Book Review: The Medea Complex by Rachel Florence Roberts


1885. Anne Stanbury - Committed to a lunatic asylum, having been deemed insane and therefore unfit to stand trial for the crime of which she is indicted. But is all as it seems?

Edgar Stanbury - the grieving husband and father who is torn between helping his confined wife recover her sanity, and seeking revenge on the woman who ruined his life.

Dr George Savage - the well respected psychiatrist, and chief medical officer of Bethlem Royal Hospital. Ultimately, he holds Anne's future wholly in his hands.

The Medea Complex tells the story of a misunderstood woman suffering from insanity in an era when mental illnesses were all too often misdiagnosed and mistreated. A deep and riveting psychological thriller set within an historical context, packed full of twists and turns, The Medea Complex explores the nature of the human psyche: what possesses us, drives us, and how love, passion, and hope for the future can drive us to insanity.
Release Date: November 1, 2013
Age Group: Adult
Source: Review copy from author
Reviewed By: Kelli
The Medea Complex was such a riveting book!  I started it expecting a very deliberately paced book, as sometimes historical books move slowly; and I was shocked at how quickly I was drawn into the story.  The plot drew me in from the very first chapter, and the pace didn't let up for the entire book.  I found The Medea Complex nearly impossible to put down.

Roberts uses an alternating first-person narrative.  Anne, Edgar, and Dr. Savage are all narrators; and Anne's ladies maid, Beatrix, narrates a few chapters here and there as well.  I love this type of narrative because the author lets the reader delve into the main characters' heads.  Knowing exactly what everyone was thinking was extra important for this book, with the main subject matter being mental illness.

The premise of Anne's mental illness, called puerperal mania (what is now known as postpartum psychosis) was really intriguing, and extremely well-developed.  I appreciate it when an author really researches a topic for a book, and Roberts wrote so competently and eloquently about mental illness, that I could tell she became very well-versed in the subject.  

I found The Medea Complex to be a riveting read, full of suspense, and surprises along the way.  There was a lot of change in each character, given that the story takes place over six months' time.  I finished the book shocked at the final plot twist, and days later, I'm still thinking about this book.  The ending had plenty of closure, but the entire focus of the book left me wondering if the perpetrator would ever come to justice.  The summary states that The Medea Complex is based on a true story, but even without that disclaimer, I would say that this book is terrifyingly plausible.     

The Medea Complex is an adult book, but there are no bedroom scenes in this story.  There are definitely adult themes (death, alcoholism); however, so I would definitely recommend this book to readers 18 and over.

I recommend The Medea Complex to fans of historical fiction, and fans of thrillers.  It was a great emotional thriller, and I look forward to reading more from Rachel Florence Roberts. 

Book Review: Unforgotten (Unremembered #2) by Jessica Brody

After a daring escape from the scientists at Diotech who created her, Seraphina believes she is finally safe from the horrors of her past. But new threats await Sera and her boyfriend, Zen, at every turn as Zen falls prey to a mysterious illness and Sera’s extraordinary abilities make it more and more difficult to stay hidden. Meanwhile, Diotech has developed a dangerous new weapon designed to apprehend her. A weapon that even Sera will be powerless to stop. Her only hope of saving Zen’s life and defeating the company that made her is a secret buried deep within her mind. A secret that Diotech will kill to protect. And it won’t stay forgotten for long.

Packed with mystery, suspense, and romance, this riveting second installment of Jessica Brody’s Unremembered trilogy delivers more heart-pounding action as loyalties are tested, love becomes a weapon, and no one’s memories are safe.

Release Date: February 25, 2014
Age Group: YA
Source:  Review copy from publisher
Reviewed By: Kelli

I loved book one, Unremembered, and was on pins and needles waiting for book two.  I'm happy to say that Jessica Brody did not disappoint with Unforgotten.  It was every bit as good as book one, and I can't wait for the next book in the series!

I love the premise of this series.  It's a combination of time travel, sci-fi (Sera and Kaelen were created, not born) and mystery.  There was so much going on in this book, and Brody wove it all together seamlessly.  

Unforgotten starts out with Sera and Zen living in 1609.  I love historical fiction, so to have part of the book occur in the past made me enjoy Unforgotten even more.  The time-travel aspect of the story was really well-developed.  I think it's interesting how authors all have their own take on the mechanics of time travel.  

