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.

  • I picked up Shatter Me when it first came out and put it aside–forever–after about 10 pages. The writing style just wasn't for me. At all. I'm starting to realize more and more that the paranormal books that I really enjoy are going to be very few and far between. It just isn't my genre. So I've read a few reviews for this book because I know there is no way I'll ever read it and it seems that people either love, love, love it or hate it with some pretty fierce passion. It's a bummer this one was such a major disappointment for you. I hope your next week is much better. Great review!

  • This book was clearly written for the fans of that team. The author threw away everything that she wrote in the first book out of the window just so she could justify her choice. Fuck it. When I found out it made me mad, but I'm glad I didn't read it. I feel like it would anger me and make me want to burn the book (which would probably set off the alarms in my dorm). BUT, I was not as invested as many readers in this series, so I was only devastated for a few days.
    You're one brave brave soul for having finished this! 🙂
    Great review, Joy!

  • LOL – oh man, this review is awesome. I haven't read this series, but seriously, the things you mention can be said about so many YA books out there. I've wanted to read this, especially since I already have the 1st book, but now I'm beyond curious. 😀

  • I love this review, Joy. <3 And I was finally brave enough to read your review, lol. You say it so well. Sigh. As you know, I'm never ever risking my heart reading the last two books in this series. Like you, I loved Shatter Me SO MUCH. But then these two came out and ruined everything. I agree with everything you said. And sigh. It breaks my heart that books can be this cruel and heartbreaking. I just want books to make me feel better. Sigh. But that did not happen with these 🙂 Anyway. Amazing review Joy. <3 Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • ouch, difficult… I confess I haven't read the series but if this one is like that I'm not sure that I should try book 1…

  • Yeah, Rachel. If you're like me, an Adam sympathizer, then brace yourself. Oh the agony!

  • I swear, YA books are like soap operas or TV series! We get so caught up in it that it's almost like real life. Ugh.

  • I wish I ignored it. I wish I didn't give in. Good for you, Sam. Because trust me, it's not going to be pretty. Juliette was just. Just ridiculous.

  • Hate it. Hate it, with a passion! I'll be looking forward to your review, Dre!

  • Right? We can always count on Melina to give us something out of the norm.

  • I was one of those Adam sympathizers so it hurt more, I think. It was such an about-face! Anyway, glad you enjoyed it and thank you!

  • I'll be looking forward to reading your review, Sara. I resisted being all spoilery, but if you ask me, the author has already spoiled it with her novellas anyway. So, go on, girl. Spoil us!

  • So tired of those teams! I'll be sticking to Adult Fictions more, trust me. Thanks for stopping by!

  • There are a lot more people who ended up loving this, Miss Wendy. But you know how I feel about love triangle. >.<

  • Ultimately, everything hinges on whether or not you like the pairing. Unfortunately, this series' plot focus was all on whom Juliette would choose. So if you have no problem whatsoever with either boys, I think you'll enjoy it.

  • I don't know if I'll even pick this up, although I did buy a copy. :/ I'm definitely not reading the novellas because I'm sure I'd get ticked, with Adam's especially. I've heard Adam and Warner are unrecognizable from Shatter Me. That's disappointing because I think it was done to change up the love interest and make the masses happy at the final choice. Whatever. I guess I'll see if I ever pick this up. Wonderful review, Joy! 🙂

  • I completely understand your feelings Joy, whilst I was able to enjoy this book a bit more than you do, there were aspects which I couldn't believe that had been written into the story. The way that Adam's character had completely changed, I adored his in the first book and couldn't comprehend the personality transplant he was given here. I also too found the prose slightly overwhelming at times. Thank you for your honest review Joy, I guess we have loads more heartbreak to look forward to in our future books with the amount that we invest in fictional characters, here's hoping that we won't have to suffer too much!

  • Oh Joy, I've been in this position so many times, and it sucks. It's part of the reason why I'm more open to spoilers for series written by authors I don't trust. Especially when a love triangle is in the picture. I prefer not to put myself through a story if I know it will end in disappointment for me. I absolutely loved Shatter Me, and I even enjoyed Unravel Me, despite Warner and Juliette (and even Adam) all frustrating me, but I know I could never be happy with the way things end in this one. Even if the rest of the book is good, I couldn't get over it. And so I'm choosing to pretend it doesn't exist. I'm sorry it was such an awful experience for you, though. 🙁 *hugs*

  • Oh and my review will be up on Monday!

  • Joy, we do agree on some things! I devoured this book in less than 24hours. My review is full of rants, too, but my rating isn't as bad as yours. Bonus points for Kenji! And Adam's personality facelift broke my heart 🙁 I hate love triangles. Ugh.

  • I'm so sorry darling. I know what you mean. It breaks my heart when books don't feel like home anymore. When that happens I just go back to Marchetta. She always makes me feel better. Xoxo

  • I didn't dislike this book as much as you, but I definitely agree with some of the points you made. I listened to books one and two on audio to review for Ignite Me, and I was also struck by how much of these books is Juliette in her own head, going on and on about stuff. The dystopian storyline is really just a backdrop, not really central to the story. (A friend of mine just emailed and said, “really? you didn't notice that until now?”) Nope, I didn't. I guess I was distracted by Warner 🙂

    I also agree with you about the triangle. I had some issues with the way that was handled. I would love it if just one author would have have the girl choose neither guy. Choose herself. For Juliette, that actually would have been a great choice, and one that didn't SPOILER ALERT tear two brothers apart. I'm sure a lot of readers would hate that, but it would be kinda cool.

    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

  • So well put, Joy. My poor review is all ranty. And full of spoilers. I couldn't hold back. lol (It's not up yet though. I keep staring at it and adjusting)

  • “I need to stop investing portions of my heart on authors characters 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.” I feel exactly the SAME way about some books/series. It's one of the reasons I haven't even started this one. I think I'll be sticking with reading standalones and lesser known books/classics, somehow they never disappoint or at least not as much as these Team X vs. Team Y books.

  • Oh, crap. I read the first book with middling feelings, but was curious about where the story went. So many people seem to be upset by this ending that it makes me very nervous about finishing off the series, though. I'm sorry you were disappointed! That “personality facelift” thing is a huge pet peeve of mine. :/

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  • Sorry it was a disappointment. It has been a while since I have read book 2 so maybe it will be better for me because I have high hopes.