Title: Ignite Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Genre: YA Dystopian
Series: Shatter Me
Publication Date: December 30, 2014
The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, called “a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love.”
With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her.
The Shatter Me series is perfect for fans who crave action-packed young adult novels with tantalizing romance like Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Legend by Marie Lu. Tahereh Mafi has created a captivating and original story that combines the best of dystopian and paranormal, and was praised by Publishers Weekly as “a gripping read from an author who’s not afraid to take risks.” Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and satisfying end.
Quick and Dirty:
The final installment of Juliette’s story and a movement that can save her world.
“I am an hourglass”
In the interest of MAJOR spoilers I will not tell you who Juliette chooses in the end, but I can tell you that the author did a fantastic job at ending this series. There were no loose ends, and while I do not want her to continue the series for the plot’s sake I would love more time with these characters!
One relationship in particular that I loved seeing throughout this book was the friendship between Kenji and Juliette. These two became extraordinarily close and there banter and easy camaraderie made for some GREAT scenes! So great in fact that I couldn’t resist picking my favorite Kenji & Juliette moment for the “Notable Scene” below. Speaking of relationships, this book gave us some very valuable Juliette and Warner time in the same way that Unravel Me gave Adam and Juliette their alone time. Without the pretense of Warner’s Reestablishment identity and the distractions of Omega Prime Juliette and Warner get a chance to talk and interact in a way that they never have before: honestly. No matter the outcome at the end this is the book that warner fans will want to read.
I shuffle over to the door and Kenji grabs my arm to lead me outside. He turns back and shouts, “Get yourselves some dinner” to everyone else, just before we leave.
We’re standing on the landing just outside Adam’s house, and I realize for the first time that there are more stairwells leading up. To somewhere.
“Come on, princess,” Kenji says. “Follow me.”
And we climb.
Four, five flights of stairs. Maybe eight. Or fifty. I have no idea. All I know is that by the time we reach the top I’m both out of breath and embarrassed for being out of breath.
When I’m finally able to inhale normally, I chance a look around.
We’re on the roof, outside, where the world is pitch-black but for the stars and the sliver of moon someone has hung from the sky. Sometimes I wonder if the planets are still up there, still aligned, still managing to get along after all this time. Maybe we could learn a thing or two from them.
The wind tangles around us and I shiver as my body adjusts to the temperature.
“Come here,” Kenji says to me. He motions to the ledge of the roof, and sits down right on the edge, legs swinging over what would be his fastest path to death. “Don’t worry,” he says when he sees my face. “It’ll be fine. I sit here a lot.”
When I’m finally sitting next to him, I dare to look down. My feet are dangling from the top of the world.
Kenji drops an arm around me. Rubs my shoulder to keep me warm.
“So,” he says. “When’s the big day? Have you set a date yet?”
“What?” I startle. “For what?”
“For the day you’re going to stop being such a dumbass,” he says, shooting me a sharp look.
“Oh.” I cringe. Kick at the air. “Yeah, that’ll probably never happen.”
“Yeah, you’re probably right.”
“You know,” he says, “I don’t know where Adam is.”
I stiffen. Sit up. “Is he okay?”
“He’ll be fine,” Kenji says with a resigned sigh. “He’s just super pissed off. And hurt. And embarrassed. And all that emotional shit.”
I drop my eyes again. Kenji’s arm hangs loosely around my neck, and he pulls me closer, tucking me into his side. I rest my head on his chest.
Moments and minutes and memories build and break between us.
“I really thought you guys were solid,” Kenji finally says to me.
“Yeah,” I whisper. “Me too.”
A few seconds jump off the roof.
“I’m such a horrible person,” I say, so quietly.
“Yeah, well.” Kenji sighs.
I groan. Drop my head into my hands.
Kenji sighs again. “Don’t worry, Kent was being an asshole, too.” He takes a deep breath. “But damn, princess.” Kenji looks at me, shakes his head an inch, looks back into the night. “Seriously? Warner?”
I look up. “What are you talking about?”
Kenji raises an eyebrow at me. “I know for a fact that you’re not stupid, so please don’t act like you are.”
I roll my eyes. “I really don’t want to have this conversation again—”
“I don’t care if you don’t want to have this conversation again. You have to talk about this. You can’t just fall for a guy like Warner without telling me why. I need to make sure he didn’t stick a chip in your head or someshit.”
I’m silent for almost a full minute.
“I’m not falling for Warner,” I say quietly.
“Sure you aren’t.”
“I’m not,” I insist. “I’m just—I don’t know.” I sigh. “I don’t know what’s happening to me.”
“They’re called hormones.”
I shoot him a dirty look. “I’m serious.”
“Me too.” He cocks his head at me. “That’s like, biological and shit. Scientific. Maybe your lady bits are scientifically confused.”
“My lady bits?”
“Oh, I’m sorry”—Kenji pretends to look offended—“would you rather I use the proper anatomical terminology? Because your lady bits do not scare me—”
“Yeah, no thanks.” I manage to laugh a little, my sad attempt dissolving into a sigh.
God, everything is changing.
“He’s just . . . so different,” I hear myself say. “Warner. He’s not what you guys think. He’s sweet. And kind. And his father is so, so horrible to him. You can’t even imagine,” I trail off, thinking of the scars I saw on Warner’s back. “And more than anything else . . . I don’t know,” I say, staring into the darkness. “He really . . . believes in me?” I glance up at Kenji. “Does that sound stupid?”
Kenji shoots me a doubtful look. “Adam believes in you, too.”
