Thu, February 20, 2014

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi Review

Ignite Me book cover

Ignite Me book cover

Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3)
By Tahereh Mafi
Publication date: Feb. 4, 2014
HarperCollins, 416 pages
Source: Bought on my Kindle

Juliette now knows she may be the only one who can stop the Reestablishment. But to take them down, she’ll need the help of the one person she never thought she could trust: Warner. And as they work together, Juliette will discover that everything she thought she knew – about Warner, her abilities, and even Adam – was wrong.

β€” Goodreads.com description

I think Tahereh Mafi is a brilliant writer — her writing style is incredibly fresh and gorgeous.

And, beyond that, I think she’s a lovely person. I was lucky enough to go to lunch with her once when Shatter Me first came out, and she was a delight.

So it’s from a place of love that I say this: HOLY COW, TAHEREH, YOUR CHARACTERS INFURIATE ME.

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

As Juliette falls deeper and deeper for Warner, she becomes less of the Juliette we first met. And I think that’s good in theory — she was a hot mess when we first met her. But what we got here was such a total character 180 it gave me whiplash.

As a reader, I couldn’t keep up as everything that enraged me in the first few books (about Warner, about society, about so many things) was just — poof — written off. I mean, kudos to Juliette for moving on faster than I could, but it was hard for me to process. Her quick forgiveness and acceptance of Warner appalled me.

And while I think we were supposed to be pissed off by Adam…I was really rooting for him. Every single word out of his mouth was exactly what was running through my mind as I read. It was harsh, yeah, but it felt like Juliette was breaking up both him and me! Or, maybe, I was just starting to realize that who I thought she was as a main character in the first two books was phony baloney. So I was cheering him on, like, “Yeah, bro, you tell her what’s up!”

Then the ending felt rushed and I just…blah. I’m not even sure I’m Team Kenji anymore. Team No One.

Okay, clearly I’m feeling a little bitter. Truly, I feel like I’ve been dumped by this book!!!

What’s hilarious is that anyone who was even SLIGHTLY into Warner in book two is going to have a totally different reaction. And that this can’t even be a negative review because Tahereh clearly knew at least a quarter of her readers would feel this way, so it’s like: That thing you wrote knowing it would drive me nuts? You did it. And I hated it, but you succeeded at making me feel that way, so good job.

Either way, I’m very much looking forward to whatever Tahereh has in store for us next. Have you guys read it yet? Thoughts? Do I even want to know, or are you going to be all Team Satan and upset me? HAHAH. Kidding. Sort of.

Previous reviews: Shatter Me | Unravel Me

Anna Reads young adult book blog

PS: Is this the longest review I’ve ever written? Was this rant even readable?

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Posted by: Anna   •   In: paranormal, tahereh mafi
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23 Comments

  1. Allie @ Little Birdie said:

    *Spoilery comment ahead*

    Yeah, my pain problem with this was all the retconning. Everything that made Warner an interesting villain was changed so he could be a viable love interest.
    And everything that made Adam such a great guy was completely butchered so that Warner could come across as the better man.

    It was just . . . blah. It annoyed me. And more than that it annoyed me how everyone forgot about Warner stringing Adam up and leaving him to die and acted as though Adam was crazy for not moving on from that? LOL what?!

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    YES. Okay, I am not alone!!! These are my thoughts exactly. Like, that’s not a “quick to forgive” thing to me. AT ALL.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, February 20, 2014

  2. Danielle said:

    I can completely relate to your review, even though I enjoyed Warner’s evolution and enjoyed the book as a whole. I thought the end was wrapped up way too quickly and far too much time was spent with Kenji’s funny banter. I mean, I enjoyed that because it was funny, but when evaluating the book as a whole it kind of screwed up the pacing and all that. I think if this had been a first book in a series I would have had major issues, but since it was the last book and I already loved all of the characters, I overlooked a LOT. If I liked Adam, I would be furious though so I really enjoyed your review and send you happy reading vibes. πŸ˜‰

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    Good point on Kenji — I thought his silliness, while meant to lighten things up, actually just took me out of the situation. I’m glad you liked Warner. I SO wish I did — it would have made it such a calmer experience!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, February 20, 2014

  3. sarabara081 @ Forever 17 Books said:

    I don’t think a book has ever made me as mad as this one. I hate how the romance was handled in this book and how all the character were like completely different people. I’m saddened for what has happened to poor Adam. *sigh*

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    I am SO GLAD I am not alone. You don’t even know.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, February 20, 2014

  4. Shannon N. said:

    Yes! This is exactly how I felt too. I hated that 60% of the book was Mafi trying SO hard to convince us that Warner was sooooo magical and we had it wrong all along! Now, I didn’t read the novellas, which I understand show us this. But I don’t think I should have to read outside of the main novels to understand a character. Novellas shouldn’t be “game changers”. Sigh. I’m really bitter too.

