Backlog Review: Ignite Me – Tahereh Mafi

When I was looking at some reviews I wrote a while ago and never posted I realized I never posted my review of Ignite Me. I think I forgot about it because at the time I felt like I had a very unpopular opinion on the series ender. Since then I feel like more people felt this way than I originally thought. However, since I had it done I might as well post it. So here you go, my review of Ignite Me which I wrote years ago!

Backlog Review: Ignite Me – Tahereh MafiIgnite Me by Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me #3
Published by HarperCollins
Published: February 4th 2014
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two-stars

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.

Welcome to the newest edition of unpopular opinion time. Because I seem to have a mostly unpopular opinion for Ignite Me. After reading it for three days and feeling anger, annoyance, and frustration, I finally finished and now I’m just sad and disappointed. I will freely admit that I am team Adam. I never hid my lack of love for Warner in this series. But my lack of like for this series ender has nothing to do with what went on with Warner in this book. It has to do with my feelings of other things that happened that I just couldn’t get past.

Ignite Me is the final book in Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me series, a series about Juliette, a girl that can kill someone with just her touch. When we first met Juliette in Shatter Me she was an emotional mess. But as Juliette started to learn more and more about her powers and made friends and got herself involved in a love triangle with Adam and Warner, Juliette started to become a threat that needed to be stopped. With Warner’s father Anderson after her and wanting her dead Juliette finally decides it is time to take on The Reestablishment. But she going to need help and finds it in a place she ever expected, from a person she thought she knew but apparently didn’t. She needs Warner. And is he ever full of surprises.

And I guess to be honest that was my first problem with this book. STOP READING IF YOU DON’T WANT ANY SPOILERS!!!

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When the book started off I was immediately bombarded with all these ‘truths’ about Warner. But honestly, I didn’t feel like they were truths. I felt like I was duped. Like I was reading a new book completely separate from what I had read in the series. The ‘changes’ in Warner didn’t seem natural. They just didn’t flow right and seemed to be made out of convenience rather than story progression. They didn’t leave me loving Warner any more than I did. Actually, I lost respect for him because now he was a phony rather than a villain. And it didn’t stop with Warner for me. Everyone seemed to have a personality transplant. Adam, Kenji, Warner…it all seemed so forced.

What I did appreciate was the character of Juliette. From start to finish in the series, she was the main focus and her growth was the highlight and the reason I didn’t rate this lower. For me, she was the one character that stayed true to herself. The changes in her were the kind of changes I like to see in a character. She grew up a lot from book to book and was no longer afraid of who she was. At times she got on my nerves because she was strong yet couldn’t say what she was feeling, but who isn’t like that in the real world. By far she was the bright spot for me. Was it farfetched that she could stage a revolution? Definitely. But it’s the kind of farfetched I liked. It was her reactions to Adam that I hated and her reactions to Warner that bugged me.

I know with me being a self-proclaimed Warner hater and Adam lover that it seems like I’m whining based off what goes down in Ignite Me. But truthfully that isn’t what this is about. That part of the story was minor for me. It was the changes that happened that I felt took away from the other books, of the characters and their character. I understand what Mafi was trying to do, but it just didn’t work for me personally. I still love the first two books, but sadly Ignite Me just wasn’t the book for me.

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Backlog Review: Slammed – Colleen Hoover

Backlog Review: Slammed – Colleen HooverSlammed (Slammed, #1) by Colleen Hoover
Published by Simon & Schuster
Published: September 18th 2012
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two-half-stars

Layken's father died suddenly, leaving her to gather every ounce of strength to be a pillar for her family, in order to prevent their world from falling apart. Now her life is taking another unexpected turn...

Layken's mother gets a job which leads to an unwanted move across the country. However, a new home means new neighbours... and Layken's new neighbour is the very attractive Will Cooper.

Will has an intriguing passion for slam poetry, and a matching passion for life. The two feel an irresistible attraction but are rocked to the core when a shocking revelation brings their romance to a screeching halt. Layken and Will must find a way to fight the forces that threaten to tear them apart...or learn to live without each other.

Talk about a disappointment. I’m honestly bummed that Slammed turned out the way it did for me. When I first started it I was really into it. Loved the idea, was mildly shocked by some of the events that unfolded and really loved not only the dynamic between Layken and Will, but the family relationship between Layken, her mom and her little brother. But the further I read the more muddled I found the book becoming and the more my frustration went up. And by the end I was sadly happy I was done reading what was once so promising.

