Review: Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3)

Synopsis from Good Reads:

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.

Thank you, Tahereh Mafi, for not crushing my soul with this book! I was so nervous to start reading Ignite Me because I love the series and all the other series enders I’ve been reading lately have not been good. While Ignite Me may not have been perfect, it kept true to the story Mafi started in Shatter Me and didn’t end with me throwing my Nook against the wall.

Ok, Spoilers Galore from here on out!

Plot

We pick up soon after we left off in Unravel Me. Juliette is alive and she’s pissed. She’s ready to go after Anderson and take down the Reestablishment – with her bare hands. Warner is hiding her in his private rooms at his base and informs her that The Resistance and Omega Point have been wiped out. When he takes her to see for herself Kenji shows up and lets her know that Adam, James, Castle, and a few others are still alive and are staked out at Adam’s old apartment and they head there.

Juliette is looking for them to join her in her plan to fight Anderson, but they’ve all lost their will and their spirit and Adam has basically lost his freaking mind. When he finds out she’s been with Warner, wants to work with Warner, and defends Warner, he goes ballistic. Ugly, very un-Adam like things are said. We found out in Fracture Me that Adam isn’t quite the saintly, loving guy we’ve always known, but I felt it was a little extreme here when he reacts to Juliette. Like almost every interaction Adam has in this book is him being an obnoxious, hateful, jerk.

Long story short, the remaining Omega Point clan comes to stay on base in Warner’s private gym and they all begin training. Juliette and Warner’s relationship changes and languishes and then blossoms. Yes, Juliette chooses Warner! And I love it.

Juliette and her friends perform a demonstration to Warner’s soldiers to let them know about their plan and to ask for help. It works and soon Anderson and his troops are coming to shut them down. Juliette goes after him, kills him, and takes on the role as Commander. It ends with the first small victory in the battle to take back their world. It ends with hope.

I’m sure there will be some people that will be upset that everyone in Juliette’s group survives – that it might be unrealistic. But I think it’s great. And it makes sense. They’re basically super heroes. Of course they’ll survive. And Juliette has become basically unstoppable and with Warner by her side, they can do just about anything. Like he’s been saying since the first book.

“So the two of you” – Ian tries to find his voice- “I mean, together-you two could basically-“

“Take over the world?”

Characters

Ok, can we talk about the character development in Juliette!? She’s grown so much throughout the series. In this book she finally starts to stand up for herself. She lets go of her fear about almost everything. She’s ready to not only fight back, but to lead the fight. She also stops feeling guilty about her feelings for Warner. Though we all fell in love with Adam at first, it was a little too “insta-love” to ever really make sense. Juliette realizes that it was more the fact that he was the first person to ever be nice to her and to ever be able to touch her that drove her to him. And he was in love with the idea of the girl he once knew. Her relationship with Warner, especially now that we know more about Warner, makes much more sense. And with him, she becomes the strong, determined character we always wanted her to be.

Though Juliette is developed and then some, the rest of the characters don’t get quite the same treatment. There are a couple of minor characters from Omega Point that I don’t really remember or care about and nothing about them in this book made me really care for them either.

There is a lot more Kenji and I really like him in this book. But when did he and Juliette become best friends? He was one of her only friends, but I don’t remember him being so attached to her. I feel like I want a Kenji novella now. And am I the only one who was surprised that he isn’t gay and in love with Castle? I thought that was hinted at in the previous book, but I guess not.

And then there’s Adam. Oh, Adam. He’s the ex-boyfriend from hell in this book. He’s just horrible. There’s too many scenes of him yelling the same hateful things to Juliette. He finally realizes that Juliette really is a different person than he thought and he stops being a jerk. When he finally tells Warner that they’re brothers, I thought things got resolved just a little too easily. Warner is “not unhappy” to have brothers and no longer hates Adam. Adam agrees.

Readability

Mafi has a distinct style that I’ve always enjoyed. What impresses me most is the way it’s evolved since the first book. As Juliette becomes more stable and more sane throughout the series, the writing becomes less frenetic. There are less crossed out sentences and words and in this book there were none at all. Because Juliette is no longer afraid of her thoughts. Brilliant.

Enjoyability

I loved this book! It was a great end to the series. Though I feel like there could be more story to tell, I like how it left off. I appreciate that it was the continuation of Juliette’s story and didn’t go off track like other series have. My only issues were really how uncharacteristically horrible Adam became and that the minor characters were kind of just filler.

