Review: Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

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Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

Pages: 421
Published:
February 4th 2014
Publisher: Harper Collins

Synopsis:

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.

WOOOOOOWWWWWW!!!!!!!  Holy SHIT this book was perfect.  Seriously guys I am bowing down to the writing overlords because this series finale was one of the best I’ve ever read.  It was jaw dropping, tear jerking, gasp WORTHY.  Like I have NEVER(!) gasped or wanted to cry so much.  SO MUCH HAPPENED AND TWISTED AND I HAD TO SLEEP BECAUSE I COULDN’T REVIEW IT IMMEDIATELY.  I read this book in one sitting, that’s how good it was.

SPOILERS BELOW!
Sorry guys, too good not to.

Starting off a little after where we left off, Juliette is saved (obviously) by Aaron.  Although Juliette is stronger, she still has a lot of hesitancy around Aaron.  It’s conflicting to fall in love with somebody you believed was the enemy, and you clearly see that in Juliette’s actions and thoughts.  I loved how we slowly began to see the cracks in his outer shell, I loved that we got to know him, I love that we saw his weaknesses and fears.  I love that he was humanized in a way that we never would have expected.

“Judge me,” he says, “all you like. But I have no tolerance,” he says sharply, “for a man who beats his wife. No tolerance,” he says, “for a man who beats his children.” He’s breathing hard now, “Seamus Fletcher was murdering his family,” he says to me. “And you can call it whatever the hell you want to call it, but I will never regret killing a man who would bash his wife’s face into a wall.”

It’s always been apparent that Warner takes pride in his appearance; his outfits are impeccable; his clothes fit him like they were cut for his body.  But now I finally understand why he took such care with my wardrobe.

He wasn’t trying to patronize me.

He was enjoying himself.

Aaron Warner Anderson, chief commander and regent of Sector 45, son of the supreme commander of The Reestablishment.

He has a soft spot for fashion.

 

In Shatter Me, I honestly thought Aaron was obsessive and a psychopath, and it is really, really, satisfying that we get to find out the truth about him.  By the end of the book you are 100% cheering for him and wanting #jaaron to be a thing.  All of his prior reasonings and tendencies are pretty much cleared up by the first fourth of the book, all that is left is Juliette’s prejudices and preconceived notions.  He proves time and time again how supportive, loving, thoughtful, and caring he is.  He storms into buildings full of enemies for her, he saves her life, he patiently encourages her to be her best.  And when Juliette realizes this, it’s honestly the most satisfying feeling. Ever.

He found a way to save my life.

With no demands. No expectations. Believing full well that I was in love with someone else, and that saving my life meant making me whole again only to give me back to another guy.

And right now, I can’t say I know what Adam would do if I were dying in front of him. I’m not sure if he would save my life. And that uncertainty alone makes me certain that something wasn’t right between us. Something wasn’t real.

Maybe we both fell in love with the illusion of something more.

I loved the progression of Juliette and Aaron’s love story.  It was steady but strong, it was Aaron waiting for Juliette to truly open her eyes.

“You deserve so much more than charity,” he says, his chest heaving. “You deserve to be alive.” He’s staring at me, unblinking.

“Come back to life, love.  I’ll be here when you wake up.”

In the process of helping Juliette, Aaron has his moments with Adam and the rebels too.  Ultimately making “kind” with them (not friends… just kind), and learning about his family.  There were some hilarious moments between all the characters too.

Warner scratches the back of his head. “Do you never get exhausted being so wholly unbearable? You have as much charisma as the rotting innards of unidentified roadkill.”

I hear an abrupt wheezing noise and turn toward the sound.

Kenji has a hand pressed to his mouth, desperately trying to suppress a smile.  He’s sharing his head, holding up a hand in apology.  And then he breaks, laughing out loud, snorting as he tries to muffle the sound. “I’m sorry,” he says, pressing his lips together, shaking his head again. “This is not a funny moment. It’s not. I’m not laughing.”

“Are you out of your goddamn mind? You think we can take on two hundred soldiers? I know I am an extremely attractive man, J, but I am not Bruce Lee.”

“Who’s Bruce Lee?”

Who’s Bruce Lee?” Kenji asks, horrified. “Oh my God. We can’t even be friends anymore.”

“Why? Was he a friend of yours?”

“You know what,” he says, “just stop. Just-I can’t even talk to you right now.”

The love triangle train was taken, crushed into a blob, thrown against a wall, swallowed by a pack of wolves, regurgitated, then set on fire until it became nothing more but ash.   It was irrevocably destroyed to the utmost extent, and in the process completely assassinated Adam’s character.  Guys, Adam warped into a monster.  He became SUCH an asshole.  If you thought the past two books were angsty-drama, this shit was a whole new level.  Shit literally hit the fan.  Adam went CRAZY on Juliette and I honestly felt so saddened by it.

No– you don’t understand anything,” he snaps. “You don’t understand me, you don’t understand yourself, and you don’t understand that you’re acting like a stupid child who’s allowed herself to be brainwashed by a psychopath”

 

“I don’t give a shit anymore,” Adam says. “She can go do whatever the hell she wants.” He turns to me again. “You want to be with him?” He points to the door. “Go. Drop dead.”

Ice is eating away at my body.

“You don’t mean that. Don’t say things like that, man. Once you say that kind of shit you can’t take it back-”

“Oh, I mean it,” Adam says. “I really, really mean it.” He finally looks at me. Fists clenched. “Thinking you were dead,” he says to me, “was so much better. It hurt so much less than this.”

