Book Reviews

Tahereh Mafi * Ignite Me * Book 3

Ignite Me seemed to signal the end of the Shatter Me trilogy, following on the footsteps of Shatter me – Tahereh Mahi Book review and Unravel Me * Tahereh Mafi Book 2 from Shatter Me

It is often difficult to follow up with a sequel that satisfies readers. It’s difficult to choose just one because it’s kind of like a child in different stages of their life. One is a teenager. One is a young adult. One is an adult. It’s like you’re seeing someone grow up, and you appreciate each part of them. What I can say is that I’m really happy to have all three books out at the same. The growth that Juliette experiences—both as a character and through the prose—is something that I had intended from the very beginning but could not express without actually being able to deliver all the books at the same time. Her voice finds its strength. That was supposed to reflect her growth as a character.

Tahereh Mahi Interview with EW

I don’t think I have ever anticipated a book as much as I did Ignite Me and this reader is happy to report the wait was worth it. This was an excellent conclusion to the series.
Ignite Me picks up right where Unravel Me left off.

Juliette is slowly coming to after being shot in the chest and left for dead by the Supreme Commander. She realizes she has been given a second chance and this time she is determined not to squander it. Omega Point was completely obliterated and she has no one left.

No one save Warner. Warner, who is gentle, patient, giving while getting nothing in return and yet there he is a constant throughout Juliette’s hardships. He moves heaven and earth to put Juliette’s plans into motions. Her plan is simple: start a revolution and kill the Supreme Commander and Warner is more than happy to help. He has been waiting for this for a long time being the only one who recognized Juliette’s potential for greatness from the get go.

He takes Juliette to the site where Omega point used to be against his better judgement (but we all know he’s putty in her hands) and this is where they find Kenji who leads them to the rest of the survivors. There aren’t many but Adam is among the few. Juliette wants to band every one together but meets resistance from the weary and heartbroken survivors. When Adam realizes that Warner is an integral part of the deal things go south quickly. (Excerpt below) It is at this point that Juliette has to make some difficult choices and readers of the books may already know what her choice will be. I will not spoil it here but suffice it to say that it was the only right choice and I was giddy with happiness when she finally realized who owned her heart. In the end Juliette not only conquers her fears and insecurities but also heals a broken soul and like a futuristic, super powered Joan of Arc leads an army into starting a revolution to take back the world. In other words, she kicks some serious butt.

What I loved about this book: Character development.

This reader was wholly unconvinced while reading Unravel Me that Juliette could one day see beyond herself and finally recognize her unlimited potential. In other words I didn’t think Mafi could realistically pull this evolution off. Juliette just seemed so pathetic, indecisive and unsure of herself In Shatter Me where this was completely believable and understandable but by the middle of Unravel Me I was hoping she’d get a grip already.

Kenji , famously and in all his wisdom and eloquence even told her to put her big girl panties on and stop moping. This never really happened in that book though there were fascinating glimpses that showed she could potentially become a force to be reckoned with.

So smooth , Lilly says to Kenji , and realize it’s the first time I’ve really heard her speak . I bet you win over all the eligible woman by telling them they’re like sister to you. I bet the ladies are just lining up to jump into bed with your punkass.
Rude . Kenji crosses his arms .
James is laughing . You see what I have to deal with ? Kenji says to him. There’re so love for Kenji . I give and I give and I give , and get nothing in return . I need a woman who will appreciate all of this he says , gesturing to the length of his body.

Well, I am here to say that I was a fool to doubt Ms. Mafi and her awesome skills for one second because she pulled off one of the most incredible character transformations I have ever had the pleasure to read.

And now looking back on all three books I can see Juliette unfolding slowly but surely into the bad-ass Warner knew all along she could be. That being said I think Mafi’s real triumph here is Aaron Warner. She really had me going in Shatter Me.

