very best friend whom I tell everything and feel most comfortable with is a guy too, sure I got my female best friends too, but my closest confidante is definitely him, and I see so little wholly platonic friendships between guys and girls in YA literature it's such a nice thing to see it for once. And on top of that, I also enjoyed their witty banter and interactions a lot, they're only topped on my favorite friendships list by Aria and Roar from Under The Never Sky.

Another thing I have to mention is Mafi's writing. It's been teetering on the edge of uncomfortable and purple prose for the whole duration of this trilogy, but in this installment, she finally managed to make it sound very beautiful and nice, she just finally managed to make it work. I don't have the nagging feeling anymore that she just strung some words together that didn't really make sense, hoping they'd sound quirky and melodic. Which they mostly didn't, her writing seemed just strange, up until now. I think, generally, Mafi has taken a huge step forward with this book, there wasn't even kissing and making out up until about 60%! That's a lot of progress. 

But. But. As much as I'd like to praise the book, it's still, like I said, deficient in a lot of things. First of all, that'd be ... I don't know how to say this, but maybe credibility? It's like she's done a complete 180, and not only in the positive direction, but also for the worse. Suddenly, Warner is this extremely nice guy that's just misunderstood, and Adam is a massive douchebag. Warner was willing to let an innocent toddler die, to torture Juliette? Nah, it was just a simulation. That guy he shot in front of everyone? He beat his wife, his children, and was an all around despicable man. Warner didn't want to turn Juliette into a weapon, that was just an excuse to study her because he was trying to find a cure for his mother, whom he loves so much. And so on, and so on, after almost two books depicting Warner as evil incarnate, a madman that likes to torture and kill for the fun of it, and Juliette saying countless times how much she detests and hates him, suddenly she's telling him she loves him. Uhh, yeah. 

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm still standing with what I said: I love that Juliette (spoiler, although I think by now we all have guessed) ends up with Warner in the end, and I love Warner himself (more on that later), but making all of these excuses for him and his behavior just seemed like a last-minute attempt to make the reader like him more, to make him redeemable, and in my honest opinion, it didn't quite work. I'm not the best judge because I've already believed in Warner's goodness prior to all this, but still ... I'm sure a lot of others are going to agree with me on this, because it did feel a bit out of left field.

Second of all, there's this issue with plot. Hmm, plot. Juliette is making all these speeches about how she'll take down The Reestablishment, kill Anderson and lead the world to new greatness, but the final battle happens within ... oh yeah, the last 10% of the book. The last 10%, I'm not fucking kidding. That's when the battle starts, that's when Juliette tracks him down and does what she has to. Before that, all that's happened was a bit of shuffling around locations and training. That's ... it. I'm kind of astonished myself right now, because I did fly through this. I'm not complaining per se, because yeah, I'm guilty of enjoying it, but seriously ... the lack of actual plot is truly shocking. The whole time it's just character development (a bit), and the characters talking about their relationships with each other. It's really not much more than that.

But yeah (man this review is gonna take forever), in terms of character development, I did quite like this. I already mentioned that Juliette is finally starting to grow up, which was a big part of Ignite Me, but we also get a bit of how Kenji and Adam are struggling and coming to terms with how things are right now. Kenji trying to be the comedic relief in these bleak times but actually falling apart himself, Adam being furious and having all this bottled-up anger inside of him, it was nice seeing them. Although the same argument between Adam and Juliette about their relationship did get old after a while, too. The star, of course, was again Warner, because he's getting a lot more characterization than before, we see more and more sides of him every chapter and I think he is an ingenious character. So unapologetic for his behavior and attitude, not willing to change anything about him just to get others to like him more. It struck something in me, I mean yeah, I've always been a big fan of him, but he's very greatly done, so ... can you blame me?

FINAL VERDICT: A very nice, solid last installment, wrapping the trilogy up satisfactorily, although the ending was a bit of an open one and seemed a little hacked off, but ... all in all, I'm pleased. I never would have thought, after my huge dislike of the first book, that I'd ever end up actually caring about this series so much in the end. Well done, Mafi, catching me in your trap this way. 

And if you have read this review up until now, you, my friend, are awesome and deserve all the good in the world. 


  1. Oh my god, I saw three and a half stars, and I knew that I had to read this review before I read the book. xD (I try not to read reviews of books that I know I'm going to be reading soon before I actually read the book and write my review.)

