February 25, 2013

Review: Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi

Title: Destroy Me (Shatter Me #1.5)
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Release Date: October 2nd, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 103
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★★★★☆ 

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.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]


In Shatter Me I was all: TELL ME MORE ABOUT WARNER'S PAST. And then Destroy Me came along and granted my wish. So I'm all:

Let's break this down: 

I'm not gonna lie to you guys: I'm not so into these short, mid-series novellas. It's one thing when they're on the longer side, or a whole bunch of different short stories, like with The Goddess Legacy by Aimee Carter. But it's another thing entirely when it's just an 100 page shortie. It frustrates me because it ultimately feels like money maker and that's not why I want to read anything. Not to mention, I honestly believe the words in these novellas can be conveyed in the main books of the series somehow. Like, I already knew Warner was damaged and not just pure evil. I just didn't know the who, what, where, when, why, hows of it all.

BUT I WILL SAY that I devoured Warner's story. I really did want more from him after Shatter Me. I wanted to know him. And I wanted to have reasons for feeling for him (beyond the irrational). I feel like his reasons for being kind of monstrous are fairly obvious, but actually reading about them and wrapping your head around it is heart breaking.

This story in particular also helps bridge the time gap. And because Warner is IMPORTANT TO THE STORY, it helps me keep him in mind when he's not really mentioned at all at the beginning of Unravel Me.

Destroy Me also makes me CURIOUS. It makes me want moremoremore. I want to know WHY Warner initially wanted Juliette. I want to know WHAT is going to happen to him as the villain who's really just a damaged boy - like, is he TOO damaged? Can he ever be redeemed? I don't even know. What I do know is that I love him. I don't know about Teams or Ships or whatever for the story - I still think I'm pretty ambivalent about all of that. But I really, definitely love Warner.

The long and short of it? 

Plot: It's the bridge for the gap between Shatter Me and Unravel Me and it really does the job.
World Building: Totally consistant with what I thought Warner's story would be.
Character Development: Gives Warner the depth he truly deserves. Really.
Prose: The prose is different than in Shatter Me because it's form Warner's POV, not Juliette's and yet, I still find the whole thing entirely compelling.
Would I Recommend This Book?: Even though I don't love novellas, if you're reading the Shatter Me series, you really have to read this and I would recommend you do so before reading Unravel Me. Because who doesn't want the context?


  1. I really enjoyed Warner's story... I'm usually not too big on reading novellas as part of a series. I like them if I'm really wanting a little something extra, but that's about it. Loved the fact that while this isn't 100% necessary to the series, it gave us a HUGE look into Warner - I agree about wanting to know more about him after finishing Shatter Me!

    1. Warner is lovely and awful all at the same time, isn't he? But it's annoying that this couldn't be apart of the rest :/

  2. Oh no. I don't know how, but I will save you from Warner.

    1. I can't help myself. He's so INTERESTING. Tell me more, tell me more, Tahereh Mafi.

  3. GUH, WARNER. I was totally intrigued by him in Shatter Me, even though at that point I was Team Adam. I knew there had to be more to Warner than we were seeing, then Destroy Me happened and YES. It was exactly what I needed. Mafi's writing was still superb. It was also exactly what I wanted from a novella, too. It really peeves me when authors make reading them absolutely essential. Some of us are broke and can't afford to spend $1.99 for every author we read. It adds up! I love it when they are supplemental. Like this. Technically, you don't NEED it to understand the story. But it is helpful, especially if you wanted to know more about Warner. Which I totally did. And still do, for that matter. :D

    1. RIGHT? I want MOAR about Warner, PLEASE. But yeah, this is definitely not necessary - only supplemental. I feel like you could have deduced a lot of this on your own, but it's kind of nice to read it. But I knew with this one I wouldn't be wasting ANYTHING, so that was nice :)

  4. WARNER. Oh, this book was so evil, yet so good. I wasn't really a fan of Warner in Shatter Me, and then Destroy Me rolled around and it made me FEEL ALL THE FEELINGS about Warner. I just started reading Unravel Me, and... yes. FEELINGS.

    1. I feel like this is kind of a given, but whenever I find out a kid's been abused, the Mama Bear in me rears it's angry head (she doesn't need a ton of provocation but this is an insta-rearing, really) and I just want to hide said child away until it's all better. Which makes my feels rage in this book because there's not one but TWO abused boys in this series. WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE PARENTS OF TAHEREH MAFI'S WORLD? WHAT I ASK YOU? But yeah. I just want to scoop Warner up and huggles him.

      I will say, though, that I was a fan of Warner at the beginning of Shatter me and then things got WEIRDTOWN towards the end. But I could tell something was up with him. Mostly because he's the best villain I've read in I don't know how long.


  5. I couldn't quite bring myself to review this for the blog BUT I loved it. I loved getting a glimpse into Warner's head, and now I'm VERY curious as to what happens next (after Unravel Me, of course).

    1. Truth time: I wasn't sure I was going to review this since I'm all iffy about novellas as a whole, but I figured I'd make it Tahereh Mafi week on the blog since my review of Unravel Me goes up tomorrow. Not to mention I just LOVE this series SO MUCH.

  6. I'm not loving these novellas either, but I did think this was one of the better ones. I felt like it had substance and was at least long enough for me to justify having bought it. I still hate that it's becoming a huge trend in YA, but I at least appreciated that Mafi made this feel like there was a reason to buy it.

    1. I TOTALLY hate the trend. But I do agree that Tahereh Mafi made it worth it. Also, I just love the series. I feel like if I love a series enough I'll be annoyed but I'll still buy it, y'know?


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