Author: Tahereh Mafi
The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Hollow City, 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.
*Spoilers! Ye be warned.
Well, I will say this: Chapter 55 did not disappoint.
But we’ll get back to that shortly. Firstly, I wanna talk about Juliette. Why? Because she’s now solidified herself as one of my favorite heroines ever. Her character arc has been AMAZING. She started out as this passive, childlike, and a little insane girl who grows into this fiercely badass woman. A woman who steps up, accepts herself, and takes control of her life when everyone has always dictated what she should do and be and say. But this time, she won’t let anyone knock her down. And even if they did, she’d pick herself back up and let it strengthen her. She goes through so much in these book, but she never once gives up. And after living all these years with no purpose or hope for a future, she’s finally given herself one. A dream that she wants. One that will push her, and scare her, but ultimately gives her hope for a better future. She has, for the first time, a purpose and a driven need to accomplish it. And people who will stand by her side through anything. She grows into the kind of person who can do so much good in the world, something no one ever thought possible because they considered her a monster. They told her she wasn’t human. But she’s the most human of them all, and that’s what makes her beautiful. Her kindness, her way of forgiving those who tried to do her harm, and her courage in life. Her strength. Her vulnerability and way of still letting herself feel emotions and have a romance when her life is threatened. Guys, I could write a whole fucking essay about how much I love Juliette, but I’ll save you the torture. Just know that she is so fierce and badass and will make you go GIRL POWER FTW FUCK YES JULIETTE YOU TAKE THEM DOWN DON’T STOP FOR ANYTHING DESTROY THE WORLD.
But, you know, let’s talk about Adam now. Because I have thoughtsssss about him. Okay, so he turns into a dick in this book. It’s not completely out-of-the-blue (since in Unravel Me, he started to, well, unravel), but it does feel like his character was given a complete 180 to make Juliette’s choice easier. And it IS a choice, the love triangle. Even with Adam’s asshole tendencies, he is still GOOD inside. Still worthy not be written off as a jerk forever (because let’s face it, Warner’s not exactly a gentleman). I think everything that happened just sort of caught up to him, and he snapped. BUT I do NOT appreciate how, after all that he said to her, he didn’t apologize. Not once. He didn’t even really accept her, or her feelings for Warner, by the end. And that is what pisses me off about his character. That he was flipped on the other side like a coin, and was made out to be this guy who loses what made him so good in the first place. And while maybe that did make Juliette’s life easier, she never would have chosen him. Adam is a good guy, but he's not for her, and he's just trying to keep his little brother safe in this book. Yeah, he's a dick, but he's still the guy who gave a young girl the only kindness she'd ever known. He's just letting his jealousy and anger cloud his judgment (but like, get over it dude YOU'RE AT WAR IT DOESN'T MATTER RIGHT NOW). *cough* Anyway, I still like Adam fine, but he's no Warner.
I believed, in the sequel, that Warner was a better fit and I still do. He has always completely and wholeheartedly accepted Juliette as she was, even when he didn’t know her. And in this book, you see his character even more fleshed out and rounded. A character who is so complicated, so mean and calculated, but so wonderfully human. He is one of those “villains” you can’t help but root for, even when you want to hate him. His character arc has been truly and brilliantly done. God, I love him. I love his anger, his passion, his strength. I love how he protects Juliette but still gives her room to grow without him. I hate that he’s been so damaged that he believes that he can never be anything. But then you see the way he treats Juliette (well, not when they first met, since he could have made things a hell of a lot easier for her if he had COMMUNICATED and been just remotely nice), and the way he cares for his mother. You can see the goodness in him when he plays with a dog when nobody's looking, when he helps Juliette’s friends even though he doesn’t care about them, when he stays by his mother’s side even when she loses her mind and hurts him. He has gone through so much, it hurts my heart. Because he’s only 19 years old. NINETEEN. He’s just a kid. And one who finally realizes that he can be more than what people think, more than what his father turned him into. He can be anyone he wants to be, if he so chooses. He doesn’t have those metaphorical chains wrapped around him anymore. He’s finally free.
“If you hide your heart, he will never be able to take it from you.”
“How can I hate his anger when I know so well where it comes from?”
ASDFJKL; I JUST LOVE HIM AND HIS QUOTES SO MUCH. #WarnerDefenseSquad
Juliette’s and Warner’s romance is so endearing and lovely to watch unfold. These two characters, who were so broken and scarred, found in each other a friendship and a love that masks the bad. That drives the pain of their childhoods away. They understand each other so well, and that’s what gives them a connection that Juliette never would have had with Adam. They make each other BETTER. And I adored reading about them falling in love with each other. Also like I said above, Chapter 55 did NOT disappoint. ;) The drama from the romance though, especially in the beginning, I could have done without (between J and Adam, not her and Warner). Remember what I said about his 180? Yeaaaaaah…it makes you want to throw your book at the wall, but it eventually dies down, especially when Juliette doesn’t back down from choosing what and who she wants. Besides, Warner and his goddamn beautiful smile and mouth, will make you forget everything else.
Oh, and I HAVE to talk about Kenji! My main man. The loveliest human being to ever walk this dystopian world. He did make me want to slap him because of his comments at times, especially when he kept disregarding Juliette’s feelings and not seeing her side of anything when it came to Warner (not that I don’t blame him necessarily, given that he was a soldier in the army, but still CHILL DUDE). He does grow quite a bit in this book, and I especially loved his friendship with Juliette. They are really each other’s best friend, and I loved that the author took the time to strengthen their relationship and give us a little normalcy in-between the extraordinary plot.
But, the ONLY disappointing thing about Ignite Me WAS the plot. And the superhero story-line. Firstly, the characters spent up until the last 50 pages or so in one place, building up a plan to destroy Warner’s dad and take control of the sector. They spent so much time building it up that the actual “battle” was thoroughly underwhelming and frankly anticlimactic. It was all of like 10 pages, and we only ever saw Juliette working her powers (understandable since it was her POV but it left out a sense of teamwork I desperately wanted). And the superhero aspect of this story kind of fell flat from the excitement of the first and second books, too. I don’t think it was explored nearly enough, nor the other characters given proper time to be more fleshed out. I was expecting something entirely different from that ending, but it didn’t take away any enjoyment I got from the book. Especially when it ended with Juliette and Warner, together, as it was meant to.
I’m pretty sure every single review of this series was about how much I loved Juliette. And Warner. Separately, and together. They were really the shining pieces in the books. But I did come to really love this series as a whole, and my feelings just grew in intensity after each one. No, Ignite Me wasn’t the perfect ending to the epicness that started in Shatter Me and continued in the sequel, but I didn’t mind it so much. My love for these characters far outweighs a mediocre plot.