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    YES. I didn’t read the novellas either because, like, should I really have to?! I vote no. Anti-novella.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, February 20, 2014

  5. Jahnelle said:

    I think the whole point of the books was Warner and Juliette, and the main problem is how well Mafi wrote Warner as a villian in the first book. Too well. The novellas were certainly eye openers to me, but everything that they covered concerning Warner was covered in the 3rd book, though it was interesting to be in his head. I think reading the novellas just gave me time (um, years?) to adjust to the fact that Warner wasn’t as bad as we assumed. Adam drove me BONKERS in the 2nd book, and the 2nd novella, so I would have been terribly annoyed if she had ended up with him. In order to love these books I had to early on decide Warner from book #1 was just Juliette’s biased, scared and skewed perception of him and not really who he was. But over the course of the books I loved Juliette’s progression from a scared, lonely girl to an empowered woman capable of taking care of herself. Though it certainly needed a “Ten Years Later” epilogue. (Thanks for your review! I was looking forward to it, I knew how much you hated Warner and wondered if the 3rd book would change your mind. I love your blog! Thanks!)

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    YES. She made him SO evil, I just didn’t buy it. And I know a lot of people did, but it just wasn’t easy for me to let go of how skeezy and rotten he was in book one. No information could wash that away from me, you know?

    And I think what is so interesting is that so many people I’ve talked to said that novella was “character assassination” of Adam, but I didn’t read it. And frankly I think most people didn’t — especially people without eReaders. So, to me, things didn’t flow as well.

    I think I might need to do a “my thoughts on novellas post,” huh? πŸ™‚ And THANK YOU for saying you love my blog. Made my day.

    [Reply]

    Jahnelle Reply:

    The 2nd novella put us in Adam’s head, which was an eye opener. He was wicked condescending and thought Juliette was a helpless wreck. He thought she was the one that almost killed Kenji, that she would fall apart if he wasn’t there to fix everything in her world, and he essentially gave up on her when she was “collected” by Anderson at the end of the 2nd book and chose his brother instead. You’re right, without reading the novella the flow is pretty rocky. Can’t wait to read the novella post – I hate novellas. Unless they are free and widely accessible. Of course that didn’t stop me from buying Mafi’s, but that’s rare.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, February 20, 2014

  6. Pam@YAEscapefromReality said:

    I completely agree with your review. It was so strange how the author thought she had to rewrite history in order to force the reader to agree with Juliette’s choice. Simulation, what? Warner was actually trying to feed Juliette because he knew she was starving…what? Why couldn’t he be a complex villain and still have Juliette choose him? And Adam…I felt so bad for him and for the horrible way Juliette treated him. And the author tried to portray him so the reader wouldn’t like him anymore and would agree that Warner was the right choice. Just very frustrating, glad to know I wasn’t alone!

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    Okay, we are totally samesies. THANK YOU. I think, for me, this is one of those books where I wanted someone to be next to me reading at the exact same pace so I could do regular check-ins to be like “You are feeling the same way as me right now, correct? I am not crazy?” Next time, Pam πŸ˜‰

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, February 20, 2014

  7. D. @ The Nerdy Journalist said:

    I agree with everything you said. I had a feeling that Ignite Me would disappoint me, but I just can’t believe that it disappointed me so much.
    Every. Single. Character. changed completely. They’ve surpassed “round character” and have now reached “must have an unknown twin running around.”
    So… yeah. I’m done.

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    Right? I was not happy with it, but at the same time I did LOVE her writing…

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, February 20, 2014

  8. Lisa is Busy Nerding said:

    I agree that the Warner stuff was like YEP OKAY WE ARE FINE instead of at least building to it, you know? Basically he explained everything away and she was like “Yep. Cool.”

    As President of the Warner fan club, even I was a bit disappoint to see him go so soft.

    And that ending. Oof.

    But anyway, I agree with you that Mafi’s writing prose is ace and I will still be reading whatever she puts out!

