Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
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
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.
Shatter Me, Tahereh Mafi created a captivating and original story that
combined 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." The sequel, Unravel Me, blew readers away with
heart-racing twists and turns, and New York Times bestselling author
Kami Garcia said it was "dangerous, sexy, romantic, and intense." Now
this final book brings the series to a shocking and climactic end.
My thoughts: Semi solid ending to trilogy containing three or so novellas in addition to trilogy.
I'm going to put it out there. I tired of being in Juliette's head. All her counting and OCD thoughts. It's not expressly intimated that Juliette is OCD but her auto-repeat and counting out taps or steps or whatever just took up precious story space. If I wanted to lose myself in an OCD head, I'd escape into my own mind.
But that's not all. Juliette is a highly sensory deprived, hormonal teenager discovering the sheer and pure pleasure of touch. Skin on fire, yearning in the loins, what have you. Pages and pages of descriptors in all the sensual glory. We're no longer reading her diary but we might as well be. She is highly attracted to and chemically drawn to certain young men. Cut out her visceral reactions and OCD rants and half the book is gone. Truly. Those who like that half of the book, you can look forward to all of it. For me, I wanted the action. The story. The conflict and the resolution. Not the descriptions of the sexual tension.
If you're still with me after my negative rant, I'm ready to go onto my positive rants because there are plenty. Starting with Kenji. I can't rant and rave enough about this character. He is hilarious. He's not the extraneous character thrown in for comic relief. He is the deepest piece of the rebellion. He has lost the most yet finds the humor, creates the humor in all of the Juliette's silly drama. Thank you for that. But he is written very, very well.
So Juliette starts the trilogy as a frustratingly terrified mousy thing. She's actually very beautiful but afraid of her own shadow which, ironically, is the safest aspect about her. Juliette's touch can kill. Book 1 has her held captive by Warner, the president's powerful teenage son. Through Juliette's experiences, he really is quite a monster. I didn't read the novellas in between but I'm guessing they add quite a bit to the end result of who Warner becomes to the reader. Book 2 has Juliette in the rebellion, training and discovering her abilities which do not end with only her touch. She is very powerful but still very skittish. The ending ends with a huge bang and opens right into Book 3 which shifts the reader's perception of many of the characters. First, and foremost, Juliette is ticked off. Really, really angry and ready to kick butt. Between Juliette's angsty "who-do-I-love?" bouts, she finally reveals a strong, capable young woman who learns the social realities of love and friendship.
As indicated earlier, Warner is decidedly a much more complex character than originally painted in the first book. Juliette's perception's were completely different than his intentions. She was whiney and cried a lot. Everybody picked on her. Warner made her dress up in pretty clothes, eat delicious food and make small talk with him. She thought he was manipulative. He thought he was courting her. Warner's outward personality does not significantly change except in a few subtle manners. He is arrogant. He is powerful. He is entitled. He is angry. Yet is also loveable, complex, and capable of endearing himself.
Adam is the most angsty. Yes, even more than Juliette. This is a continuing theme from Book 2. Can't say much here since it would be a spoiler.
So for all of Juliette's weird articulation of her sensory experiences; talking around, over, under, symbolic, hyperbole, counting, repeating, etc., this actually turns into an art when it comes to the actual act of intimacy. Some things are spelled out clearly like a few actions leading up to the real act. Others are left to the imagination. Sex is not clearly stated. It happens but the reader might miss it. A blind one, I mean. Still, by describing feelings via Juliette's compulsive mind, the story doesn't need to expressly state the facts. Which is really kind of brilliant.
Mixed thoughts. Liked the ending. It's solid enough to end it completely but there is enough action left that it could continue on.