Unforgotten is so many things, but at its heart it's such a great love story.  I love that: this book is so much more than just a love story, but the relationship is an integral part of the book.  Brody struck the perfect balance between Sera and Zen's love for each other and the rest of the plot.  The book did not lean too heavily in either direction.  I don't like reading books with absolutely no love story---I have to read about someone falling in love---yet I love it when books have a detailed plot yet still have a well-developed love story.

I thought that Unremembered had a lot going on as far as the characters (there were so many) and the plot, but Unforgotten takes it one step further.  I loved that I never knew what to expect from this book and that Brody continually surprised me.

I can't say enough good things about this series.  I really loved everything about it!  Except for maybe that huge cliffhanger of an ending.  Now I have to wait for book three: but I know it'll be worth the wait.  I highly recommend Unforgotten!

Children's Book Review: The Pout-Pout Fish series by Deborah Diesen


Deep in the water,Mr. Fish swims about
With his fish face stuckIn a permanent pout.Can his pals cheer him up?
Will his pout ever end?
Is there something he can learn
From an unexpected friend?

Swim along with the pout-pout fish as he discovers that being glum and spreading “dreary wearies” isn’t really his destiny. Bright ocean colors and playful rhyme come together in this fun fish story that’s sure to turn even the poutiest of frowns upside down.

My two-year old, Kaitlyn, is a HUGE reader.  I love that she loves reading as much as I do!  We recently discovered the Pout-Pout fish books and we are having so much fun with this series.  The Pout-Pout Fish was an instant favorite of ours.  The text has a great rhyming cadence to it, and these books are just plain fun to read!  I've already given these books as a gift twice, since we discovered them at Christmas. 

We've read The Pout-Pout Fish so many times that Kaitlyn can quote some of the text right along with me.  Besides the fun text and beautiful illustrations, these books have great messages.  The Pout-Pout Fish is all about learning how to accept love and to be happy.  The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark is a longer story, available only in hardcover (not as a board book) and it focuses on overcoming a fear of the dark.  Both books feature Mr. Fish, and his gang of friends who come to his aid in times of need.  

There's nothing that could make these books better, and if you have young children, I highly recommend The Pout-Pout Fish series.  It's impossible not to smile while reading these fun, imaginative, sweet stories!  The next book in the series, The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School, comes out in June.  I've pre-ordered it and expect it to be just as much fun as its predecessors!  

Mini Reviews: Wait for You, Up From the Grave, Home for the Holidays

I really enjoyed this contemporary NA story!  It had an interesting plot, well-developed characters, and a few surprises along the way.  My only complaint was that it was pretty heavy on the bedroom scenes.  It's the first in the series, and it looks like the next book will feature a minor character from book one.  This was my first time reading J. Lynn/Jennifer Armentrout and I was impressed.  I'm definitely going to be reading the next book in this series; in fact, I already pre-ordered it!  Rating: 4 stars.

Up From the Grave (Night Huntress #7) by Jeaniene Frost.
As usual, Frost delivers a winner with this book.  The pace was perfect, the plot was interesting, and the characters were varied.  I didn't realize until I'd finished the book that this is the last Cat and Bones book.  *sob*  But, Frost ends the series on a perfect note, with hope and happiness, and I love her for that.  I also loved that while this is the seventh book in the Night Huntress series, the plot was still fresh and there wasn't any of the dreaded "filler" feeling to it.  On a side note, there were fewer bedroom scenes in this novel, compared to the others in the series.  This was not a problem for me, but others may find it problematic, especially given that this is the last Night Huntress book.  Rating: 5 stars

Home For the Holidays (Night Huntress #6.5) by Jeaniene Frost.
I ended up reading this novella (which is a great length, about half the length of a full-size novel) after reading Up From The Grave.  I really wished I'd read Home for the Holidays first, because things that happened in Up From the Grave would have made much more sense.  I found out about this novella only after reading on Jeaniene Frost's website to confirm that Up From the Grave was the last Night Huntress novel.  Anyway, I really enjoyed this novella. It was everything I've come to expect from Jeaniene Frost: a riveting plot, great pacing, solid writing, and an ending with great closure.  I was so pleased to find it and recommend it to fans of the series.  It's a must-read for Night Huntress fans!  Rating: 5 stars

Book Review: Roost by Ali Bryan

Claudia, single mother of two young children, pines for her past independent life. Her ex, after all, has moved on to a new wardrobe, a new penchant for lattes--and worst of all, new adult friends. But in Claudia's house she's still finding bananas in the sock drawer and cigarettes taped to wrestling figures. Then Claudia receives the unexpected news that her mother has died.

