Book Review: Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

Posted February 24, 2014 by Debby in Book Reviews

Book Review: Ignite Me by Tahereh MafiIgnite Me by Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me #3
Published by Harper on February 4th, 2014
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Supernatural, Young Adult
Pages: 416
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

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.

3.5 Stars

How on earth can one review this book? Seriously. How do you review when the feels are one billion but the story itself was a biiit meh? *sigh* I’m conflicted, but overall, I was very pleased with this series ending. The series will forever be dear to my heart, and Tahereh remains on my auto-buy list.

I’m going to attempt to keep this spoiler free, but it’s kind of hard. Obviously this series hinges a lot on the resolution of the love triangle of doooooom. What I love about this love triangle, and what Tahereh executed very well, is that it’s totally integrated in Juliette’s character growth arc. I absolutely loved her in this book. She became so fierce and really started standing up for herself and what she wants. She doesn’t let other people push her around. She became the strong female character that most of you guys always wish for in fantasy and sci-fi books. But while she wasn’t that at the start, I really liked that for a change we got to see how a strong character becomes so strong – even if she was extremely fragile at the start. Her growth was understandable, realistic, and beautiful. It makes her a really endearing character to me, and I just can’t help but love her for it.

How the love triangle ties into this is that each side offers her the right kind of support when she needs it. They have distinctly different personalities, which really benefits Juliette’s growth. I am extremely happy with the resolution. I must say. It was feelsy feels goodness. Often with love triangles I am on the losing side. I don’t know why. But like 80% of the time, I fail. Mafi does something that is rare for me: she totally convinced me of which side was right. There ended up being no question about it. And it took me on twists and turns throughout the series. The romance kept me on the edge of my seat, seriously. But it was awesome. And wonderful.

One cannot talk about this book without mentioning the fact that it is seriously hot. Oh my lord. I was all about this romance. The tension was palpable. It was intense. You feel BURNING chemistry. I had SO MANY FEELS. Christina and Gillian will attest – I was keyboardsmashing, flailing, SERIOUSLY into it. I don’t really remember the last time a romance hit me THAT HARD. But it was mostly because you know (especially after Unravel Me‘s Chapter 62) that something explosively hot is going to happen. AND TAHEREH KEEPS TEASING YOU WITH IT. NOT LETTING IT HAPPEN. CRUEL MISTRESS. But then. Finally. FINALLY. It does. And it’s amazing. And droolworthy. And SWOOOOOOONFUL. And SO – HOT. Those chapters are ingrained in my memory and will be reread very often, I can tell you. womg. If Tahereh wants to write some New Adult, I would be all kinds of down for that.

Also, I HAVE to talk about my intense and undying love for Kenji. He is fucking hilarious. I was laughing out loud. He makes every moment magic, and his friendship with Juliette is so freaking perfect. I honestly want to cry at how beautiful they are. And James! James is freaking adorable, and his relationships with Kenji and Warner are so cute. THE SCENES WITH WARNER. I CANNOT HELP GIGGLING. SO FUCKING HILARIOUS.

So obviously, OBVIOUSLY, I have very intense feelings about this book. I was engrossed and could not stop reading. I had to finish. It was beautiful. The writing style had mellowed out, for those who have griped about Mafi’s style, but I was absorbed in Juliette’s stream of consciousness. It reads so fluid. BUT. Despite all this wonderful wonderfulness, I am not entirely satisfied with this book.

The thing is: it doesn’t really have a plot. Nope. It’s all about the romance. What happens aside from that is that they “prepare for a revolution”. Juliette wants to take down the Reestablishment. But even that is only brought up late in the game. Seriously it took until about 75% before they finally produced a plan to actually do it. I was hoping for more world building. We never go to learn anything more about the Reestablishment than they’re obviously evil. FOR REASONS. *cough* REASONS. Also, Anderson is totally evil for REASONS. He treats everyone in the world like shit, but has NO reasoning behind it. Nor do we really know what is going on elsewhere in the world, outside of their sector.

