I’ve already expressed my love for Tahereh Mafi’s work in my previous review about Unravel Me, the second installment in the Shatter Me series. So I was obviously waiting eagerly, to read the final book in this series, and I have to say, I was surprised, a little bit. But I enjoyed it, a lot, as much as I did for the others. Maybe I expected something a little more spectacular, or maybe I was expecting too much. I can’t really tell. However, Ignite Me was true to the rest of the series: full of feelings, and I was taken away by the author’s amazing prose. Nothing to be disappointed of, too much. Warning : this is not a spoiler free review, because it’s the last installment, I can’t talk about it without revealing key points. If you didn’t read it, go straight to the last paragraph, and find out the reasons why you should read this series. Seriously, read it. It’s so worth the ride.
“Words, I think, are such unpredictable creatures.
No gun, no sword, no army or king will ever be more powerful than a sentence. Swords may cut and kill, but words will stab and stay, burying themselves in our bones to become corpses we carry into the future, all the time digging and failing to rip their skeletons from our flesh.”
After all the action at the end of Unravel Me, I was expecting this book to continue in that direction. I found myself kind of disappointed, on that point. After the first battle, Juliette wakes up in Warner’s room. She doesn’t know whether all of her friends are dead, or alive, and for how long. As always, at the beginning of the book, I got carried away by this beautiful writing style, and I was eager to read, more and more of this story. And I was surprised : after all the action we get, at the end of Unravel Me, there, we take a break. I never thought of this series as plot-driven : it was always focusing on the characters, especially Juliette. There, at the beginning of Ignite Me, there’s clearly a big focus on the characters, Juliette, and Warner and their interactions. I kept waiting for more, and more, for something to move on, the action to suddenly come knocking on their door and getting them out, a little bit. I found that moment long, very long to come. Sadly, this is what disappointed me a little in this book. I can’t say I was waiting for an action-packed story : knowing the previous installment, I knew this isn’t the strong suit of this series. However, given that this book is the LAST one… Juliette is planning to take DOWN the Reestablisment. I clearly felt like she, and Warner, didn’t move a lot to do something.
That being said, I absolutely loved this book, still. This seems paradoxal, but I assure you, it’s not. This book is, as I said before, character-driven. And I found it amazing. Juliette’s character wasn’t my favorite at the beginning of this series. Point by point, day by day, we see her growing into this strong person, taking matters into her own hands, mostly in this final book. That’s what was supposed to happen, from day one, from page one of this book, where we meet this lost, confused girl locked up. I was very satisfied by her evolution, this final installment is the high point for her evolution. I loved it. I went from, in the first book, to not really liking this character, to finally, loving her, seeing her embrace who she is and what she can do. So, hands down for that. We witness the same process with Warner’s character, well, kind of. We see him grow, deeper, we get to see who he really is, what’s his background, what makes him who he is, now. For people who didn’t love him before, I can totally understand, but I wouldn’t really understand how you can’t find him a little more human after reading this book. Tahereh Mafi shows us the journey he went through, to become this awful character we don’t get, and hate, in the first books. We finally get to understand him, and even, like him. I loved him, in this final book. And the relationship betweeen those two…I could talk about it for hours. I loved it. The way it took time for Juliette to understand her feelings. The way they were close, then far away, before finally, getting to a point where they’re together. Where they’re supposed to be. Warner believes in her abilities, Juliette sees the truth he hides behind his hard eyes. A great relationship, built in time.
“Hey, um, I’m sorry to bother you, but I’m looking for a friend of mine,” he says. “Have you seen her? She’s a tiny little thing, cries a lot, spends too much time with her feelings-”
“Shut up, Kenji!”
“Oh wait!” he says. “It is you.”
I need to talk about the other characters in this story, too. In this story, the author brings out a great panel of different characters, with their own personnalities, and that’s the strong point of this book. That’s also why I loved it so much : I’ll never say it enough, characters are what makes me get attached to a story. My favorite will always stay Kenji : he’s true to himself, he brings some lightness in an heavy atmosphere, he’s an amazing friend. I loved all the passages where we witnessed his friendship with Juliette. I definitely need a best friend like that in my life. However, I need to point out a little disappointment, in the characters. It’s Adam. This sweet, kind boy, grows into someone I couldn’t stand in this book. He was unbearable, closed off, stubborn, I could have slapped him everytime he opened his mouth. I need to say, though, that his sudden change is understandable. He thinks that Juliette is dead, only to find out she was with Warner all this time. I can understand that. But the guy needs to move on. I’m glad that, at the end, it seemed like he did, a little bit.
Now on to the ending…that’s where we get all the action. Sadly, I found it a little bit rushed : all the actions happens in a row, and Anderson died too fast, too easily. This isn’t how I expected it to happen ; I thought there would be a little more obstacles before it ended. I would have enjoyed more pages at the end of this book, to extend the action a little. I’m not the biggest fan of action-packed books, and I didn’t expect this one to become a kind of Divergent story. But I thought it would get more difficult, before we get to an ending. I could add that, an epilogue, or more chapters to see how Juliette can lead a whole revolution, would be great. But I won’t. Because I loved the sense of unfinished that this ending gave us. The kind of open ending that let you imagine what can happen, how. The kind that leaves you, reader, free to imagine the destiny of those characters. That’s what makes you keep this story longer in your mind, and your heart. A great ending.
THIS PART IS SPOILER FREE, if you just want to know why you should read this series. I have to say, I never read a series quite like this one. It’s one of a kind. Because of the writing style, amazing, making you feel things on a whole new level. Because of the story, the characters : you see them grow, develop, become who they’re supposed to be from day one. If you’re looking for an original story, character-driven, filled with words that will stay in your mind forever, then pick up Shatter Me, right away. This is the book for you.
The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, 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.