Thursday, February 6, 2014

Review: Ignite Me

Title: Ignite Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: February 4th 2014
Pages: 352
Genre: YA
Source: Purchased
My Rating: 4 Starfish

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.-
Summary and cover image from Goodreads

First things first: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the book yet, then please skip this review.

Secondly: I took notes while reading Ignite Me and my thoughts ended up jumbled all over the place. So I’m apologizing in advance for my chaotic writing. And my review is pretty long, so bear with me.

Thirdly: I love Tahereh Mafi and I am in no way trying to make her look bad or say bad things about her. I think she is a wonderful author, but I have issues with the book and I will state them.

Okay? Okay.

It took me all day Tuesday to read the book, and after I put it down, I was like “okay, that was good. I’m happy about this. What a great way to end the story”. But then I woke up Wednesday morning, and I was like, “I’m not okay with it”. I loved Aaron in the first book because he was kind of like the tortured soul. He was obsessed and psychotically in love with the heroine, but he couldn’t have her because he was the antagonist. Juliette was a scared little girl; her mind was everywhere. Adam was like the knight in shining armor coming in to rescue her, and the whole time I was reading, I was like, “This love triangle is insanely awesome”.  In the second book, Aaron spent a lot of time in the spotlight and Adam was pushed to the back. This was fair though, because Adam had a lot of air time in Shatter Me and so then it was Aaron’s turn. Destroy me was also great. Getting to learn more about Warner’s psychotic nature was awesome. He was still the tortured soul, in love with a girl he couldn’t have, and it was tragic. But then fracture me happened…… why? Why did you do it Tahereh? Adam was so weird acting in Fracture Me. He did a complete 180 without any good reason why. At first I just thought that his weirdness would dissipate once he was reunited with Juliette again. Nope. Not even close to that.

Adam reacted unbelievably in the third book. It was way too dramatic and over-the-top, and completely unrealistic because that was not who Adam was at all. It was almost like Tahereh was making him so ridiculous, that it gave Juliette no choice but to turn to Aaron. I wanted Aaron and Juliette to be together from the beginning. I was always team Warner. But I didn’t like how they got together in Ignite Me. I didn’t feel good about it and I still don’t. Adam gave up so easily on Juliette and she gave up so easily on Adam, and then she turns around and she’s like, “Oh look, there’s Aaron. He’s been here all along”. I feel like if Adam hadn’t of reacted the way that he did, then Juliette would have still been conflicted and torn between the two of them.

Shatter Me starts off with Adam and Juliette in the cell together and she and him have all this history, and there’s an intense attraction between the two of them. I can’t believe all of that was just thrown away and forgotten. He was her first friend, her first everything. And then Aaron comes in, and all she says about him is that he’s beautiful, but she HATES HIM. How can that change? How can you hate someone so absolutely and then love them so absolutely in such a short amount of time, when your other option is acting uncharacteristically weird? That makes no sense to me. I feel like nothing changed too drastically until after Adam was being weird. But Adam shouldn’t have been weird because that’s NOT ADAM. Sure I can see him losing interest in Juliette and giving up on her, but I can’t see him reacting as dramatically as he did (except for around Kenji, but Kenji has a tendency to be a big pain). I mean, I LOVE Aaron. I love that he finally told her everything so she didn’t go on thinking that he was a heartless monster. But it’s still so unfair! There’s so much Adam in the first book and suddenly he’s written out and Warner is put up on a pedestal. Like I said, it really isn’t fair. And even though I can’t stand Adam, I hate when things are unfair. Adam and Juliette have such a strong connection and it’s broken so easily. How, how, HOW did it come to this?!? Juliette broke, (do you hear me?), BROKE omega point just because Adam was in pain and suddenly that’s just all stopped? I get during chapter 62, where she says Adam’s name and she lied to Warner’s face, that she wanted him more than Adam at that moment, but Juliette and Aaron weren’t put together properly. I don’t understand and I just feel bad for readers because it wasn’t what it should have been. I swear, no author can get it right.               

I liked Juliette a lot in this book! She really changed and became a strong, kick-butt character, and I loved that she wasn’t afraid anymore. I basically wanted to stand up and applaud at the end of every chapter because she was just that awesome! I liked that she started seeing Aaron as a decent person, and they had a lot of cute moments that had me tearing up. But…. the whole her and Adam thing….it was so stupid. Not fair at all to Adam, and I can’t believe that I’m defending him, but it’s not fair to Aaron either and it just wasn’t done right. And something else that I noticed that started bugging me: Suddenly Aaron can kick Adam’s butt, when in the first book Aaron’s butt got kicked by Adam. It seems to me like maybe the book is too warner-centric. And maybe that killed it for me because there was just too much of him everywhere.  

Kenji’s the only character who stayed consistent throughout all three books. Kenji is the one thing that I am 100 percent happy and good and have all sorts of wonderful feels about. He was the funniest he’s ever been. His relationship with Juliette was totally adorable, and I loved watching it grow over time. He was the perfect best friend. I liked how nothing was awkward with them and they could talk about anything.  I love friendships more than I love romances, so I was really attracted to what these two had. Shoot, maybe I am team Kenji. Or maybe I just didn’t want Juliette to end up with anyone. I don’t know.