Then the “revolution” all takes place in about 30 pages. That’s it. The last 30 pages. And it’s all just too easy. View Spoiler » I’m sorry, but no. Just no. That is weak. And lame. And no. It was a happily ever after that SCREAMED cheesy and was completely unbelievable.

Summing Up:

I keep going back and forth on my rating for this because it’s just impossible to decide. The feels rating is eleventy billion, because SERIOUSLY. This romance is amazing. But the plot is pretty much a zero for me. It was nonexistent, and when it finally appeared, it was just extremely lame and rushed. However I still love this book and this series because of all the FEELS. It should not even have attempted to be a serious dystopia. This is a character growth and romance series, not a dystopia. So I’m torn. But FEELS. asdfjkl; There just should have been more plot that was more developed and actually made sense. Or she shouldn’t have bothered trying to go for a plot at all.

My hypothesis is that a contemporary romance from Tahereh would be one of my all time favorite books. I’m overall still satisfied with this book and this series because of the emotional journey it took me on, and I’ll be eager to read anything she’s coming out with next.

GIF it to me straight!

This was literally my facial expression and feeling for 80% of this book.

Recommended To:

Fans of intense character growth arcs and an amazing romance in a DIFFERENT kind of love triangle.

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5 responses to “Book Review: Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

  1. Thinking about it now, there really wasn’t that much plot but I was so caught up in everything that I couldn’t help but love it. Ahahaha danisonfire <3 That was my face for the whole thing too! "contemporary romance from Tahereh"?!?@FOHOSWOWE WASDFGHJK YES PLEASE! You're so right, that would be the best thing in the world.

  2. I seriously believe I am one of the few people across the book community who has not read this one yet. *hangs head* I’ve read Shatter Me but I haven’t gotten around to Unravel Me and Ignite Me just yet, but I so so SO need to. Cause I know that when I marathon this series, I am also going to give waaaaaay too many FEELS. Sighhhhh.

    Hopefully Tahereh Mafi will write a contemporary romance sometime because it sounds like that would be the most perfect book.

  3. Hah, your review says perfectly so many of my thoughts. I read and wrote my review for Ignite Me this weekend, & I’m pretty sure I actually said something to the affect of “Let’s talk about plot. There isn’t one. Moving on.” I still really enjoyed it(3 stars–a little weaker than the first two in my opinion, but a good series conclusion), but yeah, it’s a good thing that Mafi writes her characters and prose so well. It makes up for the plot for so very much of it.

    Also, the whole ending with Juliette, that thing? Yeah, I couldn’t buy that part. I was surprised when everyone went along with it. But as far as a *character* ending goes, I think everyone in this series ended up right where they needed to be in that respect, so I still felt really satisfied despite rolling my eyes at part of Juliette’s idea. I definitely left the series not disappointed.

  4. What I love about IGNITE ME, and what seems to be the uniting factor among everyone’s reactions, is that it has given everyone SO. MANY. FEELS. It’s seriously intriguing (since I own it but have not read it), and I’m glad that it worked out (mostly) well. I’m looking forward to reading it (especially since I’ve been reassured that I’m probably going to like the way it all ends)!

  5. I’ve often wondered why Mafi wrote this as a dystopian, and not as a contemporary. Juliette could have believed her touch was lethal and had a traumatic past, and the books could have been her growing into the confident woman we saw by the end of Ignite Me. If this series had been marketed as a contemporary, and I hadn’t kept looking for the dystopian/rebellion elements I had been promised, I would have enjoyed the whole series a lot more. As it was, I kept waiting for the dystopian elements to be better explained, and found myself perpetually disappointed.

    I did find that Juliette’s growth was done in spurts, and would have appreciated it more had it been done gradually, but she essentially took what Warner was saying at face value and flipped her opinions because he led her to believe she should. But I was so happy she was eventually calling the shots and being the badass I knew she had the capability of being, that I (mostly) didn’t care about the other stuff, haha