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    Oof is right. πŸ˜‰

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, February 20, 2014

  9. Kelly said:

    It’s funny because I agree with everything you said, but I was glad to see Juliette finally grow some balls and step out of Adam’s shadow. I hated that he pretty much thought/spoke for her in the first two books, but I was pretty turned off by how Mafi treated him.

    I read somewhere that this ending was the direction in which Mafi had always intended the series to go, but with her pretty much telling us everything we had been led to believe up until now was wrong, I find that hard to believe.

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    I think I would have been for it a bit more if it hadn’t been so like “Oh, you think X? That was a lie! HAHAH! Y is actually true instead!” It just came out of nowhere for me. Now, granted, I hear it’s a totally different experience if you’d read the novellas, but that’s a conversation for another day…

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, February 20, 2014

  10. Marie said:

    Spoilers.
    I think you’re my soulmate. I agree with everything you said. I’ve always liked Juliette and I’ve always wanted to see her stand up for herself and become the great person I knew she could me but her evolution happened so suddently and was such a character 180 that it made me mad, I loved thatg she was confident. I love that she finally trust herself. But it bassically happened overnight. Her evolution would have been much more believable if she still had moments of doubts and fear but no, new Juliette 2.0 and think she can change the world and do everything she wants. The part of the book I hated the most was when she decides she’ll become commander. Just like that. Just because she wants to do so and think she can do a god job . I mean, elections are totally overated right?!and obviously, because the universe is made of rainbows and sunshine, everyone agree…Just like that.

    And Warner. or should I say Perfect Aaron who can do no wrong…. It took me a full reread of the series but by the time I was finished, I started to really like him. And when I read Destroy me, I started liking him even more. He was interesting and complex. He had qualities but he also had flaws and I liked that. But in Ignite me, we finally learn that Warner was an undercover hero all along. Yep. Perfect Aaron only killed bad guys. Perfect Aaron never made Juliette hurt a child. Perfect Aaon never wanted to use Juliette as a weapon. No. Perfect Aaron wanted to start a rebellion and basically build a new(better) world with Juliette. Also, perfect Aaron is such a pitiful character. Let”s remember the readers every 2 chapters how saw and awefull his childhood was….I mean I’m sure Adam’s, Kenji’s or anyone else in this book didn”t have a childhod as bad as him. I’m sure their life were just a simple walk in the parc. I mean sure, Adam had the same father that liked to trow bottles at him, lost his mom very young and had to rise a child when he was still a child himself but hey, Warner’s life is so much pitifull. And I loved how Juliette spent half of the book complaining to/ about (how )nobody undersood Warner and how amazing he was. Of course, Perfect Aaron was just as intrsting and always said what Juliette( and Juliette/Warner’s fans) wanted/deserved to hear. How beautiful she was. How strong she was. How she could change the world. How he understood her, and everything she was. And while he did that, we had the chance to Adam do one thing: being a jerk. Don’t get me wrong. It’s true that sometimes, people aren’t what they appear to be ( in Adam’s case, a nice guy in Shatter me). And like we saw in Fracture me and Ignite me, it’s possible that a ‘nice guy’ like Adam was never supposed to be Juliette’s great love. And yes, sometimes nice guy turn out to be jerk and it’s possible that the ‘nice guy’ from Shatter me wasn’t right for Juliette and would believe that she’s a fragile little creature that needs to be protected. My problem with Adam situationnin this book is that nothing is ever black or white. In Fracture me and Ignite, the only things that charactize Adam are his flaws. How selfish he is. How he doesn’t understand Juliette. How mean can be. Nothing from the Shatter me remain in him. He’s ot a flawed character. He’s now nothing but flaws. And I would have been okay with him being such a flawed character if the author would have took the time to give him some kind of redemption by the end of the book. Not erasing everything he said and did. No. Just make him grow a little bit and learn something from his mistakes. Give back the readers a little bit of the Adam they met in Shatter me/Unravel me. But she didn’t do that. From the second half of Unravel me to Ignite me ( Fracture me included) she decided to make Adam who was one of the few main characters in SM a side character. Wait. Not a side character. An extra. Even Kenji ( who I loved in SM and UM) became more important to the story then him. Now everything revolve around Juliette( wich is undestandable since it’s her story) AND Warner. So there was no room for Adam anymore. And why make him room anyway since he’s nothing but a jerk( sarcasm). Instead let’s make evrything about Perfect Aaron. Like Adam’s brother( I’m calling that because I forgot his name). Why give them and their relationship attention when we can make it about perfect Aaron instead. After all, Adam’s brother is also Warner’s brother. So let’s put Adam aside(I mean…even MORE aside) and let’s give them ( Perfect Aaron and Adam’s brother )many scenes together and let’s built the start of a new beautiful relationship between . Oh and let’s make Juliette yell at Adam many times because he doesn’t want to tell Perfect Aaron they’re related because Perfect Aaron is the most pitiful person in the universe and he derseves to have a relationship with Adam’s brothrer. Wait.
    Kenji used to be Adam’s friend right? But since Adam’s occupation is now being a jerk 24/24′, let’s not spend time on rebuilding their friendship. I mean let”s make Kenji try of course, but not Adam. Not after a full book.No. Since Adam is too busy being a jerk 24/24′ he has no times to learn from his mistakes and try to be friends with Kenji( or any human being). Instead, let”s put Adam even MMMMMOOOOORRRRREEEEEEE aside and let”s write a few scene of Perfect Aaron being nice to Kenji and his friends. Because perfect Aaron’s occupation is being an angel 24/ 24.

