Oh Ignite Me, let me count the ways…
Spoiler FREE section: (Spoilers marked below!)
I feel so inadequate, trying to express my feelings for this book. In the last week, I have read three series finales. I have a three book hangover. I’m trying to recover. I loved each of them. I loved them all for different reasons. I need to reread them all. The first two, were beautiful in regards to their relationships as well as their great action-adventure story telling throughout. Ignite Me, I would say was more about the relational romance dynamics with a backdrop of the world-building plot and let me tell you…I did not hate it! It was cool to see a romance that was set within a dystopian backdrop, but the dystopian plot not being the focus of the story. It was a character story.
Overview of the series:
If you’re looking for a detailed world-building, intense, action-packed, classic dystopian novel, this isn’t it. The theme and dynamics connected to our main character is Dystopian in nature, but the story is a relationship-centric romance.
I believe, if you can go into the story with that in mind, you can then appreciate it for what it is. The core of the Shatter Me series is about Juliette. It is a character story following the journey of a young girl who we first meet as timid, tortured, living within the frightened shell of her mind, shunned by people due to her ability to kill with just the touch of her skin.
Through the three books, we see her first (Shatter Me), experience freedom with Adam—a young solider, struggling in poverty to make ends meet for him and his ten year old brother. We meet a sadistic, sociopath named Warner—a leader of the military in Sector 45 and son to the Commander of the Reestablishment. Warner begins as Juliette’s captor, a monster trying to bring out the monster within her, which she desperately fears and hates. She wants to hide away from the big bad world and Adam shelters her, protects her, keeps her away from all she fears—or he tries. No one can touch her. No one but Adam. This begins the bond between them. Juliette, holding to hope, believing fate brought the one person who can touch her…until Warner too, touches her.
Come book two—Unravel Me—we begin to see Warner in a different light—especially if you read the novella in between the first two books, Destroy Me. Adam’s and Juliette’s relationship begins to suffer. Her touch is beginning to drain him, kill him slowly. His ability—which no one, not even him, knew he had—was what allowed him to touch her, and deflect her power, only now, by doing so, it drains his energy. Then we find out that Warner too has his ability, and not only can he touch her, but her touch strengthens him, fills him, doesn’t hurt him as it does Adam.
Now let’s get into it—Book three. IGNITE ME
Here is where Juliette breaks out of the frightened, little girl shell and determines herself to live differently. She will no longer be afraid. She will learn to truly live. She would have done everything different if she could but chooses to look ahead and live each day with confidence, and determination to make tomorrow different. For her. For everyone.
I loved many things about this book! It truly was focused on Juliette’s journey with herself and with love. The rest of the world-building plot took a back seat, providing a backdrop and scenery for the real story.
At first, the love triangle.
The changes taking place in Juliette.
Many things we saw within the first two books through Juliette’s perspective get confronted and challenged.
Suddenly, things she thought she knew, things she believed happened, in fact, did not happen the way she thought. Through her perspective, we all, together learn these things as well.
Kenji is pure, awesome, ridiculousness and has by far, most of the best lines ever, in this book. I laughed out loud so many times, I can’t count and 99% of the time, it was cause Kenji spoke. I enjoyed very much Kenji and Juliette’s friendship in this book. In book two, I didn’t connect with it because it was still growing. By book three, they’re friendship is a solid best friendship and I loved it! I loved their conversations, his candidness with her, his vulnerability. He provided such a wonderful bridge, and comic relief to so much of the story. He was more of a main character in this book.
The end for me needed more pages. For the most part, there is enough resolution. All in all, I am very happy with who Juliette ends up with. It is most definitely the best choice for her and I love how Tahereh developed it further in this book. I love that she allowed us to SEE it, enjoy it and not just wrapped it up in the end with, “And Juliette chose so and so and now live HEA.” No, she let us in. I liked that very much.
I loved this book. I loved the “love”. I loved Kenji and his friendship with Juliette. I am satisfied with the ending—though there is a little more I would’ve wanted. Just a few more pages Tahereh.
I would definitely recommend this series!
By the way, yeah, I won’t do a Memorable Moments Tab because I would pretty much be sharing the ENTIRE BOOK. I’ve never had so many tabs in a book before. No one would need to read the book after I’m done. They would have it here. Ha! So let’s just discuss it 🙂
Through out the book, a lot doesn’t actually happen other than everyone training but what I did like about that was that it gave room for the development of Juliette falling in love with Warner. I truly appreciated how Tahereh built that story line, how she let us SEE the process of Juliette falling in love with Warner. I didn’t mind that it took till Chapter 55 (oh dear goodness me, Chapter 55 *blushes) for them to officially come together. Everything leading up to that was brilliant because she allowed us to see the development. I loved that this book was pretty much Juliette, Warner and Kenji. Ha! Awesome.
Now, I do agree with some that there could have been perhaps more Anderson. He’s such a strong villain and an opposition to the story. I mean, yes, we definitely got a good clear picture of him in Unravel Me. You hate me. You understand he’s bad. There were no holes about his character but what I would have really like perhaps was in the end, or near the end, a Warner and Anderson and maybe even Adam showdown, resolution.
