Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #66: Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #66: Ignite Me by Tahereh MafiIgnite Me by Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me #3
Published by Harper on February 4, 2014
Genres: Dystopian, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 409
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
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four-stars

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.

Recommended by: Kayla Beck (Bibliophilia, Please) made me start the series, and I’m finishing because I want to.

Haaaaa, this series. I totally expected not to like these books, and, no lie, they’ve got some major flaws. However, they’re also super entertaining, more so as the series advances. Ignite Me continues to strengthen on a characterization level, and it’s a really solid conclusion, for what the series is. If you’re hoping for some excellent world building or plot to happen all of a sudden, then your expectations are too high. This is about romance and occasionally doing some shit with powers, and that’s it.

Unlike my prior reviews for the series, I’m going to endeavor to keep this one fairly short, because I want to actually get the post up on Sunday, and I’m cutting it damn close. First, let’s talk plot and world building. So far as the latter goes, there is no additional world building. It was pretty much set with Shatter Me. Deal with it. Or don’t. Whatever. I’m not bothered much either way.

The plot of Ignite Me continues to be hilariously absent. I mean, okay, there is the frame of a plot, and it could have been pretty epic, but it’s not really given the full service treatment. I mean, there’s a coup and stuff, but the final battle takes place in like fifteen pages. Mostly the book is romance, heart to hearts, and some training montages. Everything is really convenient and easy when it comes to the plot, as minimalistic as can be. Basically, though, if you didn’t care about the lack of plot in the previous novels, be glad to know it won’t get in your way here either. I wonder if Mafi actually wants to write contemporaries, but a dystopian paranormal was easier to sell?

The best character continues to be Kenji, aka the voice of the reader. With one exception, he’s pretty much always saying what I’m thinking at any given time. He calls everyone out on their shit, though mostly Adam and Juliette because they have the most shit. He’s hilarious, but shows a bit more depth this time too. The friendship between Juliette and Kenji is actually super touching, which surprised me. There aren’t many great male/female friendships, and I like how utterly platonic their friendship is, despite them both finding each other objectively attractive. They talk about real things and care about one another. That was probably my favorite part.

Well, that and Juliette being awesome now. I know, I’m shocked too. As Kenji said, Juliette finally puts her big girl pants on. The events of Unravel Me really affected her, and convinced her she needed to stop being so weak and helpless when she’s anything but. Though her transformation is perhaps a little bit sudden, I’m totally willing to roll with it under the circumstances. She’s able to make fun of herself now, and to make decisions based on past mistakes. I love how healthy she is about relationships at this point. She actually considers what love really is and reflects on the fact that she fell in love with the first guy she ever saw. It’s still very much an idealized romance, but I appreciated the reflections on Juliette’s emotional state by both herself and Kenji. Adam is basically the worst in this book, and I’m super glad I was never on his team, because no.

Update 4/28/2014: Everyone’s asking about swoons. Honestly, it wasn’t as swoony as I was anticipating. I think the swoons were a bit overhyped for me, so they just didn’t live up to my expectations. So I totally get it, but I wasn’t really feeling it. Sad day.

Honestly, I don’t think that I enjoyed these the way I was maybe meant to, but I did really end up liking this series just the same. I laughed hysterically at several points during Ignite Me, and that’s not something that happens all the time. And, yeah, I was laughing at the book being ridiculous, but I also feel like Mafi is poking fun at it herself, which is something I love. Shatter Me took itself so seriously, but Unravel Me and Ignite Me are so self-mocking about the teen drama dialogue and situations.

At this point, you probably know whether you’ll like Ignite Me. It’s the strongest of the three, I think, with Juliette’s transformation into an independent person with opinions. I’m glad I didn’t stop after Shatter Me and really curious to see what Mafi’s next project entails.

Favorite Quote:

“Do you never get exhausted being so wholly unbearable? You have as much charisma as the rotting innards of unidentified roadkill.”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

it's time for plot

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6 responses to “Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #66: Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi”

  1. Haaaaaaaaaa I loved this. But you didn’t even talk about the hotness Christina. I’m kind of disappointed. DID YOU OR DID YOU NOT SWOON? Also you read this and kept it from me wahhhhhhhhh.
    Debby (Snuggly Oranges) recently posted…ARC Book Review: Deep Blue by Jennifer DonnellyMy Profile

  2. Katie says:

    OMG that gif. I just died laughing. And I’m kinda shocked you liked this one. I figured you’d be all, “But there’s no plot!”Also, I’m with Debby, DID YOU SWOON?! I SWOONED SO HARD OMG!
    Katie recently posted…My Most Anticipated 2014 DebutsMy Profile

  3. Meg says:

    BEST GIF. BEST GIF TO GIF IN GIFLAND. SO APPROPRIATE I CAN’T DEAL.

    And, yeah, I was laughing at the book being ridiculous, but I also feel like Mafi is poking fun at it herself, which is something I love. <—THIS. This is, I think, what allowed me to enjoy Ignite Me so much more than the previous books. It felt more like Mafi had a fuck it moment and just stuck to the stuff she cared about (i.e. interpersonal relationships) and also had a level of self-awareness and wink-wink-nudge-nudge-ness about it all that I loved.

    As for the swoons, it was lovely and hot but a) I am still disappointed we missed out on some epic(ally hilarious) metaphor opportunities and b) I think I’ve read too many romance novels to be seriously blown away with fade-to-black. HOWEVER, if I were more inclined to do so, Mafi would inspire some top-notch swoonage.
    Meg recently posted…Early Cuddles: On The Fence by Kasie WestMy Profile

  4. Dana says:

    I haven’t gotten to this one yet. Enjoyed the first two in the series but wasn’t so wowed by them that I had to rush to get this one. Definitely want to finish the series though. Glad that it was as good as the others. Third books usually disappoint me. Sad face.
    Dana recently posted…Book Clean Out ChallengeMy Profile

  5. fakesteph says:

    Glad to hear all of this. I LOOOOVED Kenji, so I’ll have to make some time to read this one.
    fakesteph recently posted…Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse AndrewsMy Profile

  6. “The best character continues to be Kenji, aka the voice of the reader. With one exception, he’s pretty much always saying what I’m thinking at any given time. He calls everyone out on their shit, though mostly Adam and Juliette because they have the most shit.” – I don’t know why I laughed so hard, but I did. This is the best way I’ve ever seen Kenji/Adam/Juliette summed up. I swear I need to write it on a post it and stick it to my copy of Ignite Me xD

    The lack of plot/world building didn’t bother me too much either, since I was mostly reading the series because I was invested in the characters and my one wish was to see Juliette finally grow a pair of lady balls and move on from the douchebag she called perfect.
    Kayla @ The Thousand Lives recently posted…The Writing Life: Camp NaNoWriMo Week FourMy Profile

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