    Also, of course Juliette can only loves one man in her life. And what she felt for Adam wasn’t love. She felt something for him because….welll because he was there. And also everyone knows that when someone says something
    Iike this: we have to break up ut I’ll try to find a way to be together, it actually means: I will sit and no nothing about it. And when I’ll get tired of doing nothing about it, I will finally take actions: I’ll go make out ( and almost have sex) with Perfect Aaron since he understand me so well and I don’t reallynlove you anyway. Like you, I agreed with a lot of things Adam told Juliette( but not the way he said them)….Also, I lovvvvveeed Kenji in book 1 and 2 but he bored me in this one. It almost felt like his main purpose in like was to be Juliette’s friend. That’s it.

    And in a few words Ignite is:
    100 pages of Juliette telling us how confident she now his, how Perfect Aaron is and how understand everything about hernand how he only makes feel feel confident and powerfull and and how Adam only makes her feel like a victime. Then you have 100 pages of Aaron saying nice things, doing nice things, helping Juliette, Kenji, training everyone, bounding with Adam’s brother, being pitiful ( booo oooo my mother is dead and no one ever loved me)’ then you have 50 pages of the gang training for the ultimate epic battle coming up against the commander. Then you have 75 pages showing you how perfect Juliette and Warner are together and of Adam acting like a jerk ( and so, showing you how much he and Juliette are not meant to be together). Then you have 10 pages of Juliette convincing people to go to war. And of course, since the world is made of sunshine and rainbows, everyone agree easily. Also because Juliette is si amazing and powerfull and becausdmof how perfect her and Warner are together. Then you have the epic battle who last about 5 pages. No epic confrontation. Nothing.
    They came they saw they conquered Easy. Then you have 5 pages to show would who surived the epic sarcasm) battle and you just stop the book there, like it was actually the middle of the book instead of the last chapter of the last book of a series. THE END.

    It’s been weeks but I’m still angry, bitter and ubset about this book. The author’s writting is still addictive. My team won ( butlike I read in another review, It felt like my team won but it won by cheating).

    Also, sorry for all the mistakes in mypost, englishmis my second language, it”s 3 am and I’m on my ipad loll.

    Anyway, let’s become Bff Anna. I think our shared hate for this book is the key to the success of a great friendship!

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    I really want to write you a giant response to this but I feel like it’ll take me 30 minutes to fully express what I want to say so I’ll just say: UM YES TO EVERYTHING. ALL OF IT. THANK YOU, I really felt it was just me.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, February 20, 2014

  11. any carell said:

    Warners been like my favourite character since the first book and i think hes been completely destroyed now.So much effort has been to transfer him from evil genius to deeply in love lover boy its sad.Almost the whole book telling us how perfect warner is and oh-a misunderstood little boy whom i love like so badly.I think Warner was better off as an evil,feeling genius and I think Juliette and Warner kinda dont work out.I hate IGNITE ME like hell.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, February 20, 2014

  12. Review: Ignite Me | Giraffe Days said:

    […] “I think Tahereh Mafi is a brilliant writer β€” her writing style is incredibly fresh and gorgeous. And, beyond that, I think she’s a lovely person. I was lucky enough to go to lunch with her once when Shatter Me first came out, and she was a delight. So it’s from a place of love that I say this: HOLY COW, TAHEREH, YOUR CHARACTERS INFURIATE ME.” Anna Reads […]

    Posted on: Thu, February 20, 2014

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