I don't usually bother myself with commenting on whole series of books because I figure I'm bound to accidentally spoil something and draw the ire of the spoiler-haters everywhere, not to mention who really wants to read reviews of books that are second and third in a series when you haven't read the first? (This is usually the case with myself reading reviews.) On this occasion, however, I figure that since I, a little too gleefully perhaps, gave the first book a public shaming, I should come forth having finished the series and confess that I, um, actually ended up really liking the rest of the series quite a lot.
(BTW, I'm not going to dish out summaries and spoil Unravel Me and Ignite Me, but I'm not guaranteeing this to be spoiler free when it comes to Shatter Me. You've been warned.)
Anyhow, Mafi's outrageous hyperbole that aggravated me so much throughout Shatter Me is still present, but it's muted beneath the action of the plot and the development of main characters who I, at last, began to like.
I mean, there's still stuff like this little nugget that made me giggle at a tense moment when you're probably not supposed to be giggling -
"...and I feel my face flush so fast that for a moment I'm surprised I'm not standing in a toilet."
But then, there's also this one which I actually thought was clever...
"The silence between us has slaughtered a thousand innocent seconds and when he finally speaks his voice is barely audible, raw with disbelief."
And then there's the end of this anecdote, which is hyperbole free, which so impressed me with how it cut right to heart of a major character (which is kind of a veiled spoiler if you happen to be familiar with the major characters, you could probably....guess)...
"And then she took it off, slipped it on my index finger, and said, 'If you hide your heart, he will never be able to take it from you.'"
(Spoilery? See, I hate this.)
(Not so spoilery...)
Anyhow, the bottom line, before I wander (too far) into spoiler territory, is that this series worked just like you hope a good series will. It might have started off kind of, well, lame, but it got better and better. I loved the romance I wasn't expecting. All the characters I felt conflicted about in the first book, most especially Juliette herself, grow and change and transform into the characters I hoped they could be, strong and vulnerable in equal measure, but ultimately courageous enough to face their dystopian world head on. Admittedly, the first book takes a little extra tenacity on the part of the reader, but, in my opinion, the second two books definitely make it worth the effort.
(Between the two of us, my mom and I bought these, all of them! Ergo, no disclaimer!)