    And damn. Just damndamndamn. First off, I'm so glad that Juliette and Warner end up together. I pretty much guessed this since chapter 62 of Unravel me, but it's really nice to know that it's now official and I know for sure that they're ending up together. (I feel like that wasn't really a spoiler at all. I mean, this is totally irrelevant to Ignite Me, but I guessed the ending of The Fiery Heart and my friend who's read it confirmed my guesses, and I was mad that the ending was so predictable. I'm glad that Juliette and Warner end up together, but I wish it wasn't so easy to guess, lol. I wanted there to be genuine doubt.)

    I totally agree with you when it comes to Juliette. She's annoyed me throughout this trilogy, and yet it's probably one of my FAVORITE trilogies. I just can't resist Aaron fucking (I can swear, right?) Warner. He's just..perfection.

    And Kenji. Damn, I love that guy. (Have you read The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa? Yeah, Kenji reminds me of Jakal.) He is just the best.

    I honestly can't wait to read this book anymore :o I can't wait to get the book, read it, review it, and discuss it with people! Namely you because Lindsay (co-blogger girl) hasn't read the series.

    1. Yeah, I think ever since Fracture Me it was really obvious that Juliette wouldn't end up with Adam, so it was PROBABLY gonna be Warner instead... I'm so glad as well. :D

      AH YES RIGHT? The ending of The Fiery Heart was so utterly predictable it wasn't even overwhelming anymore. Like, when I read it I only thought "Okay then. Yeah. Okay." and now I'm not even really excited for the next book anymore, you know? I still love the series, and loved TFH, but ... it was a bit underwhelming because of its predictability.

      I actually can't even BELIEVE how this can be one of my most beloved series as well, even though I don't even really LIKE them. At least, not that much. It's so confusing and astonishing ... seriously, Warner IS the best thing about these books. xD

      Me too! Of course I've read The Eternity Cure, Julie Kagawa is my favorite author ever! (SO excited for Talon I can't even. Julie Kagawa and Dragons combines two of my most favorite things...) Now that you mention it, you're right. Jakal and Kenji are quite alike. I think I like Kenji more though. :D

      I hope you'll be able to read it soon! :D :D

  2. Fracture Me annoyed me. I read it in Target, lol. (I ran into a shelf??? haha.) And yeah, Warner foreverrrr. <3

    I haven't finished that book, lol. I'm on page 238, I think. Something like that. So it's sad that I already guessed the ending. xD I'll probably preorder the book around May/June, but I won't mind if it's delayed. The only reason I'm excited about the series is honestly because of Syndrian.

    Argh, I know right! The writing is good, but it isn't AHMAZING or anything, and yet I still love this series to death. I'm getting like 10 people at my school to read it. It's just...after the first book, everythings gets so good! I told them all that they had to read Destory Me in order to understand my love for the series.

    I hate using caps because I feel like I'm yelling but OH MY GOD THE ENDING TO THE ETERNITY CURE KILLED ME. IT KILLED ME, MAN. SO HARD. (I'm def preordering this too...) I can't decide! After I read Ignite Me, I'll let you know who I like more. ;D

    I know .____.

  3. I still can't believe that I won't be able to read any more of Warner anymore. D: And, even worse, of Warnette. There was so little time for them to really have the relationship I want them to have and read about and it's making me so sad not to get the chance to read about them more. :_:

    Oops, sorry. :X I mean, yeah, you guessed it, but now I confirmed it... sorry! xD I'll probably pre-order (I'm always like Hmm nahh, but then I do it anyways) as well and not mind if it comes late. Hmm, yeah, I only like the series because of the Moroi/Strigoi (something different, but still vampires, I love that so much) as well Sydrian, Adrian and Sydrian (what I mean: for both the characters themselves and their relationship :D)

    I'm still in denial. I don't know if you've read her Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten series, but the last book in that one ended much the same way and I ... I don't think she really did that. Like, no. Zeke's surely not ... dead. Ash supposedly died in The Iron King too but somehow mysteriously survived, so I don't... Have you read Mara Dyer? (Well, if you have, you'll know why I'm asking the question and if not... it's not what you think. xD)

    Alright. :D

  4. I know! It's depressing D: Okay, well not for me because I still get to read the book, but for you because you've already read it. xD You can already reread! And I think Tahereh Mafi should do another novella...with Warner...and Juliette.

    It's fine! I already guessed it anyway. It's really obvious, plus it's the only GOOD way that the book could've gone that I can think of. (I think now that I know the ending for sure, I'm not as motivated to read it. Oops, this could pose as a problem.) I actually just started preordering last year. The first book I preordered was on my Nook app, and that was Allegiant. Let me just say that getting the book RIGHT when I woke up was a miracle. <3 And yes, I completely agree with you! Also because I've invested so much of my time toward reading the books that I can't stop now.