But Cat,” you say.  “This is just showing Adam was heartbroken by Juliette, it’s not indicative of him becoming psycho.”  Oh? No?

Time freezes all around us.

The stage is set:
Adam and his wild eyes, his rage and red face.
Kenji standing next to him, annoyed, slightly confused.
And me, my hand still locked in Adam’s viselike grip, his touch so quickly and easily reducing me back to who I was when we first met.

I’m completely powerless.

But then, in one movement, everything changes:

Adam grabs Kenji’s bare hand and presses it into my empty one.

For just long enough.

Need I say more? Fuck guys, this just shattered me.  Because we learned of Adam to be sweet and kind, and Mafi just completely slaughtered his character.  Slaughtered anything and everything he could have become.  Her reasoning?  To set the stage for #Jaaron.  But I really don’t think she had to do that.  Just damn.

So back to Jaaron, because although overtaking The Reestablishment was supposed to be a major part of this book, I really don’t think it was.  80% of this book was devoted to the love triangle and setting the stage for the finale.  So,  I thought I’d spend the rest of this post showing why this romance was so utterly perfect.

It’s the kind of kiss that inspires stars to climb into the sky and light up the world.  The kind that takes forever and no time at all. His hands are holding my cheeks, and he pulls back just to look me in the eye and his chest is heaving and he says, “I think,” he says, “my heart is going to explode,” and I wish, more than ever, that I knew how to capture moments like these and revisit them forever.

Because this.

This is everything.

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In the end, the rebels did end up overtaking the Supreme Commander, however I don’t really feel like it was that big of a deal.  I kind of feel like Mafi was like “Oh wait, it’s not just a romance book…. They’re supposed to be overtaking the government”, and the end was kind of just shoved in there. It just seemed way too easy to be accomplished.  Out of the 421 pages, this probably took up the last 30-40 pages.  The rest was everything else I talked about.  I honestly think this could have gone on past a trilogy, I truly believe that Mafi could take about the post-Reestablishment because there was no epilogue.  Regardless, I loved the book.  I loved the development of certain characters and I loved how the love triangle played out (for the most part…).

I give this book 5/5 stars.

I climb into his lap. Cup his face in my hands, tilting his chin up so I can see his eyes. I’m smiling a stupid smile. “I think that’s so wonderful,” I tell him.

“Do you?” He grins. “How interesting.”

I nod. Over and over again. And I kiss him once, very softly.

Warner closes his eyes. Smiles slightly, his cheek dimpled on one side. He looks thoughtful now. “How strange this has all become.”

I feel like I might die of happiness.

 

Review: Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

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Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Pages: 461
Published:
February 5th 2013
Publisher:
Harper Collins

Synopsis:

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tick
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it’s almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She’s finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam’s life.

Once again, lets give a round of applause for another stunning cover.  This is likely my all time favorite book cover.  It’s just so beautiful.

Our story begins a little bit after the point where we left off in Shatter Me, but now in a place where we would have expected.  Juliette is struggling to fit into Omega Point.  Being newly ostracized by her “equals” and barely seeing Adam, she slowly begins to regress to her previous self.  A big part of the beginning of this book is seeing Juliette struggling to make connections she so dearly needs to make.

Adam is in a constant struggle for most of this book.  He has an ability which enables him to deflect peoples powers – but with a twist.  The more he becomes comfortable with someone, the weaker his power becomes.  This discovery presents a huge issue with Juliette, and something bad does happen to Adam because of this.  The result?  Juliette breaks up with him to save him, and they’re both completely shattered.  But that’s the only similarity you see between them – Juliette uses this heartbreak to become stronger, whereas Adam has very little – if any – character development.

Kenji plays a big role in this book.  The platonic relationship between Kenji & Juliette is completely refreshing and shocks her into growing up.  He destroys her MANY times in this book with logic and a “get over it” speech.  Some of his lectures were incredibly harsh but they provided a solid kick in the ass for Juliette.  She ends up maturing a lot, sulks much less, and starts to become an active member of the underground rebel community.  So not only did Kenji serve a big role in getting Juliette out of her ass, he did it while providing some much needed comic relief.

The romance is heartbreak-y and twisty with a side of love triangle.  Yep, our favorite villain, Warner  Aaron, is back with a vengeance.  And I have to admit his perspective and thoughts of Juliette are super insta-lovey.  He is madly in love with her and it kind of blows my mind.  I’m trying not to ship it… but I slowly am… and I just don’t understand how it got to this point.  Oh wait…. now I remember….

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It’s like Adam was a thing in Shatter Me and now he’s not, and all his lines are now shifted to Aaron and it’s so conflicting.  You really want to hate Aaron but you kind of can’t and it sucks but it’s perfect #aaaaaaaahhh.  We also get to learn what Aaron’s ability is and it gives you so many happy feels because you ultimately want Juliette to be happy.  I just don’t like feeling like Mafi bribed us into being “okay” with this pairing by using pages upon pages of love scenes between them.

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I’m not really sure if I like this book more than the first.  I think the writing took a little bit  of a hit.  One of the major things I loved about Shatter Me was how poetical it was.  There still was a tinge of that in this book but it wasn’t done as well and it’s noticeable.  I am really excited to see how book 3 pans out.  Also #teamjaaron.