Book Review: Before She Ignites

Title: Before She Ignites (Fallen Isles Trilogy #1)
Author: Jodi Meadows
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

Mira Minkoba is the Hopebearer. Since the day she was born, she’s been told she’s special. Important. Perfect. She’s known across the Fallen Isles not just for her beauty, but for the Mira Treaty named after her, a peace agreement which united the seven islands against their enemies on the mainland.
But Mira has never felt as perfect as everyone says. She counts compulsively. She struggles with crippling anxiety. And she’s far too interested in dragons for a girl of her station.
Then Mira discovers an explosive secret that challenges everything she and the Treaty stand for. Betrayed by the very people she spent her life serving, Mira is sentenced to the Pit–the deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles. There, a cruel guard would do anything to discover the secret she would die to protect.
No longer beholden to those who betrayed her, Mira must learn to survive on her own and unearth the dark truths about the Fallen Isles–and herself–before her very world begins to collapse (goodreads)

Before She Ignites became a fantasy novel that I just can't get enough of!
Plot: Before She Ignites was told through two chunks of time: the before and the after. I admit I was a bit confused when I started reading this. The first chapter was told in the "before" in which Mira was still the beloved mouthpiece for the council. In chapter two, she was being hauled off to the pit, never to see the light of day again. It frustrated me that I didn't have all of the puzzle pieces immediately, but it also made the story more fun as it unraveled. The last two parts of Before She Falls had me rapt with attention and I can't wait to see where Meadows takes us with the sequel!

Characters: Oh Mira, where do I begin with you? When I first started reading, I didn't like Mira. She was very meek and didn't know how to stand on her own. After finishing Before She Ignites, I had time to reflect on the novel as a whole and really appreciated the journey that Mira went through and how it all promoted her growth. I grew to love Mira and root for her and she started to challenge others and live life for herself. As "The Mira" she lived a very sheltered life with limited people who had access to her. Coupled with her naivety, her OCD, and panic attacks, Mira's reactions were very believable and made her even more endearing. I just can't speak enough about Mira's character, if you're thinking about reading this book, pick it up for Mira alone. There were other characters in the Pit that Mira had to make alliances with that made me really excited for the future. Each character had their own motivations and I'm interested to see if these allegiances will wither or grow in the next book. 

Worldbuilding: Jodi's fantasy worlds are always amazing and you shouldn't expect anything less than marvelous in Before She Ignites. The Isles had their own cultures and traditions, and guess what, the vast majority of the inhabitants were brown/black! I loved how in-depth Meadows went into creating this world as well outlining some of the hostility. I think it's important to note that a large part of Before She Ignites took place in the Pit, but the glimpses that we got of the outside world made me crave more. 

Short N Sweet: Before She Ignites has me counting down the days until the sequel is announced!

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