    Gah, I know right! I'm so preordering that book on my Kindle because I'll need it IMMEDIATELY. It's just one of those books, you know? And no, I haven't read the spinoff. I've only read The Iron King. xD Please don't hate me! I think I mentioned in another comment that I didn't love that series as much as The Blood of Eden series? Well, yeah. I'll eventually pick up The Iron Daughter (I think that's book two), but I doubt it will be anytime soon, lol. Sorry! Maybe I'll finish off the series this summer. (: I have a lot of reading plans for this summer.


    That series, man. That series. The books are so long and confusing but it's so worth it in the end. I need The Retribution of Mara Dyer, which might be a preorder for me as well. (Wow, I'm preordering a lot this year...)

  5. One more novella with Warner und Juliette would be awesome. It'd be all I need. :_:

    Hmm yeah, I wasn't that excited for The Fiery Heart either if I'm being honest. Angelfall'S sequel, World After, came out the same day and I read that one first, because I was more pumped for that than TFH. But I do love the Bloodlines series, my favorite book so far is The Indigo Spell. Yours? :3

    Oh, that's a shame. :( You probably won't really like the Iron Daughter much if you didn't like the Iron King, but I swear to you that the third book, Iron Queen, is absolutely amazing and so worth reading. Maybe you will consider reading on, just maybe? :D

    I KNOW RIGHT? I was so confused while reading the whole time, but in the end, somehow, against all odds, I still really enjoyed it. And the second book was even better — and much like with the Eternity Cure, I don't really think Noah is dead. I couldn't imagine that happening. No.

  6. I know right <3

    I was really excited, because I didn't start reading the Bloodlines series until December, so 1-4 was already out. xD I had just finished The Indigo Spell, so I really wanted to read TFH. But once I got about 100 pages in...yeah, not so great anymore. The Indigo Spell was my favorite too!

    Of course I'll read on :D I'll probably see if I can get the rest of the series online for cheap though. I just need to find myself a copy of The Iron Daughter!

    I actually didn't like Noah that much as a love interest, but I loved him as a character. Is that weird? xD I feel like they're only attracted to each other because they're both weird, but that's fine, tbh. And I agree wtih you on Noah and Zeke not being dead. I think that would be bad for the series.

    Have you read the Eve trilogy? If you haven't, never mind. xD But if you have...then you probably know what I'm hinting at, haha.

  7. Yay! :D I think there's even a boxset of the Iron Fey series out, although if you already have a copy of the Iron King, that might not look so great anyways.

    No, me too. Mara and Noah's relationship is kinda insta-love, I think, and moved a little too fast for my tastes, but as their own individual characters, I really liked both Mara and Noah. Well, I don't REALLY know about Kagawa, I could imagine that she'd actually dare killing off one of her very main characters, but not Michelle Hodkin. I'm about 45% sure Zeke isn't dead and abput 80-85% that Noah isn't dead. xD

    No, not yet. :( I have Eve on my kindle, but it hasn't gotten the best ratings (I think you gave the third book, Rise, only two stars?) so I haven't dared touch it yet.

  8. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-iron-fey-boxed-set-julie-kagawa/1111401847?ean=9780373210787

    It shall happen. I have money. It shall and it will. :D I hope that you're right that it gets better, though. xD

    Especially with Hodkin, because, you know, Jude was supposed to be dead, and then he wasn't.
    If Kagawa kills Zeke...I will have a heart attack. The only way she could kill Zeke and still make it a good book is...I don't know. Zeke just can't be dead. I just can't contain myself. I would die if he was dead.

    Haha, yeaaaaaah. Maybe you shouldn't read it unless you're absolutely bored. xD The first book I gave five stars, but I wasn't exactly the best judge of book back then. xD I'm starting to think it really should've only gotten 3-4. But then Once was just...meh. I gave it four. It deserved more of a 3. But Rise? Yeah. That was just a disaster in itself.

  9. you don't know how happy this makes me feel! OMG WARNETTE! i was rooting for them from the start (i would scream and dance and jump up and down if my roommate weren't in the room with me and i wasn't on the second floor of my dorm building where my fangirling would piss an entire 2 floors off! LOL) i didn't read it yet (no money for the book! BOOOO!) but i also don't mind spoilers one bit. so this was a nice way to relieve the stress of not knowing what happened b/c i had no book! so do Warner and Juliette do the frick frack????? LOL!!! sorry, i hate to sound like a perv but i just have to know!

    1. It is very very heavily implied that they frick frack, yes. :D Ah, so sorry to hear you haven't been able to read it yet, if you don't mind little plot and you're already invested in the story, you'll definitely love it! <3