The wrap up, and Aaron and Juliette finally being together left me feeling very unsatisfied. I would have preferred it differently. Maybe the books should have been longer than a trilogy. And have I mentioned that I hate dystopians? I think I’ll swear them off from now on. They can never truly fix themselves, and I don’t believe that one person can change the entire world. I think that’s pretty far-fetched, even as tough as Juliette is. I’m not happy about the way the book ended and I’m not happy about how things played out; I’m conflicted. My feelings are somewhere in the middle, and being in the middle REALLY sucks. Gah! I can’t decide what my feelings are trying to tell me!!!

The character development was insane and I liked it, but at the same time I didn’t. Maybe I’m not going to be 100 percent either way. I think I will probably always feel half and half about these books. Some of it was too forced maybe? A little too ridiculous? Maybe that’s what’s getting me is the fact that it’s all pretty unrealistic and unbelievable. The story was also too short. The plot felt rushed at certain parts and then it dragged where it shouldn’t have dragged. Anderson died way too easily and the ending was too quick. Then the book was just done, and it left some things hanging. I’m pretty sure this book will bug me for all eternity.

 I do want to add one more thing concerning the wrap up: I never found out what Aaron did to prove that he was worthy of being in command (Maybe I just missed it, but I don’t think it ever came up). I was really looking forward to that secret being revealed. Again, this is where it didn’t wrap up as well as I had hoped. I thought it would be…..I don’t know what I thought. I just expected it to be better, but frankly I am very disappointed. Shatter me should have just been a standalone.

Okay, I think I have it, so here it goes. I have been team Aaron since the first book. I wanted her to be with Aaron. But the only reason she ended up with him, was because Adam was being a huge jerk. I think my problem is that Adam was written out so much and Aaron was idolized so much, that it just wasn’t fair when Juliette chose Aaron because she was choosing him by default in a way. I wanted Aaron to win the girl fairly and squarely, and what happened to Adam wasn’t fair, THERFORE, her choosing Aaron doesn’t feel right. Aaron and Adam should have been equal the entire time, so then when she chose one, it would have been real. Because one of her prospects slacked off, she obviously went with the other and that’s not right. That’s not right at all! Aaron should have won differently. But I think that’s it, I think that’s what I’m so upset about.

Sorry if my thoughts were all over the place. I usually try to clean up my reviews, but I figured I would leave this one how it is. I’ve never been so emotionally attached to a book trilogy before, and even though it didn’t end how I wanted it to, I would still recommend it to anyone looking for an exciting read.


  1. OMG! Thank you. I think you just nailed everything that I was feeling. I just had to share it on twitter. And you just gained a new follower.

    I feel like Ignite Me was the complete breakdown of Adam's character. I'm okay with Juliette choosing Warner. Although I'm Team Adam, I can understand why she chose Warner. Not a problem. It seems kind of realistic. He wasn't what she thought he was so I get it. He accepts her. Old and new. Got it. My problem is that Mafi spent Shatter Me building up Adam and then breaking him down in Unravel Me and Ignite Me. I don't believe it. By the end of IM it's not that I dislike Adam, it's that I don't believe this is the same guy. I know being the nice guy doesn't automatically get you the girl, but Mafi just makes him an asshole. That's my main issue with it. I felt like IM was an ode to Warner and Juliette more than it was a novel. I finished it and I was so unsatisfied.

  2. Oh my goodness, thank you so much!!! I also think that Adam was built up and then broke down. Most of the reviews I've been reading talk about how happy they are and they give it five stars, but I'm SO glad you think it was a let down too. Although I am excited to read Mafi's new stuff. I really do like her as an author.

  3. I personally loved Ignite Me! However, I see where you're coming from. I started to love Warner so much more than Adam in Unravel Me, but I feel like Tahereh Mafi was definitely building up to Adam's overall character change after Shatter Me. I thought Juliette was a great character and she became so much stronger over the course of the series. Awesome review :)

  4. I really liked this series, but I, too, was let down by the last book. I wanted Aaron and Juliette to end up together, and I was in great anticipation of this happening, which kept me glued to the book all the way through chapter 56, but the ending was not what I expected. It was all too easy. I was expecting a big moment, or several, but even the scene with Juliette and Anderson was emotionally lacking, especially compared to the first two books. As for the love triangle, I hadn't really thought about how Adam was torn down and Aaron was built up. You made a very good point there. I will say that I tried to understand Adam's reaction and I think that some of his anger and confusion was justified. The bigger issue with him and Juliette was that he didn't really love her, or at least not who she had become. He was in love with the idea of her, the girl he thought he knew when they first got together, but he didn't really know her. She had hidden so much from him that when she finally came into her own, he felt that she was a completely different person. Aaron knew her secrets and understood her in a way no one else could. The connection they had was so much more than her and Adam ever had. Overall, I felt like there could have been a lot more to the ending, maybe even enough to do another book. There were things that, for me, felt unresolved, like Anderson. I was sure he had some sort of power and that sound wave guy just came out of nowhere. But I did love the series, in spite of my feelings of emotional disappointment, and I loved the review!

    P.S. Sorry this is so long! :)