You’re not attracted to him ?
I’m attracted to you .
I’m serious , he says
so an I .
Warner’s still staring at me . He blinks, once
Don’t you believe me ? I ask .
He looks away .
Can’t you tell ? I ask him . Can’t you feel it ?
And I am either losing my mind or Warner just blushed

I think she had everyone convinced he was a soulless monster, a killer beyond any hope of redemption. And then she started peeling back layers and little by little a sad, tortured, lonely beautiful soul was revealed. Much like Juliette he was not the monster everyone made him out to be or was he? Oh what a pleasure it was to be kept on my toes this way. In Ignite Me all the layers are finally peeled away and we are left with the same magnificent, intense Warner, except softer, more human and suffering from one of the most beautiful cases of unrequited love I have ever had the pleasure to read.

I also loved, the pace, the dialogue as always is brilliant as is any scene with Kenji in it, All the dangling ends and mysteries were answered and the ultimate confrontation was an unpredictable nail biter. It was the perfect end to a great trilogy. My only quibble with the end was that it ended really abruptly, I thought. I wasn’t ready to let go just yet so in that way it was bittersweet. Though my hopeful heart won’t stop thinking that maybe the ending wasn’t so much abrupt as it was open ended. Maybe the literary gods will prevail upon the talented Tahereh Mafi to continue this story . After all, Juliette’s journey was just beginning.
What I loved even more:

The tattoo is just setting below his hp bone.
H e l l i s e m p t y
a n d a l l t h e d e v i l s a r e h e r e

I kiss my way across the words.
Kissing away the devils.
Kissing away the pain.”

As Aaron and Juliette start training, they bring in all their friends from the old team and go after Warner’s dad. Adam is a sore looser and will not let Juliette go without a fight.
Warner and Adam find out they are brothers and Warner looses his mom after a massive fight with the same type of disease that affected Juliette.

THERE IS A SEX SCENE! Nothing better than some warming of the bodies to forget the impending war and to soothe a broken soul.
And even better, there is loads of fighting involved.

All in all, a great book, enjoy the excerpt below!


I flinch, stung by the venom in his voice. I’ve never seen Adam so bitter or cruel. This isn’t the Adam I know. I want him to stop. Rewind. Apologize. Erase the things he’s just said.

But he doesn’t.

“You think you’ve had it hard,” he’s saying to me. “Living in psych wards and being thrown in jail—you think that was difficult. But what you don’t realize is that you’ve always had a roof over your head, and food delivered to you on a regular basis.” His hands are clenching, unclenching. “And that’s more than most people will ever have. You have no idea what it’s really like to live out here—no idea what it’s like to starve and watch your family die in front of you. You have no idea,” he says to me, “what it means to truly suffer. Sometimes I think you live in some fantasy land where everyone survives on optimism—but it doesn’t work that way out here. In this world you’re either alive, about to die, or dead. There’s no romance in it. No illusion. So don’t try to pretend you have any idea what it means to be alive today. Right now. Because you don’t.”

Words, I think, are such unpredictable creatures.

No gun, no sword, no army or king will ever be more powerful than a sentence. Swords may cut and kill, but words will stab and stay, burying themselves in our bones to become corpses we carry into the future, all the time digging and failing to rip their skeletons from our flesh.

I swallow, hard




and steady myself to respond quietly. Carefully.

He’s just upset, I’m telling myself. He’s just scared and worried and stressed out and he doesn’t mean any of it, not really, I keep telling myself.

He’s just upset.

He doesn’t mean it.

“Maybe,” I say. “Maybe you’re right. Maybe I don’t know what it’s like to live. Maybe I’m still not human enough to know more than what’s right in front of me.” I stare straight into his eyes. “But I do know what it’s like to hide from the world. I know what it’s like to live as though I don’t exist, caged away and isolated from society. And I won’t do it again,” I say. “I can’t. I’ve finally gotten to a point in my life where I’m not afraid to speak. Where my shadow no longer haunts me. And I don’t want to lose that freedom—not again. I can’t go backward. I’d rather be shot dead screaming for justice than die alone in a prison of my own making.”



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