Katiebabs is a self-proclaimed present day bluestocking with her head always in a book. She runs her own book blog called Babbling about Books and More!
Ignite Me is the final book in Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me trilogy. Shatter Me hooked me like you wouldn’t believe with the poetry like prose and seductive villain of Warner, who is obsessed with Juliette, the abused heroine, including her feelings for Adam, the soldier who could possibly save her from utter ruin. Unravel Me toned down the prose that some readers had an issue with in Shatter Me, and gave us a more superhero comic book feel with more passion and intensity, as well as a humdinger of a cliffhanger. I wasn’t sure what Ignite Me would involve. I had a feeling Juliette would be stuck more in the middle of the Warner and Adam love triangle that was going in a way I wasn’t really enjoying. Well, Ignite Me destroys that love triangle and everything unique and creative I loved in the first two books. Ignite Me is DOA and is such a weakly written book, ruining the characters of Juliette, Warner and Adam that I once couldn’t get enough of.
I’m going to be frank here and say that Ignite Me feels like someone else wrote it, or was heavily influenced to change certain things to make the fans happier and more satisfied with the outcome. Tahereh’s trademark lyrical prose has been erased and it feels much like a lackluster dystopian young adult that has been torn apart and put back together in a very poor way. Many things don’t add up or make sense. The “just because” plot device is big here, and one I find that insults the reader’s intelligence. I feel betrayed by how this story has evolved and the way it ends. The ending is a big joke that had me rolling my eyes because it’s rushed and doesn’t work at all.
I will say that I have enjoyed Juliette as a character and how she becomes stronger with each book. But her strong nature has a downside to it. She tends to be wishy-washy because of her feelings for Adam and Warner. Tahereh has emasculated Adam and Warner so much you don’t recognize them. Adam is now an angry, immature pouter who lashes out at Juliette for no reason. Tahereh had to make Adam look bad for the reader because it erodes his relationship with Juliette. Warner, who was once slick, seductive and so deliciously psycho has been transformed into a wet blanket. There are out of the blue reasons coming left and right why he acts and thinks the way he does. We need justification why Warner isn’t such a bad guy because a psycho, as Warner was portrayed in Shatter Me, can’t be given a HEA or allowed to be excused by what he has done to get ahead. He’s even given a pass for torturing Adam in Unravel Me, and why he shot a soldier in the head in Shatter Me (the soldier was an abusive and cruel to his wife and children and not worth living, or so Warner says because his word is law).Warner is now a victim just like Juliette is. Warner’s father is an maniacal dictator who hates everyone. Warner was the main subject of his father’s wrath for no plausible reason. Warner has mommy issues (mommy is sick and dying and only Warner can save her) which are shown in such a way that makes him pathetic. Also Warner has powers just like Juliette and her motley crew of wonder kids, which again is never filly explained and just tacked on. Whereas I loved the dynamic of his dark and unhealthy feelings for Juliette, here In Ignite Me it’s creepy. Warner acts like a much older man. He calls Juliette, “love” every chance he gets. That pet name he has for her isn’t what a nineteen year old boy would say to a girl he’s head over heels in love with. Warner’s love is still disturbing but more cloying and just plain sad. He fades into the background when he should be front and center, chewing up the scenes like he did in the last two books. He’s now portrayed as an annoying sad sack, and when all is said and done in where he stands with Juliette, it’s so tepid and lacks any excitement or passion that has built between these two. Fizzle and pop thy names are Warner and Juliette.
Ignite Me doesn’t ignite any of the senses and comes across more as a teen melodrama with not much action until the end, which is implausible and eye rolling. There is too much talking and discussing and yelling, with kissing thrown in. Character’s using curse words and more descriptive love scenes give it an adult feel, I guess to keep the adult audience who reads this trilogy interested.
Ignite Me failed in so many ways and ends more in a whimper with a bang. Tahereh took the safe route here which is so disappointing, disheartening, and completely forgettable.