Maybe not so much throughout the story, because as I mentioned, I really enjoyed that time being dedicated to Juliette’s growth and seeing her fall in love with Warner and understanding what her true feelings were towards Adam all along. Perhaps in the end, it would have felt like a well-rounded ending if when it was actually time for action…there was um…action. More action, showing the rest of the group’s battle, struggle. A little more conflict perhaps.
I did NOT expect Warner’s reaction to be what it was after he finds out Adam and James are his brothers. My heart melted. I LOVED his walls coming down, feeling sorry and guilty for almost killing his own brothers. He lost his mother (oh my goodness, talk about heart shattering quiver lip. I can’t see a man cry. Breaks my heart. Man Warner, you won my heart in this book), he gained two brothers and was eager to make amends and spend time with them. Get to know them. Build that brotherly bond that was lost for so many years. So weird to think Warner’s the older brother. Oh my goodness, I LOVED (I need a thesaurus, I know) James and Warner conversing. I wanted more! I wanted James to keep breaking down Warner’s walls, especially AFTER Warner found out, I wanted him and James to chat more, bond. Too cute.
Juliette’s Personal Journey
Quiet, fearful, sweet, tormented girl at first…in the end she is strong, confident, aware of life, and of herself. Thank goodness, cause yes, Juliette’s feeble minded self drove me crazy sometimes but that was the point. The point was to really see a character arc and transformation. She came into her own. She learned so much about herself and from there, understood what she needed, which in turn was what she wanted and not by default because…SHE COULD TOUCH PEOPLE NOW! How cute was that scene with Kenji, holding his hands, tears in her eyes. She learned to control her lethal touch, now being able to have skin to skin contact. *wipes happy tear* How did we know this? Because of Adam’s jerk of a move that could have killed Kenji, dang it! Oh my goodness, let’s talk about that for a moment.
But lastly, the famous quote:
I am no longer afraid of fear, and I will not let it rule me.
Fear will learn to fear me. -page 103
Adam Goes From Boring To JERK Mode!
Omygoodness, Adam, what the hell?!
Book one, I was team Adam, all the way. There was so much, I felt, that he was still holding back, and hiding. He was sweet and hot, (yes, um, shower scene, anyone?) and caring and protective but there was something lacking. Come Unravel Me, I was a bit torn. I was still wanting to be Team Adam, but then he got all crippling by the news of his ability and how Juliette’s touch weakens him more than anything. He became desperate and distant and a bit of a pansy here. I was wanting so bad for him to man up and I felt bad for him. Juliette refused in her “love” for him to hurt him. She broke up with him. She walked away from him. Things got awkward between them and then entered Warner. He started to fog up my head and judgment as he did with Juliette. I didn’t know what I wanted. I came into Ignite Me thinking, Adam’s going to redeem himself, be so freaking awesome and be the healthy choice for Juliette.
Holy Baloney was I wrong.
I hadn’t read Destroy Me before but I knew there were some misunderstandings about Warner from Shatter Me. Chapter 62 in Unravel Me (hot dang) had me swaying but I thought still, something would happen where Warner wouldn’t be the right choice in the end. So I thought. Ha.
I didn’t finish reading Fracture Me before this, so I didn’t even see when Adam starting showing his jerk side. I was completely blind-sided, as I’m sure was Juliette, by Adam’s behavior. Man, talk about sore loser. He became venomous. I was hurt by his toxic words towards her. Granted, I did feel bad for him.
“All of this,” he says, meeting my eyes, his voice quieting to a raw, aching whisper, “was for you. I left everything I knew because I thought we were in this together. I thought it was going to be me and you.” His eyes are so dark, so deep, so hurt. Looking at him makes me want to curl up and die. “What are you doing?” he says, desperate now. “What are you thinking?” -page 135
Ugh. Ok, here, my heart went out to him. I saw how he thought, as did I, leaving Unravel Me, things weren’t technically over. He thought, we were on a break. *chuckles* Ah, Ross from FRIENDS comes to mind.
“We were on A BREAK!!!”
He held hope that once he could control his power, and not be hurt by Juliette’s touch anymore, they could be together again. I totally get that but then…Oh, but then…there was NO excuse for his behavior, his harsh words. That says a lot about a person. In the long run, he would NOT be someone I would want to be with if that’s how he reacts when he doesn’t get his way. Hell to the No!
Page 167, which I like to call…Where All Hell Breaks Loose.
Adam finds out Warner is returning to his house to meet with everyone about the plan to work together to take down The Reestablishment and ultimately, his father, Anderson.
Adam. Flips. Out. and kicks Juliette out. Let’s just review some of the lovely phrases Adam spewed within just a couple of pages. Sorry Adam shippers, but I had hope, kind of, for Adam and Juliette still until THIS. I lost all respect for Adam.
“She can go do whatever the hell she wants.” He turns to me again. “You want to be with him?” He points to the door. “Go. Drop. dead.”