Slammed is about Layken, an 18 year old girl from Texas that is forced to move to Michigan with her mother and brother when her dad unexpectedly dies. Michigan is about the last place Lake wants to be, that is until she meets her neighbor from across the streets, Will Cooper.  Almost immediately sparks between the two begin to fly, but when something is brought to light that they never considered in their whirlwind of a romance, everything unravels as quickly as it started. Now forced to stay away from each other Layken not only has to deal with living in a new place after the loss of her father, but with all the other things that come with adulthood. And the fact that it sometimes isn’t so easy to live with either just your heart or your head leading you.

I guess what my problem was with Slammed was that it became a victim of what I like to call ‘everything and the kitchen sick syndrome’. At the start of the book, there was a really great foundation for a story about a girl finding her way in a new place after a tragedy struck. She was dealing with the unexpected and dealing with it the way any teenager would with her feelings and with some drama. That all worked for me. I liked how Layken was and I liked how Layken and Will’s relationship came about and split apart. But sadly the book didn’t stay on that track and the more is swayed away from that the harder it became for me to like it. As more and more things started to happen to up the drama, the more the story became almost a joke and that bummed me out really bad.

The frustrating thing about Slammed is that everything was right there to make this story strong and memorable and it just never ended up coming to fruition. It ended up being annoying and muddled for me in the end and that is a major downer. What started out strong really fizzled and splattered at the end creating a story that didn’t make me want to run out and read the next in the series. There was just too much involved making it seem over the top and not a solid story about life changes and growing up. I’ll be trying Colleen Hoover again, but I’m in no rush at the moment.

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Backlog Review: These Broken Stars – Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner (audio)

Backlog Review: These Broken Stars – Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner (audio)These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Series: Starbound #1
Published by Disney-Hyperion
Published: November 11th 2014
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two-half-stars

It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they're worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Everyone I know has seemed to love this book. Like insanely love it. I had thought about it once or twice as the cover is GORGEOUS, but I always held back as I had read space books before and they aren’t my thing. But once again it was suggested to me right around the time I was looking for a new audio. I decided to take a chance and see what the fuss was about. Sadly, I was right in my initial reaction. Space books just aren’t my thing, or I have yet to find the right one.

These Broken Stars is a very Titanic like story. It is about Tarver, a lower class war hero, and Lilac, the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver and Lilac are traveling on board the Icarus together when there is an accident and the ship is taken out of hyperspace and falls to the nearest planet. Now alone together they must rely on each other not only to survive but to live. But nothing is as they thought and when they start to uncover some truths nothing will even be the same for them again.

This was a strange reading experience for several reasons.  I LOVED the narrators. Their voices were really great at telling the story of survival and love and uncovering truths. I felt like they did a good job of engaging the reader and telling the story of what was happening. I also really loved Tarver and Lilac (plus Lilac LaRoux just sounds AWESOME when you say it out loud). They had that wrong side of the tracks things going on and I loved the push and pull between then. I mean Lilac was so spoiled but she was tougher than anyone gave her credit for. You would think that would make me love the book. That is where the strangeness comes in. As much as I loved the narrators and the characters, I couldn’t stand the setting and the plot.

It was going along okay for a while. I mean I thought it was silly, as I find space books silly, but it was still going okay. And then it took a turn and I was left trying to figure out what the what was happening and why I was still reading. I just didn’t get the need for things to turn the way they did. To me it didn’t fit and from that point on the reading was downhill. I couldn’t come back from that feeling unfortunately and the book suffered because of it.

I guess what I am trying to say is that although I liked the narration and the characters, it just all didn’t work. It wasn’t my kind of book which is okay. I tried it and I finished it. No one says I have to love it. I will say that I would love to listen to another book with these narrators. That is definitely on my list of things to look for.

 

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Backlog Review: Soulprint – Megan Miranda

Backlog Review: Soulprint – Megan MirandaSoulprint by Megan Miranda
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Published: February 3rd 2015
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four-half-stars

Seventeen-year-old Alina Chase has spent her entire life imprisoned on a secluded island―not for a crime she committed in this lifetime, but one done by her past self. Her very soul is like a fingerprint, carried from one life to the next―and Alina is sick of being guilty.

Aided by three teens with their own ulterior motives, Alina manages to escape. Although she's not sure she can trust any of them, she soon finds herself drawn to Cameron, the most enigmatic and alluring of the trio. But when she uncovers clues from her past life, secrets begin to unravel and Alina must figure out whether she's more than the soul she inherited, or if she's fated to repeat history.

