Ignite Me [Shatter Me, #3] by Tahereh Mafi

Ignite Me [Shatter Me, #3] by Tahereh Mafi
Harper Collins | Hardcover, 416 pages
February 4th, 2014
Young Adult
Rating: 1 out of 5 Stars

Last weekend, I’ve decided to finish off a popular series that I’m sure the majority of us, YA loving community have anticipated, read, and hated loved during the course of its life.  When I first read Shatter Me, there was never a question in my mind of how talented Ms. Mafi is. I’d even go as far as to say that she’d set the precedence for stories of the same trope: the teenager who’d been cursed with the ability to kill with a touch. But what sets her off is the beautiful writing that I’ve come to envy since then.
 
Despite of that, I chose to postpone reading Unravel Me until the last book of the trilogy came out. I can’t be bothered to waste my emotions longing for a book that was an entire year in the making.  Though there are some books that I feel is worth the wait and the pain (The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, The Black Dagger Brotherhood by J. R. Ward). Besides, there was another reason why I held off reading this: the murmurings of a painful love triangle and the direction on which the author was going to take it. 

So here I am, completely drained from gorging myself with Mafi’s books.
 

That was not a good idea.

It took me a couple of chapters to realize how suicide-inducing being in Juliette’s head was. What I initially thought was beautiful prose then, was actually torturous reading this time around. It got so bad that I started skipping some of her inner monologues and lamentations. Herein lies the core of why I ended up disliking this series. I’d developed an annoyance with Juliette. She was the most depressing character I’ve ever read. I’d hoped that reading snippets of her diary would appeal to my empathic side. Sadly, that was not the case.  

When Shatter Me ended, she was so full of spunk and determination that she was going to go out hands a-blazing with a kick ass costume to boot.  To my bitter disappointment, however, Unravel Me began with her usual soliloquys of abandonment, unworthiness, monstrosity…blah blah fucking blah.  Perhaps I have a black heart, but after a while, Juliette’s endless woe-is-me dirges became too much for me to bear.
 
Ignite Me and the preceding novellas (tried to) debunked everything I’ve come to loathe about Warner. This is where the author gave Adam a personality facelift. It was heartbreaking to see him so angry. This is  also where the author conveniently ingrained the idea that she would be breaking the hearts of those on the “other” team. 
 
Much of the reviews have given Juliette a pat on the back for “growing up”, for believing in herself and for obtaining girl power. Well, yeah. I get that. But you know what would’ve been a better way to celebrate her coming to terms with how strong she came to be? If she ended up with neither boys.
 
Juliette, here’s what I said to Taylor Swift: It’s okay to be alone. You are your own person. You are strong. You don’t need anyone to validate the person that you’ve become. Those two boys have hurt you in their own ways. But you know what I disliked the most about your own transformation and ultimately the reason why I hate love triangles? You waffled. You waffled, waffled and waffled.  The love you declared in the first book? A sham. A fucking lie. You don’t know what the word means. Stop throwing that word around, authors. You’re giving me complex. You are making me doubt my very definition of it! Actually, that’s a lie. You’re educating me. Love is apparently, a fickle thing by your definition. The next time someone declares that in a book, I’m going to stand here in all my cynical glory.

I should’ve quit at Shatter Me. I’m so sick of disappointments. I need to stop investing portions of my heart on authorscharacters that only fail me in the end. I can’t do it anymore.  I used to think that books are like my friends; that no matter how bad a day I had, I will go home and they’ll be there to comfort me.  However, just like in life, there are books that are temporary allies; false friends that we’re better off living without.

 

John Green said something about it’s not the author’s job to give us happy endings or hold our hands or some shit. And to some degree, I understand what he’s talking about. The thing is, we can’t turn off our emotions like a spigot, ya know? It’s our fault as readers for investing too much of ourselves in books. I guess it’s also our fault for falling in love with fictional characters. But when we fall out of love, the betrayal cuts deep. So, Shatter Me, I wish I could say, it’s not you, it’s me. This time, it’s really you.

 

Spoiler Alert:

Reading the novellas will pretty much tell you how this fucking ridiculous love triangle ends.