Shared through the hilarious, honest, and often poignant perspective of a single mother,
Roost is the story of a woman learning about motherhood while grieving the loss of her own mother. And as she begins to mend, she's also learning that she might be able to accept her home--as it is.
Release Date: April 1, 2013
Age Group: Adult
Source: Review copy from author
Reviewed By: Kelli
Roost is a subtly written, yet emotional, character-driven story.  Claudia is a single mother of two kids, working hard to create a life for herself after her divorce.  Roost's main conflict is the unexpected death of Claudia's mother.  Claudia navigates her grief while remaining strong for her kids, as well as her father, who does not cope well after his wife's death. 

I liked that Roost is a character-driven story.  I empathized with Claudia's struggle and the way she keeps on going, as mothers do, for her kids.  I liked that Claudia is an every-woman kind of character; which made her very easy to relate to.  I also liked the ending, which provided closure but was realistically open.

What I didn't love about Roost is that the minutiae of daily life with kids was spelled out to the smallest detail.  Since I'm a stay-at-home-mom, I already know all about life with small children and didn't need the detail. However, if I were a mother to older children, I probably would have appreciated the finer points of Claudia's day-to-day existence.  The other thing I didn't love about Roost was that it had an air of quiet desperation about it.  I can't really say that it was a truly uplifting story; however it was hopeful in the end.

Overall, I did enjoy Roost and would recommend it to fans of women's fiction and contemporary fiction.  I liked Bryan's writing style and would read her work again. 

Book Review: Broken Beauty (Broken Beauty Novellas #1) by Chloe Adams

Sometimes bad things happen to beautiful people.

When socialite party girl Mia Abbott-Renou wakes up in a garden she has little recall of the previous night -- except that she is naked...hurt...terrified. Not only has she been raped, but she knows one of her assailants: the son of a wealthy politician who happens to be her own father’s political ally.

Mia wants and needs justice. Except this privileged boy has an alibi and her father forbids her from going to the police. It’s a critical election year, one that his party might lose if his image as a doting father is soured due to Mia being labeled a lush or worse, promiscuous.

Devastated at not having the support of her family, Mia finds herself in a tug-of-war with her conscience over what to do, especially since she can’t remember exactly what happened that night. Worse, the men who attacked her have hurt several other girls, and Mia may be the key to stopping them.

Mia tries to forget, until the unthinkable happens, and she’s left reeling once again, faced with a new challenge that will force her to take more control of her life.

Release Date: September 22, 2013
Age Group: New Adult
Source: NetGalley

I was completely captivated by Broken Beauty.  I am not usually a fan of novellas, but I really like the concept of breaking the story up between four novellas, to be released every few months.  

I felt so much empathy for Mia.  I liked her right away, and was so sad for everything she was going through after being attacked.  Mia is quite naive and very sheltered.  Her father is a prominent politician and she has very little family support.  No one is really there for her after her attack and the only person she can confide in is her best friend.  

Broken Beauty is focused on the effects of rape on the victim and the people in her life. It is a heavy subject to read about, but it's an important thing to read about since these things do happen in real life, despite the fact that they are often not spoken of.  I did not feel that Broken Beauty was too graphic, despite the subject matter.  If you're on the fence about your teen reading this one, I would read it first (it's a fast read and it would be great to discuss it with the teen in your life).  

Broken Beauty is not an easy book to read, but it's a really good and powerful book.  The story ended with a surprise, and Adams left me wanting more.  I think there's going to be a promising amount of personal growth throughout this series.  I can't wait to read the next installment!  

Book Review: How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

Fifteen-year-old Daisy is sent from Manhattan to England to visit her aunt and cousins she’s never met: three boys near her age, and their little sister. Her aunt goes away on business soon after Daisy arrives. The next day bombs go off as London is attacked and occupied by an unnamed enemy.

As power fails, and systems fail, the farm becomes more isolated. Despite the war, it’s a kind of Eden, with no adults in charge and no rules, a place where Daisy’s uncanny bond with her cousins grows into something rare and extraordinary. But the war is everywhere, and Daisy and her cousins must lead each other into a world that is unknown in the scariest, most elemental way.

