Double Trouble Review: “Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3)” and “Unite Me (Shatter Me #1.5, #2.5)” by Tahereh Mafi


13188676 18481271Title: “Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3)” and “Unite Me (Shatter Me #1.5, #2.5)”

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Genre: SERIOUSLY AWESOME, dystopia, YA, fantasy/sci-fi

Publication Date: February 4, 2014 (both – HarperTeen – North America)

Source: Publisher-provided finished copies

Summary:

IGNITE ME: Juliette now knows she may be the only one who can stop the Reestablishment. But to take them dowPerfect for fans of Tahereh Mafi’s New York Times bestselling Shatter Me trilogy, this book collects her two companion novellas, Fracture Me and Destroy Me, in print for the first time ever. It also features an exclusive look into Juliette’s journal and a preview of Ignite Me, the hotly anticipated final novel of the series.

UNITE ME: Destroy Me tells the events between Shatter Me and Unravel Me from Warner’s point of view. Even though Juliette shot him in order to escape, Warner can’t stop thinking about her—and he’ll do anything to get her back. But when the Supreme Commander of The Reestablishment arrives, he has much different plans for Juliette. Plans Warner cannot allow.

Fracture Me is told from Adam’s perspective and bridges the gap between Unravel Me and Ignite Me. As the Omega Point rebels prepare to fight the Sector 45 soldiers, Adam’s more focused on the safety of Juliette, Kenji, and his brother. The Reestablishment will do anything to crush the resistance . . . including killing everyone Adam cares about.n, 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.

☆: UNITE ME – 4/5 stars – a must-have for any “Shatter Me” series fan!

IGNITE ME: 5/5 stars – because who am I kidding? This was ridiculously awesome.

 

Review: Now that, ladies and gentlefolk, is an ENDING. Between “Ignite Me”, “Infinite” by Jodi Meadows, and “Into the Still Blue” by Veronica Rossi, I definitely have three contenders for best concluding trilogy books of the year. But Mafi goes all out in this last installment of “Shatter Me” trilogy – so much so that there’s bullets flying everywhere, as well as broken hearts, and a main character that has made such an amazing progression/evolution that just remembering it takes my breath away. There’s also “Unite Me” (the paper publication of the novellas) to talk about, and we’ll get to those in a bit. But seriously, guys, one of the best novels of the year? It has to be “Ignite Me”.

 

Since all of the technical areas in both books are more or less flawless, less dive into some of my favorite and/or most important parts in both books, shall we?

First, let’s talk my favorite part of this book: Juliette’s character progression/evolution. It’s honestly one of the best I’ve seen in recent years in any kind of genre, much less YA. In book 3, we have a brand-new Juliette – one that’s strong, confident, and will take no shit from anyone when it comes to getting what she wants and what she needs. I was quite ready to say goodbye to the weepy Juliette of book 1 and the confused, teary Juliette of book 2. This Juliette is pretty much 500% done with all of the things that have held her back before, because everything is now on the line like it never has.

So for me? Juliette was the best part of this book (as well as the ending – can we please, please, please get a post-book 3 novella following up on this? Please?). Mafi, you get all of the golf claps in the world (sincere ones, of course) for sharpening up her character so much.

There’s also the matter of the shipping wars going on over this series – Adam vs Warner. Here’s where I mention “Unite Me” (a quick mention, but a mention nonetheless) – in the collected novellas, we get a novella for each boy, and in those novellas, we start to see how Mafi has built these boys, and how drastically they differ. I feel like Adam’s novella revealed a whole lot more of his character than Warner’s did – but Warner’s was the more well-written and interesting of the two. In “Ignite Me”, though, we really get to see the fruits of those novella labors through both boys’ interactions with Juliette and each other.  So, I have to say, in a rare show of actual participating in these shipping wars (I usually only participate with them in TV shows or movies – there, I said it), I have to support Team Warner, as he evolves the most out of the two boys, and we also see his motives as to WHY he treated Juliette the way he did in book one, and how things have progressed from there.

And then there’s Kenji. He gets a good scrubbing up too, all shiny and not just comic relief, but really bringing it as a bff and a real shoulder to lean on when things get crazy for Juliette (and eventually, for Warner and Adam too).

I guess, when it comes down to it, the keyword to the technical details in ALL areas of this book (including worldbuilding) is evolution. We get to see more of the world, externally and internally, as well as a history of how the Re-Establishment began, and the duration between events that so drastically changed Juliette, Warner, Kenji, and Adam’s world.

I also have to say that Mafi’s prose in “Ignite Me”? The best it’s been so far. Seriously. A quantum leap in poetic and sensorily rich prose, there are so many passages from this book that I actually want to get tattooed on my body – which is VERY rare for me. I love being able to track an author’s progress through their books (especially in a series), and this has been a joy to watch Mafi in her “Shatter Me” series because she’s made such drastic leaps and bounds in her writing over the years this series has gone on.

I think my favorite passage in this book is the following:

“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.”

 

Now THAT, ladies and gents, is literature.

Curious? Want to read more? I highly recommend that you do. Both “Unite Me” and “Ignite Me” are out in North America through HarperTeen, so definitely go and check out the end of this series (that I’m really going to miss) and one of my favorites of 2014 so far.

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