“Yeah,” I say, looking into the darkness. “I guess.”
“What do you mean, you guess? The kid thinks you invented air.”
I almost smile. “I don’t know which version of me Adam likes. I’m not the same person I was when we were in school. I’m not that girl anymore. I think he wants that,” I say, glancing up at Kenji. “I think he wants to pretend I’m the girl who doesn’t really speak and spends most of her time being scared. The kind of girl he needs to protect and take care of all the time. I don’t know if he likes who I am now. I don’t know if he can handle it.”
“So the minute you opened your mouth you just shattered all his dreams, huh?”
“I will push you off the roof.”
“Yeah, I can definitely see why Adam wouldn’t like you.”
I roll my eyes.
Kenji laughs. Leans back and pulls me down with him. The concrete is under our heads now, the sky draped all around us. It’s like I’ve been dropped into a vat of ink.
“You know, it actually makes a lot of sense,” Kenji finally says. “What does?”
“I don’t know, I mean—you’ve been locked up basically forever, right? It’s not like you were busy touching a bunch of dudes your whole life.”
“Like—Adam was the first guy who was ever . . . nice to you. Hell, he was probably the first person in the world who was nice to you. And he can touch you. And he’s not, you know, disgusting looking.” A pause. “I can’t blame you, to be honest. It’s hard being lonely. We all get a little desperate sometimes.”
“Okay,” I say slowly.
“I am just saying,” Kenji says, “that I guess it makes sense you’d fall for him. Like, by default. Because if not him, who else? Your options were super limited.”
“Oh,” I say, quietly now. “Right. By default.” I try to laugh and fail, swallowing hard against the emotion caught in my throat. “Sometimes I’m not sure I even know what’s real anymore.”
“What do you mean?”
I shake my head. “I don’t know,” I whisper, mostly to myself.
A heavy pause.
“Did you really love him . . . ?”
I hesitate before answering. “I think so? I don’t know?” I sigh. “Is it possible to love someone and then stop loving them? I don’t think I even know what love is.”
Kenji blows out a breath. Runs a hand through his hair. “Well shit,” he mutters.
“Have you ever been in love?” I ask, turning on my side to look at him.
He stares up at the sky. Blinks a few times. “Nope.”
I roll back, disappointed. “Oh.”
“This is so depressing,” Kenji says.
“So tell me again why you like Warner so much? Did he, like, take all his clothes off or something?”
“What?” I gasp, so glad it’s too dark for him to see me blushing. “No,” I say quickly. “No, he—”
“Damn, princess.” Kenji laughs, hard. “I had no idea.”
I punch him in the arm. “Hey—be gentle with me!” he protests, rubbing at the sore spot. “I’m weaker than you!”
“You know, I can sort of control it now,” I tell him, beaming. “I can moderate my strength levels.”
“Good for you. I’ll buy you a balloon the minute the world stops shitting on itself.”
“Thank you,” I say, pleased. “You’re a good teacher.”
“I’m good at everything,” he points out.
“And really good-looking.”
I choke on a laugh.
“You still haven’t answered my question,” Kenji says. He shifts, folds his hands behind his head. “Why do you like the rich boy so much?”
I take a tight breath. Focus on the brightest star in the sky. “I like the way I feel about myself when I’m with him,” I say quietly. “Warner thinks I’m strong and smart and capable and he actually values my opinion. He makes me feel like his equal—like I can accomplish just as much as he can, and more. And if I do something incredible, he’s not even surprised. He expects it. He doesn’t treat me like I’m some fragile little girl who needs to be protected all the time.”
“That’s because you’re not fragile,” Kenji says. “If anything, everyone needs to protect themselves from you. You’re like a freaking beast,” he says. Then adds, “I mean, you know—like, a cute beast. A little beast that tears shit up and breaks the earth and sucks the life out of people.”
“I’m here for you.”
“I can tell.”
“So that’s it?” Kenji says. “You just like him for his personality, huh?”
“All of this,” Kenji says, waving a hand in the air, “has nothing to do with him being all sexy and shit and him being able to touch you all the time?”
“You think Warner is sexy?”
“That is not what I said.”
I laugh. “I do like his face.”
“And the touching?”
Kenji looks at me, eyes wide, eyebrows up. “I am not Adam, okay? You can’t bullshit me with your innocent act. You tell me this guy can touch you, and that he’s into you, and you’re clearly into him, and you spent the night in his bed last night, and then I walk in on the two of you in a freaking closet—no wait, I’m sorry, not a closet—a child’s bedroom—and you’re telling me there has been zero touching?” He stares at me. “Is that what you’re telling me?”
“No,” I whisper, face on fire.
“You’re just growing up so quickly. You’re getting all excited about being able to touch shit for the first time, and I just want to be sure you are observing sanitary regulations—”
“Stop being so disgusting.”
“Hey—I’m just looking out for y—”
I take a deep breath. Try to count the stars. “What am I going to do?”
“About what?” I hesitate.
Kenji makes a strange sound. “Shit if I know.”
“I don’t want to do this without you,” I whisper.
He leans back. “Who said you’re going to do anything without me?”
My heart skips a few beats. I stare at him.
“What?” he asks. Raises his eyebrows. “You’re surprised?”
“You’ll fight with me?” I ask him, hardly breathing. “Fight back with me? Even if it’s with Warner?”
Kenji smiles. Looks up at the sky. “Hell yeah,” he says.
“I’m here for you, kid. That’s what friends are for.”