Novella Review: Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi
Shatter Me 1.5
Published: October 2, 2012.
Published by: Harper.
Source: Won from a Goodreads group.
Perfect for the fans of Shatter Me who are desperately awaiting the release of Unravel Me, this novella-length digital original will bridge the gap between these two novels from the perspective of the villain we all love to hate, Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45.
In Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me, Juliette escaped from The Reestablishment by seducing Warner—and then putting a bullet in his shoulder. But as she’ll learn in Destroy Me, Warner is not that easy to get rid of. . .
Back at the base and recovering from his near-fatal wound, Warner must do everything in his power to keep his soldiers in check and suppress any mention of a rebellion in the sector. Still as obsessed with Juliette as ever, his first priority is to find her, bring her back, and dispose of Adam and Kenji, the two traitors who helped her escape. But when Warner’s father, The Supreme Commander of The Reestablishment, arrives to correct his son’s mistakes, it’s clear that he has much different plans for Juliette. Plans Warner simply cannot allow.
Set after Shatter Me and before its forthcoming sequel, Unravel Me,Destroy Me is a novella told from the perspective of Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45.
This is the novella that seems to have converted many a fan over to Team Warner. While I was definitely interested in getting into Warner's mind (because I knew he couldn't just be a psychopath for the sake of having one in the story; there had to be a reason there), I was not converted over to supporting him as a love interest for Juliette. *cue collective disappointed sigh from Warner fans* Please don't attack me.
I think that this novella definitely does add to Warner's character because once you read it you see that it's clear that a lot of what he presents to the world is a front, forced upon him by his father. I don't think this excuses what he does, but I actually feel bad for him now, whereas in Shatter Me I just despised him. The way he forces himself not to block off emotions is interesting and I can see how it helps him deal with his situation, but more than anything it was just sad. The novella really showed me that Warner isn't living, but simply coping with the circumstances that have been shoved on him.
I appreciated that I grew to better understand where he felt his connection to Juliette was coming from. He wasn't just some psycho who was obsessed with using her as a weapon and I'm glad I know that now. Their connection in his mind makes sense because he sees that they have common experiences and pains. However, his obsession with her still strikes me as more creepy than actually loving. It was nice to see that there is some good in him, but it was really just disappointing how much of a coward he is. I expected more from him. At least he acknowledges it, I guess.
I think this novella, while helping me understand Warner better, really just proved to me a few different things: one, that his dad is the true psycho, but Warner isn't strong enough to not follow his father's directions; two, that Juliette is actually the one I feel most sorry for (still), as her diary entries revealed even more hardship and pain she had to face; and three, I am not Team Warner. And happy about it.
For the character development that happened, I say 3 stars.