A riveting and astonishing story.
Release Date: November 30, 2004
Age Group: YA
Source: Review copy from author
Reviewed By: Kelli
How I Live Now is a unique book.  It had the same feel to it as Love in the Time of Global Warming: magical, poetic, and an almost stream-of-consciousness writing style.  I liked How I Live Now but I didn't love it.

I liked the story, and the characters.  I liked the way Daisy thinks, and the way she rises to the challenge of survival and taking care of Piper throughout the occupation.  I liked the love story (even though it was quite risqué) and liked the character growth.  Once I got used to it, I even liked the writing style: to put emphasis on Daisy's thoughts, Rosoff capitalizes the first letters of certain phrases.  It was different, but I ended up enjoying that aspect of the book.

What I didn't like was how surreal the entire book felt.  It felt as though Daisy could wake up at any point and the entire thing could have been a dream.  That may have been intentional, but I didn't care for it.  There was also an element of magical realism which I didn't like either.  Lastly, the explanation for the war was sparse.  The reader is kept in the dark along with the characters.  The conflict resolution was pretty weak, and I finished the book with a slightly unsatisfied, and unsettled feeling.

I can see why How I Live Now has many supporters and critical acclaim.  It is certainly unique and well-written.  It's a good book, worth a read, but it wasn't a favorite of mine.


Book Review: Doodled Doggy by Jason Sandberg

Doodles are usually drawn in the margins of a notebook, scribbled on ephemeral scraps of paper. But what happens when a doodle comes to life and refuses to be erased or discarded? Doodled Doggy is a lighthearted adventure for the young at heart!
Release Date: August 10, 2013
Age Group: Children's Fiction (age 2-7)
Source: Review copy from author
Reviewed By: Kelli

Click here to buy Doodled Doggy
I've been a fan of Jason Sandberg's for a while now, having read and loved his previous books: Candy and the Cankersaur and The New Crown.  (Click the titles to read my reviews).
What makes Sandberg's books special is the fact that they are so whimsical.  Reading his books makes me feel like a kid again.  Sandberg's books remind me of the types of books I read as a child, and I love the concept of a new author creating, as he puts it: "the missing books from my childhood, the books I wished I'd had."  I agree with Sandberg, and love the fact that I can enjoy these books with my two-year old.  There's nothing better (for me at least) than snuggling up to my little girl and reading to her.  And, of course, the better the book, the better our reading experience is. 
What sets Jason Sandberg's books apart for me are the beautiful hand-drawn illustrations and the simple yet attention-grabbing text.  His books are fun to read, and fun to just look at.  I always read his books with a smile on my face---I love it when picture books make me smile! 
If you have a child who loves picture books, or you're an adult who loves children's literature (absolutely NOTHING wrong with that, by the way), I would highly recommend Jason Sandberg's work!

Cover Reveal: Feral by Holly Schindler

Holly Schindler's third YA novel, Feral, releases from HarperCollins on August 26, 2014, and today we have the cover reveal and summary to share with you! 


It’s too late for you. You’re dead.
Those words float through Claire Cain’s head as she lies broken and barely alive after a brutal beating. And the words continue to haunt her months later, in the relentless, terrifying nightmares that plague her sleep. So when her father is offered a teaching sabbatical in another state, Claire is hopeful that getting out of Chicago, away from the things that remind her of what she went through, will offer a way to start anew.

But when she arrives in Peculiar, Missouri, Claire quickly realizes something is wrong—the town is brimming with hidden dangers and overrun by feral cats. And her fears are confirmed when a popular high school girl, Serena Sims, is suddenly found dead in the icy woods behind the school. While everyone is quick to say Serena died in an accident, Claire knows there’s more to it—for she was the one who found Serena, battered and most certainly dead, surrounded by the town’s feral cats.
Now Claire vows to learn the truth about what happened, but the closer she gets to uncovering the mystery, the closer she also gets to discovering a frightening reality about herself and the damage she truly sustained in that Chicago alley. . . .
With an eerie setting and heart-stopping twists and turns, Holly Schindler weaves a gripping story that will make you question everything you think you know.
Feral sounds gripping and I'm looking forward to this one!
Pre-order Feral here.
Add Feral to your Goodreads shelf here.
Visit Holly's website here.


