All the fears.
All the gasping.
All the screaming.
All the frustration. (And mostly me hitting my mattress repeatedly.)
All the feels.
Every single blow Tahereh Mafi can give to her readers in this final installment of her wonderful, wonderful series.
I have survived them all, and still I wish it didn't end.
Title: Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi
Release Date: February 4th 2014
Published by: HarperCollins
Source: Bought (Amazon Kindle Store)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository
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.
Before I started reading Ignite Me, I have this really irrational fear of plunging to the novel head on and finding out everyone ends up dead at the end. I felt like I had to prepare myself for any possible thing that might blindside me. But the funny thing was, the moment I've read that first line? The fear just became a really strong desire to see the story to the very end, no matter what happens.
I've said this before, and I will say this again: Tahereh Mafi is a brilliant writer. What fascinated me with the entire series was more than just the plot, but Tahereh's ability to get into your head with her writing, those disconnected sentences without punctuation marks? The striked out words? She has this ability to make you unable to breathe just by writing. One moment you are happily soaking those warm fuzzy feelings and the next you want to hit your mattress repeatedly because of frustration.
A lot of things changed in this novel. I think Ignite Me is a story of change for everyone but ultimately for Juliette. I tend to think of her as this whiny, emotional girl in the first two books and I loved how in this book, she admitted her faults, looked deep inside and accepted the things she was lacking, the good and the bad. She thought of things in life and love, sorted them out even though it's hard and painful and opened herself to change. She examined her feelings carefully and made decisions for herself. Juliette grew up, and she grew stronger by embracing her faults and putting the effort to make herself better. That moment of self-realization, of finally letting go and breaking free from the walls she'd put up herself and not letting anyone stop her from doing so is one of the most satisfying points for me in the story.
The following quote just about sums up Juliette in this book. It was just a line, just a sentence with eight words, and yet the impact is so great.
"I am enough, and I always will be."
I've long since pledged my allegiance to Warner. From the very first book, there's something about that sinister, stoic facade that intrigued me, and I wanted to see who that broken, struggling boy behind the cold, seemingly merciless persona really was. Find out more about himself, the things that make him laugh and cry, his habits. And it was so hard to see him break even more. If he did so in Unravel Me, he bared himself more in Ignite Me. You see a different side of him, see the pain, the hurt, the doubts plaguing him, the uncertainty, his love for Juliette and the intensity of it, what he's willing to sacrifice for it. And I loved how I got to see more of his vulnerability, that human side, that unapologetic attitude, that acceptance of who he was and what he has done, that brilliance. Every so often I just go "Warner, oh Warner." and sigh. Because he is, by no means, perfect. But his imperfections are the things that made readers like me love him. The quote below is a good example, every single time Warner opens his mouth, the words he utters almost always gives the reader a more complete look at who he really is, the way he thinks and feels.
"I have never claimed to live by any set of principles," Warner says to me. "I've never claimed to be right, or good, or even justified in my actions. I have been forced to do terrible things in my life, love, and I am seeking neither your forgiveness nor your approval. Because I do not have the luxury of philosophizing over scruples when I'm forced to act on basic instinct every day."
Surprisingly, I find myself agreeing with the way the other characters changed in the novel. Reading Fracture Me somehow prepared me of the potential direction the story is headed, especially with Adam. I understand him, and sometimes I don't. Maybe because I loved the way Warner thinks, and it was drastically different from the way Adam does. The way he responded to a lot of things that happened in this book made me analyze his character as a whole, from the first book up to this one. And though he too is imperfect, I find that his imperfections are what actually made him unlovable at times. Also, if there's any other character in this book that I loved, it is, without a doubt, Kenji Kishimoto. He wasn't just the funny, happy go lucky Kenji that he was. He was a leader, a friend and a brother all at once. He had this ability to just make the most unbearable of times bearable for everyone. Those one liners, that strong personality. He was amazing and terribly funny!
People died, secrets were revealed, a new version of selves emerged, evil was defeated, things were destroyed to pave the way for a new beginning. Tahereh Mafi just went ahead and put together an amazing final book in a beloved series. I loved how everything just came together in a really good way in the end, and not just because I got the ending that I wanted, but because it was an ending that was satisfying and it made sense. Just when you thought you can't get enough of the romance, intense action scenes and sequences that will make you hold your breath appears and then moments where you just want to fan yourself pop up. I have never laughed, cried out of frustration and blushed as much as I did while reading this book. I was in a perpetual state of happiness long after I've flipped to the end and then I wondered "was all of it real?". It was like a dream. A very good dream I would gladly dream over and over.
And so I say thank you, Tahereh Mafi, for writing this series. Thank you for bringing to life such a wonderful world and a diverse set of characters. Thank you for the laughter, the tears, those evil moments when you don't know what's gonna happen anymore. It was hard to part with the characters I have loved, and bidding farewell to this world is a bittersweet experience.
Also, thank you for Chapter Fifty-Five.
Content (plot, story flow, character):
I have overflowing love for Tahereh Mafi right now. She can have all the butterflies in the world.
Stunning: Worthy of a Goddess' Praise!
YES. Just YES.
YES. Just YES.