Rating (out of 5)
Plot: 4
Characters: 4
Readability: 4.5
Enjoyability: 4.5
Overall Average: 4.25 stars

 

2013 Year in Review


So I started out 2013 with a goal to read 25 books. I kept adding 10 to my goal and finally stopped extending it when I got to 85. I ended up reading 169 books (though there’s still a few days left so this number could go up by one or two). I thought I’d call attention to some of my favorites – and my not so favorites.

FAVORITE NEW AUTHOR – MYSTERY/SUSPENSE: LINWOOD BARCLAY

Never Look Away  No Time for Goodbye  The Accident

Linwood Barclay is not a new author, but I just discovered him this year. So far I’ve only read the above 3 books, but they were all consistently good. It’s not just great mystery. He writes really great, relatable characters, too.

FAVORITE NEW AUTHOR – ROMANCE: KRISTAN HIGGINS

The Next Best Thing   The Best Man (Blue Heron #1)   All I Ever Wanted   Just One of the Guys

I read Just One of the Guys early in the year because it was a free nook book and I enjoyed it. I recently just went on a Kristan Higgins splurge and read every book that she has published. They all pretty closely follow the same outline, but I love them all. I love her character development – particularly her “flashback” style of writing -, her quirky secondary characters, and that it’s romance without being erotic.

FAVORITE RETURNING AUTHOR: RAINBOW ROWELL

Fangirl

Ok, I’m going to share a very unpopular opinion. I did not love Eleanor and Park. It was only just ok for me. But I still love you Rainbow Rowell! And she gave me another excellent book to read this year in Fangirl. Cath and Levi. Sigh.

FAVORITE COUPLE (ADULT): MARTIN RILKE & IVY THAXTON RILKE

The Passing Bells (Passing Bells, #1)

I don’t think I can ever say enough how much I love Martin Rilke.  He and Ivy were my favorite characters in The Passing Bells and I absolutely loved them together.

FAVORITE COUPLE (YA): DAEMON & KATY

Onyx (Lux, #2)

Of course this has to be Daemon and Katy from Lux. They’re sarcastic and adorable.

BEST CHARACTER GROWTH: JOHN TOMASETTI

Sworn to Silence (Kate Burkholder, #1)

Tomasetti of the Kate Burkholder series starts off as a barely functioning alcoholic and prescription drug addict that’s just hanging on to his job and recovering from the murder of his wife and daughters. Throughout the series he sobers up (more or less), returns to being the agent he once was, and becomes the stable one in his relationship with Kate.

FAVORITE CAST OF CHARACTERS: THE RAVEN BOYS

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)

Gansey, Adam, Ronan, Noah, and Blue. I love the interactions between this group. What really draws me into this series is the characters. I wish I would’ve come up with them.

BEST FREE BOOK: BACK ON MURDER

Back on Murder (A Roland March Mystery, #1)

I discovered The Roland March series by J. Mark Bertrand because the first in the series was a free nook book at Barnes and Noble (you can get it for FREE here). Bertrand is a solid writer and I gave all three books in this series 4 stars.

FAVORITE NEW SERIES (YA): LUX

Obsidian (Lux, #1)  Onyx (Lux, #2) Opal (Lux, #3)  Origin (Lux, #4)

I’ve probably mentioned Jennifer Armentrout and her Lux series in this blog more than any other author or series. I love the writing, the characters, the banter, the mysteries, and the action.

FAVORITE NEW SERIES (ADULT): THE KATE BURKHOLDER SERIES

Sworn to Silence (Kate Burkholder, #1)  Pray for Silence (Kate Burkholder, #2)  Breaking Silence (Kate Burkholder, #3)  Gone Missing (Kate Burkholder, #4)  Long Lost (Kate Burkholder #4.5)Her Last Breath (Kate Burkholder, #5)

I have to say that part of me loves this series because it’s based in Holmes County, Ohio – not far from where I grew up. But I also love the characters and the mystery.

LIVED UP TO THE HYPE: THE FAULT IN OUR STARS

The Fault in Our Stars

I did not believe that The Fault in our Stars would make me cry. I was wrong. But it was also sarcastic and funny and wonderful.

DIDN’T LIVE UP TO THE HYPE: THE SILENT WIFE

The Silent Wife

I kept reading things about how this was this summer’s Gone Girl. It was not. It took me about a month to finally finish it.