Book to Movie Review: Vampire Academy [Blood Sisters]

It is no secret that Kelli and I were less than thrilled about the release of Vampire Academy. The trailer that was released back in December made it appear that the film was going to have a slap-stick feel. Apparently we were not the only ones that felt this way, Richelle Mead blogged about our concerns and reassured that the movie was going to be true to our beloved series.
They look at the teaser and other promo materials and say, "It makes VA look like Mean Girls! VA's not a comedy! This looks like a high school movie!" 
Read the rest HERE
But, I was not going to be detoured from a chance to see a visual of Dimitri Belkov in the flesh! I went opening night and got there 45 minutes early because I wanted a good seat... there were 5 people in the theater. That's when I realized that this series didn't have near the fan-base as other YA adaptations. #sad 

So, the big question: WHAT DID I THINK?! 

Well, I can best describe it like Twilight-- don't get all hot and bothered until I explain. I LOVE the Vampire Academy series, it's in my top 3 all time faves list. For that reason I knew I would be a little biased towards the movie- biased in a good way, just like I was with Twilight. VA and Twilight both had a low-budget feel because they were not big blockbusters BUT (like Twilight) there is great potential for the movies that follow. 

Overall, I liked the movie! 
I do think that it will be hard for people to follow if they haven't read the series. But what do you expect! If you haven't read the books, don't expect an epic experience, movie adaptations can only do so much. 

I was so suprised at how well some of these characters fit right into how I imagined them. Mason, Rose and Christian were the winners! They were just perfect! 

Hello boobs, it was the big busted Rose kicking butt! I enjoyed her snarkiness and confidence. And we can't have a review without mentioning THE CHARM SPELL. #holycharmspell #thankyou

Mason was such the good guy. #alwaysthebridesmaid 

Christian did it all! He was creepy, caring, romantic, a lunatic fire starter and ultimately a friend to Rose. 

I wasn't sold on Dimitri until I heard him say it! You know what I'm talking about... "Oh Roza, my Roza" #swoon #died #perfect #hewon Then I remembered that when I was reading VA that was the moment that we all actually fell in love with Dimitri Belkov. The Russian accent sealed the deal! has a fun review of the movie and characters. Visit HERE for a great breakdown.

Well played Hollywood!
If you watched the film and were feeling a little EH, Hollywood stuck it to us in the last scene! Those Strigoi looked so freaking creepy! #scary #strigoi 

I really hope this movie meets the level of success it needs to move forward with the next installment. We need to support this film! If we don't we will never get to see the Rose and Dimitri drama unfold and I want to see him as a Strigoi! #reallybad The success of the film will affect the quality of the future films (remeber Twilight). More hype-->more money---> MORE DIMITRI aaannnnddd ADRIAN. Lets not forget we haven't even seen him yet! After reading The Fiery Heart, the world will be a sad place if Adrian Ivashkov doesn't make the big screen!!!!!

Guest Post: The Success of Dean Koontz by Spencer Blohm

Today we're happy to welcome Spencer Blohm to I'd So Rather Be Reading.  Spencer is a long-time fan of Dean Koontz.  He's a freelance entertainment/pop culture blogger from Chicago who loves to read and watch movies (thus his interest in film adaptations of books).  Welcome, Spencer!
Love him or hate him, Dean Koontz is one of the world’s highest earning living writers. Throughout the course of his career, he’s written 100 books, with 13 bestsellers to his credit. All in all, he’s sold about 400 million copies of his books, which have been published in 38 different languages.

To what does he attribute his prolific career? Persistence. “The imagination is a muscle, partly,” Koontz once said in an interview with CBS. “The more you use it, the easier it becomes.”
Koontz certainly isn’t without his detractors though. He’s been chided by other high profile authors (including Stephen King) and he has also been the source of ridicule on cartoon shows like Family Guy. But looking at all of the film and television adaptations that have been made of his work, and the sheer volume of his output, it isn’t fair to dismiss Koontz outright.
Part of the problem for would-be Koontz fans is the stigma surrounding his name, plus the fact that he’s one of “those” genre writers who have colossal bodies of work which span decades - and his are completely inconsistent in terms of quality. It must be daunting for unfamiliar readers to pinpoint where to begin, or even which books within the body of work are actually worth reading.

