"Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all."-Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi

Grade: A-
Rating: PG-13+/R

Content: A few cautions: There are characters whose language is colorful (soldiers) but it is throughout the book when these characters are present and near end of book there is violence and sexual content (a few short scenes not graphic, but certainly more than I would hope would be in a ya book).
Recommendation: Read it!

Best Quote: "In a world where there is so much to grieve and so little good to take? I grieve nothing.  I take everything... Ignite, my love.  Ignite."

In 2012/13 I finished a number of delicious books, Divergent, Delirium, Eve, The Selection, Birthmarked... Let's just say 2012 was book Nirvana in the dystopian genre for me.  Among those books was Ignite me. 

To be honest, I picked up the first book not really knowing what to expect, my knowledge of this book was limited to it being a 1. dystopian and 2. love story.  So I picked it up and sentence number one grabbed me and sucked me right into the book.

Mafi's writing style was unique, much of the language is in metaphor. The Main Character Juliette, sensors her unwanted thoughts, using strikethroughs like this.  The novel begins in an asylum with Juliette locked up using numbers to distract herself. Between the numbers, the strikethroughs, the metaphors, it literally made me feel like I was locked up in an asylum. The writing was beautiful, almost poetic.

So the way I see it, you either like this style of writing or you don't.  And I my dear reader, loved it.  This series is a trilogy, which begins with Shatter Me; The second book in the series is Unravel Me and the final book Ignite Me concludes the series.  There are also two companion novels: Destroy Me and Fracture Me (combined in one renamed Unite Me).

The last few dystopian trilogies I've read I have been so disappointed in the final book... so I was hesitant to pick this one up because I so desperately wanted it to be amazing. And... it was. It so was. I got what I wanted from this book, lose ends tied up, great love story, etc. This book was a little different from the other two books in the series in that Juliette has grown up. She no longer censures her thoughts and feelings, so there are no more strike throughs for her thoughts, she shares exactly what she thinks and feels despite who it may hurt and she really has learned how to protect herself. I do recommend this trilogy, the way it is written is very different stylistically than 99% of books out there and you will either love it or hate it. I loved it. 

SPOILERS BELOW:Poor Adam. I think maybe the author didn't like him much by book three? I don't know what I was hoping for his character, I just can't help feeling he got that short end of the stick. he just got left hanging. I felt that in book two to a degree, but book three, I really felt for him. He is a good guy, great big brother and I felt sad for him when Juliette "outgrew" him and could be so cold to him. She basically retracts any feelings she had for him in book one and then claims that their only link was Warner. Again, poor Adam. I understand that couples fall out of love and relationships end and I get that her character finally learned to be honest with herself and defend herself, but come on, be humane to the first person to treat you humanely. I don't feel like I got much of a resolution with his character, I kind of just watched him fade away, become angry and emotional and get beat up the whole book. Adam's character ARC was not my favorite, but love triangles are tricky and I was team warner, so in the end... 

Then there is Warner, Aaron. Misunderstood, slightly crazy, Aaron. The guy you love, but kind of hate and completely distrust, but somehow with each new layer and truth you can't help but root for him to win the girl. Their scenes together so good. The conversations and the way each character speaks... so good. Relationships take center stage to action in this book, which I didn't mind. A few issues I take with this book, yes Anderson bullies Juliette, he tries to kill her, but Warner, maybe even Adam, had more cause, in my opinion, to be the one to end Anderson. The entire series builds to this climax, this end, and it felt a little glossed over. Not necessarily rushed, but like the book became less about the story and more about the relationship, again OK with me but maybe not some. I would like to have seen more of a resolution for Adam and for Warner with both of his parents, between Juliette and Adam and was it just me or did anyone else think that Juliette would make absolutely THE worst leader of a country ever! by the end of this series she has just barely harnessed her fatal powers, she is a little too honest, and has become pretty selfish. I don't knows that strength makes you the best leader necessarily. But, I guess it did make for a good ending. soooo.... I know it sounds like I have some misgivings about the book, but it was hard to tear me away from, I really did enjoy it and I would recommend the series. I will read more from this author.

If you like this book you might also enjoy:

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Pivot Point by Kasie West
Birthmarked by Caraugh O'Brien

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