Juliette’s inside are breaking and Kenji’s trying, pleading with her not to go, but how could she not? Adam’s there, waiting, spitting in her face practically to get the hell out of his place.
“I was happier,” Adam says, “when I thought she was dead.”
“You don’t mean that. Don’t say things like that, man. Once you say that kind of shit you can’t take it back–”
“Oh, I mean it,” Adam says. “I really, really mean it.” He finally looks at me. Fists clenched. “Thinking you were dead,” he says to me, “was so much better. It hurt so much less than this.”
Oh, and there was more. My mouth was gaped open, in shock. My heart was punched. It’s like I was there, looking over at frozen Juliette, trying not to cry, trying not to fall apart, and my heart ached for her. I was there, part of the nine, looking at Adam, then at Juliette, then at Adam again, shocked at how someone could do such a 180. Later, Juliette’s standing there frozen, not registering voices and pressing the clicker over and over and over again, hoping Warner would come and rescue her from this heart break.
From the moment Warner rushed in, straight to her, cupping her face, so worried, I was done. I was 150% team Warner from here on. -pages 167-175
On To Happier Times: KENJI
I should do a post just on Kenji’s one-liners. Man, he made me laugh out loud SO many times. That doesn’t happen often. I’ll smile or chuckle inwardly with a book but no, Kenji flat out made me laugh. Him and Juliette on the roof, sharing their feelings. Too cute. It was nice to see the natural, vulnerable side of Kenji that he only allowed Juliette to see, and perhaps Castle but we never see those moments. By the end, as they were going to attack Anderson, one Kenji moment stood out, and I was cracking up.
“…I know I am an extremely attractive man, J, “
Um, can we just pause at the cuteness of his new nickname for her. I loved when he started calling her J, all the time.
“but I am not Bruce Lee.”
“Who’s Bruce Lee?”
“Who’s Bruce Lee?” Kenji asks, horrified. “Oh my God. We can’t even be friends anymore.”
“Why? Was he a friend of yours?”
“You know what,” he says, “just stop. Just–I can’t even talk to you right now.” -page 371
I’m laughing right now just typing and reading it again. LOVE. IT!
And finally…The End
As Katytastic on YouTube described:
This was for me, the one thing that left me a little bit conflicted in the end. I finished the book, after binge reading it for seven hours, and though I was smiling on the inside and out, the entire time, I closed the book and said,
Was there an epic, elaborate battle scene in the end? Kind of? Nope, not really. It was a medium sized intensity battle scene. The entire “confront the bad guy resolution” begin and happened within the last 10 pages of the book.
I’m reading, and freaking out because as I read, I look over and notice, the pages are dwindling FAST. Chapters are ending quickly, becoming shorter and shorter and I’m tensing up thinking,
“Tahereh, how the hell is this ending? How can you possibly wrap this up soon? Is there an epilogue? (nope)”
There were a few things I wanted. The last pages felt rushed. There needed to be more pages to round it up better, if that makes sense. It felt like the ending, after this whole emotional journey, was merely snapshots of what happened in the end, with missing pieces.
It was battle time.
We got a lot of tension with Juliette running around tight, military hallways for like three chapters and some weird, unknown thing overpowering her for a few minutes, Kenji finally showing up but now will he live, and then Juliette overcoming the thing which turns out to be a person with crushing sound wave abilities, then Anderson and her two second showdown. The end. Oh wait, and then there was ‘Where are my friends, pause. Oh, there they are, sweet. Wait, where’s Warner? Phew, there he is, hugging me. The World aint got nothing on us. Now, the end.
Wait, what? That all happened in like 20 pages. That was the quickest wrap up of life. I just needed a little bit more. More conflict. More of the battle in the sector with everyone else in the group, perhaps a Anderson and Warner verbal showdown, confrontation. Before all that, I wanted more bro bonding between Adam, James and Warner. I wanted to see it. Especially more James and Warner convo. I wanted an epilogue with more of Warner and Juliette, together, living this new reality. *sighs*
All in all, I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK! I will re-read it again. I need to read it more slowly, enjoy, digest the awesomeness. The ending conflicted me a bit, hence I gave it a 4.5 on Goodreads but putting that aside, I am satisfied with the ending. I am most definitely happy with who Juliette falls in love with. I love them together. I’m in SHOCK, looking back at how I perceived Warner, and seeing how much I LOVE him now, which is crazy but it’s true!
YAY TAHEREH MAFI! Thank you for such an awesome series that made me laugh, and FREAKING blush, woman! Thank you for SHOWING us, Juliette falling in love and actually allowing us to see them BE together. It wasn’t, she chooses Warner in the end and now imagine what them being together would be like. No, we get to see their relationship for a bit and it was AWESOME!
Really LONG book talk but there was just too much to say about this awesome ending. Best of the three books by far!
And that’s all folks! Fangirl with me in the comments below!
Oh, and if any of you know about BookTube, check out Christine’s (PolandBananasBooks) Book Talk below. I love her! Loved this book chat about Ignite Me! Enjoy