This stunning "new world" romance from acclaimed author Megan Miranda will leave readers wondering how far they would go to escape the past.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I was really pleasantly surprised by Soulprint. I mean I loved Miranda’s other two books I’ve read, Fractured and Vengeance, and knew I wanted to read Soulprint. But I just didn’t expect to be as enthralled by it as I was. Quite honestly it was very inventive and something I have never read before. And I didn’t expect it to go down the way it did at all.

Soulprint is about Alina Chase, a 17 year old girl that has been contained because of her soul. You see, Alina lives in a world where souls are repurposed as someone else when the body dies. And unfortunately Alina has been cursed with the soul that once belonged to June Calahan, a famous criminal. She is told she isn’t being imprisoned for crimes she never committed but being kept under lock and key for her own safety. Determined to escape and be free Alina doesn’t even bat an eye when she is given the opportunity to escape with the help of 3 other teens. But now that she is out Alina realizes so much more is at stake than her freedom. Not knowing who to trust Alina begins fighting for not only herself but for June.

What I really liked about Soulprint was its unique premise. Reincarnation isn’t a new concept. It has been around for ages. But Miranda used it in a way that made it new and fresh. I liked the idea that you can trace where your soul has come from, its routes and how that is both a good thing and a dangerous thing. That is what really intrigued me about Soulprint. It was a bit like The Program and Unleashed mixed into one and I loved that.

I also really liked Alina. My heart went out to her. She was being blamed for something that she had no control over. She was ostracized for having the soul of someone that looked like a terrible person on the outside but that people never really knew. Alina paid for the sins of a crime she didn’t commit. All she wanted was freedom and she couldn’t have it. I felt for her. That is not a life I would ever want to live.

All in all I really enjoyed Soulprint. It was pretty fast paced and a readable narrative that keeps you involved in the story. It makes you really think while you read and makes you wonder. You easily get involved in the lives of these characters and want to see how things work out and if Alina can ever really be free from a crime that wasn’t hers. I would recommend checking this one out for sure.

 

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Backlog Review: Last Year’s Mistake – Gina Ciocca

Backlog Review: Last Year’s Mistake – Gina CioccaLast Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca
Published by Simon Pulse
Published: June 9th 2015
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four-stars

Is there anything that electric chemistry can’t overcome? The past may be gone, but love has a way of holding on in this romantic debut novel told in alternating Before and After chapters.

The summer before freshman year, Kelsey and David became inseparable best friends—until the night a misunderstanding turned Kelsey into the school joke and everything around her crumbled, including her friendship with David. So when Kelsey’s parents decide to move away, she can’t wait to start over and leave the past behind. But David’s not quite ready to be left.

Now it’s senior year and Kelsey has a new group of friends, genuine popularity, and a hot boyfriend. Her life is perfect. That is, until David’s family moves to town. Old feelings bubble to the surface and threaten to destroy Kelsey’s second chance at happiness. The more time she spends with David, the more she realizes she never let him go. And maybe she never wants to…

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I’m a major sucker for best friend to love troupes in books. I don’t know what it is, but I’m drawn to them like nobody’s business. So when I read the description of Last Year’s Mistake I was instantly drawn in. It had exactly what I would want in a book. And I loved the idea of the story having a back story, a past. And I can happily report that it hit the spot.

I guess what I really liked about this book was the relationship David and Kelsey formed right away. They were both these awkward teenagers and they just clicked. They understood each other and I liked that. Kelsey wasn’t always my favorite person. I mean sometimes I questioned just what the heck she was doing, but I also understood her too. She was trying to do anything to be someone else. To reinvent herself in a way her old high school never allowed her to do, but she also wasn’t being true to herself at the same time. Now David I loved the whole time. There was something so swoony about him. Something that made you just want to be his best friend and crush on him at the same time. It was sure who he was and I loved that about him.

I did have 2 issues that I didn’t particularly enjoy which is why this book isn’t rated higher than a 4. I hated Kelsey’s boyfriend. He was a jerk so I didn’t understand why she was even with him. I mean I know he kind of had to be a jerk for the book to work for the most part, but I think he could have been written a little better. I also wasn’t too crazy about the “misunderstanding, school joke” thing from Kelsey’s old high school. It just didn’t seem like it should have been as big a deal as it was. I mean I know kids are cruel, but this just seemed a tad over the top even for young high school kids.

Even with those two things I really enjoyed Last Year’s Mistake. It was definitely my kind of book and I read it when I needed something just like it. Getting to know Kelsey and David and the inner workings of their relationship was fun. I’m excited to see what else Gina Ciocca has in store for us with her writing.

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