Title: Ignite Me
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.
I try not to read reviews when I’m reading or right after I’m reading a book, but that wasn’t the case with this book. I did read reviews because I wanted to see what other people thought, so I’m probably going to refer to them in passing a lot because there is a good chance that they colored my own feelings about the book without me realizing it. That being said, though, no matter how my feelings about certain details might or might not have changed, I did enjoy the final book in the Shatter Me trilogy.
Juliette has definitely stumbled in her character arc throughout this series. If you’ve read the first two books, you probably know what I mean – she’ll seem to come into her powers and herself only to curl into a ball and whine a little again because her life is difficult. And it is difficult, but that doesn’t mean you want to read her whining all the time. It also didn’t help that the whining was mixed in with angsty romantic drama. So, coming into this book, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Juliette. Frankly, I was starting to get tired of her and her regular antics. So, it was great to see that she finally and truly did come into her powers and herself in this book. She started off a little shaky at the beginning, but it’s almost to be expected considering what happened at the end of the second book. She becomes strong and she becomes the type of protagonist you can cheer on even without the badass powers that she has. I don’t remember it seeming like it was out of character either – it just seemed like she had finally figured out who she was, which was great. So, if you were tired of Juliette always whining and fixating on angsty relationship drama, then there’s a good chance you’ll at least be okay with her character arc during this book.
The other characters are interesting as well. I’m going to try and address the love triangle as little as possible so as not to spoil anything, but I will say that I was intrigued by the way Tahereh Mafi handled it. Warner continued to grow into an interesting character, and while I think some people might be frustrated with Adam’s character arc, I thought it was pretty genuine and interesting to read about.
My favorite characters were the ones who brought in moments of humor, truth, and adorableness, though: Kenji and James (Adam’s little brother). Kenji continues to be my favorite character in this series ever, and he continues to be a great friend to Juliette, even when he doesn’t agree with her decisions. James was just adorable sometimes, which was nice among some of the heavier moments. Some of my favorite scenes stood out to me because Kenji or James had hilarious/adorable dialogue in them.
So, I was really happy with the character arcs in this book. I remember reading someone else’s review (I can’t remember who right now, sorry!) that suggested that this book, and this series, was really more about introspection and character relationships than a dystopia, and I definitely agree, since the dystopia and its world building were the weakest points.
If you kept reading this series to learn more about the world, then you won’t be happy with this book, because we really don’t learn much more. The ending is kind of rushed and seems a little too easy for the heroes. Since I was more interested in the characters and them having a happy ending, I really didn’t mind that much, but I’m sure it’ll bother some people. This book is really a much better book if you want to focus on the characters and such, but if you want an intriguing dystopian world with an ending that is sure to set things right with the government issues and such, then this is not necessarily the book for you.
So, I was quite happy with the way this series ended. There are some things that certainly could have been better, but I thought this was a perfectly decent finale that gave me some interesting character arcs. I look forward to whatever Mafi writes next, especially if it’s more of a character-focused story.