MOST DISAPPOINTING SEQUEL: THE ELITE

The Elite (The Selection, #2)

This book actually made me angry. I really enjoyed the first book, but this one was just horrible. America becomes unbearably annoying. Aspen is a doormat. Maxon is a dick. And the rebel subplot… Here’s hoping the end of the series makes up for this book.

MOST DISAPPOINTING END OF A SERIES – RUNNER-UP: REQUIEM

Requiem (Delirium, #3)

Ugh. This story went so down hill for me in this book. The love triangle in Requiem‘s is the reason I hate them. And though Lena’s choice is obvious, she never actually “picks” him. And half the book was given to Hanna’s POV, who I could not care less about (seriously – I can’t even tell how much I DON’T care about Hanna). I felt like the end was left open for future books instead of concluding the story of Lena. It turned into an obvious and poorly done social commentary on how we need to love.

MOST DISAPPOINTING END OF A SERIES: ALLEGIANT

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)

I was soooo disappointed by this book. I didn’t think it was possible for an ending to disappoint me more than Requiem did, but this one really took the cake. While Allegiant wraps things up in a way Requiem does not, I was still more disappointed with it because I loved this series so much and was so, so expecting it to be amazing. It wasn’t just the fact that I didn’t agree with the ending. It was just poorly done.

FAVORITE BOOK OF THE YEAR – RUNNER UP: UNRAVEL ME

Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2)

I loved the first book in this series and this one got even better. And even though I hate to admit it, the love triangle in this book actually works. I don’t feel like there’s a clear choice for Juliette and I get that she has feelings for both of them because I have feelings for both of them. Just when I’ve decided I’m Team Warner, she runs into Adam and I suddenly feel conflicted. Because of course I’m Team Adam. But then there’s Warner…

FAVORITE BOOK OF THE YEAR: THE NIGHT CIRCUS

The Night Circus

This wasn’t at all what I was expecting it to be. It’s super descriptive which I don’t usually like, but it was done so beautifully in this book that I loved it. The emotional connection I felt to these characters were greater than any others I’ve read this year.

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Sequels Ever

This week’s Top Ten, sponsored by The Broke and the Bookish, is about the best sequels ever. My picks aren’t necessarily sequels that I liked better than the first, but ones that were just as enjoyable. (Click on the cover for synopsis.)

1. Circles of Time: A Novel
Circles of Time by Phillip Rock, the follow up to The Passing Bells. This book is a little more like what I thought the first book would be. And there is lots of Martin Rilke, one of my favorite literary characters ever.

2. Unravel Me (Shatter Me Series #2)
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi, the second book in the Shatter Me series.

3. Scarlet
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, the second book in The Lunar Chronicles. I actually enjoyed this book more than I did, Cinder.

4. Onyx (Lux Series #2)
Onyx by Jennifer Armentrout, the second book in the Lux series. As I’ve said many times, I love this series.

5. Insurgent (Divergent Series #2)
Insurgent by Vernoica Roth, follow up to Divergent. This book ramped up the action, the romance, and the “mythology”.

6. Catching Fire (Hunger Games Series #2)
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, follow up to The Hunger Games. The first book in the series will always be my favorite, but this series is one of my all time favorites and Catching Fire did not disappoint.

7. Pray for Silence (Kate Burkholder Series #2)
Pray for Silence by Linda Castillo, the second book in the Kate Burkholder series. I think this one might actually be my favorite storyline of the series.

Ok, so I only have a top 7 because I can’t really think of any more. I’m sure as soon as I post this or read through some other’s lists I’ll come up with some more. What sequels do you think are the best ever?

Title and Cover Reveal for 3rd book in Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi

Yesterday Tahereh Mafi revealed the cover and the title for the final book in her Shatter Me series: IGNITE ME. I cannot express how excited this makes me. There’s also a synopsis up on Good Reads:

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.

For those that have read the 2nd book in the series, Unravel Me, the title will seem familiar. Warner has a tattoo that he doesn’t explain.

“So what about your tattoo?” I ask. “Why IGNITE?”

His smile is bigger now. Dimples again. He shakes his head, says, “Why not?”

“I don’t get it.” I tilt my head at him, confused. “You want to remind yourself to catch on fire?”

He smiles, presses back a laugh. “A handful of letters doesn’t always make a word, love.”

When I first read that I wondered what it really meant. I’m excited to find out when the book comes out – February 2014.