1. Phantoms (1983)
The story follows sisters Jenny and Lisa as they go back to their native Snowfield, a tiny skiing community in Colorado) only to find it in a dystopian, Omega man state. The relatively few bodies that they find have all been horrifically mangled. Things get even stranger once the girls manage to recruit the help of governmental investigators, who discover the name “Timothy Flyte” scribbled on the mirror of a victim. Flyte, it turns out, is a scholar with a keen interest in esoteric and morbid things, and has published extensively on the subject of mass disappearances which have leveled communities all over the globe throughout human history. It is revealed that an ancient, Lovecraftian beast is to blame - perhaps the same beast who devoured the dinosaurs and the Mayans! The book was adapted into the feature film Phantoms (1998) starring the late Peter O’Toole and Ben Affleck and, to be polite, let’s say that the film didn’t quite do the book justice.

2. Strangers (1986)
This novel is about a group of six strangers who, inexplicably, find themselves suffering from strange nightmares and persistent anxiety. Through a series of bizarre messages, they all meet at hotel in a remote part of Nevada, and deduce that they had all met at this location before. They begin to believe that some sort of paranormal activity occurred during their stay at the hotel, but unfortunately no one has a clear memory of their stay. They begin to suspect that extraterrestrial lifeforms, and some sort of brainwashing, took place. It has one of the best twists in any Koontz novel, and the book is truly engaging on the whole.
3. Lightning (1988)
Laura Shane has a guardian angel, but hardly in the conventional sense. An enigmatic blond stranger repeatedly saves Laura’s life. At first, he prevents a drunken doctor from delivering her as a baby, but he doesn’t manage to save Laura’s mother, who dies in the hospital giving birth. Years later, he intervenes when Laura’s father’s store is broken into by a man who attempts to rob the family. When Laura’s father dies shortly after the attempted robbery, Laura is sent away to an orphanage, where she is pursued by a pedophile. Once again, the blond man intervenes. Years down the line, Laura is a respected author, and she comes to understand the bizarre secret of the strange man. He’s  a time traveling nazi who...well, I’ll stop right there, lest I spoil any surprises. Suffice it to say, it’s a highly imaginative piece of writing, sure to subvert your expectations.
4. Odd Thomas (2003)
The first installment in a series of novels which introduces the titular Odd Thomas character --a young man who is a cook by profession, and a clairvoyant by nature.  We learn at the beginning of the novel that Odd is endowed with mystical powers. Thomas begins communicating with the ghost of a young woman who was brutally raped and murdered, and is led to her assailant. Then, while Odd is cooking he meets a strange looking man accompanied by a gang of strange, demonic entities who only reveal themselves on the brink of catastrophic events. As expected, it’s up to Odd to save the world. It was announced years ago that a film adaptation was in the works, and it was originally slated for release in 2013. After leaving fans in eager anticipation for a year, Odd Thomas will finally be streamable on Direct TV’s website, and as a part of their “video on demand” viewing options. This could easily surpass most of the recent film and tv adaptations of Koontz novels.
5. Watchers (1987)
This novel follows the story of former military special agent Travis Cornell, who, in the midst of an existential crisis, discovers strange life forms in a remote Californian canyon. One is a dog who has been given an exceptionally high, human-like I.Q. (named Einstein by Travis), and another is a violent, monstrous creature called “the Outsider.” It turns out that both critters were the product of bizarre, government sponsored biological experiments. Travis, Einstein, and a young woman the two meet along the way, form a special friendship, and the trio are pursued by government agents who wish to keep their secret experiments under wraps. A series of underwhelming films was inspired by the book, but it’s recommended you don’t bother with any of them. Watchers is an excellent read, and was essentially the book which solidified Koontz’s status as a force to be reckoned with in the world of popular fiction.


Joint Review: Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi

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"

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.

