Author: Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me #3
Rating: 2 / 5 stars
I seem as of late to have fallen into a pattern of selecting dystopian novels that are more paranormal than I originally thought, more romance driven than I excepted, and way worse than I had hoped. I am beginning to wonder if it is just poor selections on my part, poor recommendation on Goodreads’s part, or just the current state of the literature for the young adult genre these days.
Ignite Me, ah. I read the Shatter Me series in conjunction with The Chemical Garden trilogy and while perhaps equally disappointing as I continued through the series, at least the final installment wasn’t quite as horrible.
Shatter Me started off with an interesting enough narrator/character and with such an unique writing style that in intrigued me. And while the writing style toned done the intensity into Unravel Me and Ignite Me, it still lost its charm as I believe I mentioned before.
Ignite Me started out pulse pounding out of the gate when Aaron announces that everyone died, and quickly fizzled out soon after into nothing. Juliette has lost most of her charm now that she knows she isn’t crazy and has started to learn to harness her power and its potential. Now that she isn’t worried about killing every person she touches, she can focus all of her energy instead on her harmonies and the love triangle between her and Aaron and Adam (the latter two who are, of course, brothers).
Similar to The Chemical Gardens, Mafi’s focus in the Shatter Me series is not on the feeble dystopian society she created as a backdrop for the story, but on the romantic angle of the love triangle in the series. Ignite Me ramps up that pain and takes it to a whole new level. For starters, Adam becomes super annoying and starts yelling at everyone about everything and can’t seem to walk into a room without losing his temper and laying into Juliette. I was hoping he would quickly get taken out as a casualty of war.
Then there’s Warren AKA Aaron AKA his other name I already forgot, we is still the bad boy, angst driven, love struck puppy who has long his mysterious air and thus all of his charm for me. Instead of not being able to tell what his true intentions really are, now I know that everything he does and everyone he decides to take onto his side is all because of his obsession for Juliette. Ugh, barf bag please.
Juliette, for her part, is no better. Now that she is safely able to touch at least some people, she is in teenage lust/hormonal overdrive, unable to stop thinking about the two boys in her life and very quickly jumping into bed with one of them. Well, good for you, you strong, independent woman (not!).
The only salvageable part of this novel could have been the dystopian angle, but Mafi quickly threw down rain on that parade as well. While the plot is supposedly a preparation to ramp up an attack/retaliation on Aaron/Adam’s father and the Reestablishment, it really isn’t. Juliette spends the majority of her time “training” either yaking to Kenji (who I swear had to be gay) or fussing over either her relationship with Adam, her relationship with Aaron, or their relationship to each other. Even the final “showdown” at the end was anticlimactic, except that it finally allowed the story to end.
Spoiler alert for the last sentence: it the world that Mafi created ever did exist the way it played out, they would probably be even more screwed now that Juliette is going to rule the world. Good grief, Charlie Brown.