In Shatter Me, Tahereh Mafi created a captivating and original story that combined 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." The sequel, Unravel Me, blew readers away with heart-racing twists and turns, and New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia said it was "dangerous, sexy, romantic, and intense." Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and climactic end.
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Age Group: YA
Source: Purchased
Reviewed By: Kelli, Madi
Kelli's Review:
Ignite Me was everything I wanted it to be and more.  I read this book in one sitting, staying up until 2 am, and wouldn't have had it any other way!  Ever since the debacle and heartbreak of Suzanne Collins' Mockingjay (not to mention the "DREAMS SHATTERED" ending of the Divergent series), I get nervous with a series conclusion.  I know every series can't have the shiny happily ever after for its characters, but I still hope for it nonetheless.  And no one deserves happiness more than Juliette.  She's been through so much and I just wanted the girl to be happy and feel good about herself!
The Shatter Me series is a paranormal story with dystopian elements, and of course, a hot romance.  I thought I knew where the love story was going and I was right!  It was so much more than I'd hoped for, and so perfect for Juliette (and the guy she ends up with). 
What I liked so much about Ignite Me was that the story went in a direction I didn't expect.  Mafi's plots are full of surprises and I love that.  Juliette grows so much throughout this series and that growth was fun and uplifting to watch.  I love how the ending isn't necessarily traditional, and not necessarily an ending, but a new beginning. 
Above all, the thought I had after finishing Ignite Me was: This.  This is how Mockingjay should have ended.  Here's a girl ON FIRE!  Katniss: take a note from Juliette.  Stop letting your kids play in a graveyard of bones and stand up and fight!  (No hard feelings, Suzanne Collins.  It's been three and a half years but I'm still recovering from Mockingjay). 

Madi's Review:

I’m glad I live in a world where books like this exist. Gosh, I love this book. I read Unravel Me before Christmas so this means I had to wait 2 MONTHS for this book 2 MONTHS!!!! It. Was. Torture. Not to mention, before Ignite Me was released I found some files in the back of Destroy Me. MEDICAL FILES! Medical Files that talked about how Juliette was insane. Hallucinated. Thought she had powers. I WAS FREAKING OUT! I wrote the author and everything! Here I’ll just paste the message…

In honor of "Ignite Me" coming out in 9 days (AHHHHHHH!!!!!!) I decided to reread "Destroy Me" (Naturally, I AM a Warnette shipper) then I came across this....THING (it won't let me paste the pic but I am referring to HER MEDICAL HISTORY) Now I'll have you know I have adopted the Shatter Me series. I was the first to read it in my school and passed them around. (There is now a Warner Fan Club) The spines are cracking on the books and they've been underlined and highlighted more than a Bible. These books are more than just paper to so many people! This Juliette-is-insane stuff is UNACCEPTABLE! Luckily I caught it before the book was released so if this was the plot twist at the end of "Ignite Me" than it's ok, I forgive you! You can rewrite it and all will be forgotten! We all make mistakes! If you choose to not rewrite the ending then you will feel the wrath of the fangirls! Don't say I didn't warn you! (I personally will not be a part of the riot because I could never harm the person who created Warner) And on a final note, please don't kill Kenjii, let Anderson die instead. Don't hurt little James, he's just a kid. And above all, for the love of all things beautiful, please let Juliette and Warner's Beauty and the Beast story have a happy ending. They deserve it.

Your loyal reader and Warnette-shipper,
Madison Brasher”

 But the wait was worth it! Sooooooooo worth it!!!! The plot, the setting, the character development, THE CHARACTERS! It.was.AMAZING! Let me make a list of all the awesome-est things in the awesome book.

1.       Juliette’s character development. WOW. She went from emotional-hormonal-dejected-teenager to complete-kick-butt-awesome-sauce! (And I do not use that term lightly) All I was thinking was “AWWWW HECK YEAH!!!” (please note my tendency to dislike emotional-hormonal-dejected-teenagers) (I’m really trying hard to not spoil anything so sorry for the vague-ness)

2.       KENJI! Holy Guacamole Kenji is funny. Like really funny. Like Laugh-out-loud-while-sitting-in-a-quiet-classroom funny. (Yeah I got some funny looks. “A book made you laugh???” Seriously. People said that.) In the 1st and 2nd books he was more of a third-wheeling-occasional-comic-relief. But not in Ignite Me! No sir-ee!!! I would re-read this book if it was only Kenji talking. And I LOVE how he and Juliette are good friends! He makes me happy J

3.       I’m sorry to all you Jadam-shippers (or Adamette whichever you prefer) but I love Warner. Like LOOOOVE Warner. And I’m not going to say any more because I don’t trust myself to not spoil anything.

4.       THE WRITING!!!!! OH MY GRACIOUS! There are three types of books in this world. There are books, then there is literary awesome, and then there’s word art. This was word art. Let me just prove it with a NON-SPOILING quote:

     “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.”
      Gosh dang it, that’s good.
There’s so much good in this book, I can’t even tell it all apart. If you haven’t read the Shatter Me series then buy it right now. Like RIGHT NOW. Go ahead, open up another tab and BUY IT. It’s worth it.