Monday, 10 December 2012

Review: Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi

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 MeDestroy Me is a novella told from the perspective of Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45.

I loved loved loved this novella. So much. I knew I'd love it after noticing that it was from Warner's POV. And that made me really interested because Warner was the most ambiguous character in Shatter Me. I needed to know what was going on in his head, and he did not disappoint!

Firstly, we get to find out that a lot of the seemingly cruel decisions he made in Shatter Me actually had a valid reason, and he was being kind rather than terrible. We get to understand Warner a lot more, and even sympathize with him. Warner visits the civilians of Sector 45 regularly, and this basically proves that he really cares. He's not just a heartless dictator. Of course, he has his faults, but I think he can overcome them if he really tries.

Warner has had a pretty horrible upbringing. No wonder he turned out like he did, with a dad like the one he's got. I liked that Warner stood up for himself and made Sector 45 into what he wanted it to be, not what his father wanted it to be. After reading Destroy Me, I've come to admire Warner's character, and I think I've promoted him to the position of 'favourite character'. That's how good this novella is. Tahereh Mafi's writing once again dazzled me, and I truly wish this could have been a full-length novel.

It's also really sweet to see how much he cares for Juliette. In Shatter Me, I believed that he just wanted to use her as a weapon. Now I find out that it's just an excuse he gave his father so that he could get close to Juliette. He really, really loves her. To the point that I doubt he could live without her for long. He was so incredibly sweet in this novella, I was astonished that I was reading about Warner.

She searches me with those odd, blue-green eyes and I feel guilty so suddenly, without understanding why. But there’s something about the way she looks at me that always makes me feel insignificant, as if she’s the only one who’s realized I’m entirely hollow inside. She’s found the cracks in this cast I’m forced to wear every day, and it petrifies me. That this girl would know exactly how to shatter me.
It's not just physical attraction he feels towards her. He admires her, respects her, and empathizes with her like Adam never can.

I watched the unassuming outline of this girl I could not see and did not know, and I felt an unbelievable amount of respect for her. I admired her, envied her composure—her steadiness in the face of all she’d been forced to endure.
In Destroy Me, Warner finds Juliette's journal - the one she used to write in during her solitary days as a prisoner. We get to read a lot of her entries in this novella, and they are heartbreaking - to us as well as to Warner. He actually feels her pain, and I was really surprised since I didn't think Warner was an empathetic kind of guy. In fact, I thought the opposite. But he truly shows a vulnerable and kinder side to him in Destroy Me, and I can't help feeling sorry for him. Sorry that he had such a sad childhood and sorry that Juliette doesn't understand the depth of his feelings for her.

Everything I care about right now revolves around one person, and for the first time in my life, it’s not myself.
And suddenly this small, battered notebook means more to me than anything I’ve ever owned.

After reading Destroy Me, I'm pretty sure I've crossed over from Team Adam to Team Warner. And in a way I think that's what Tahereh Mafi wanted for her readers. Why else would she write a beautifully heart-wrenching novella from Warner's perspective? I still think Adam's awesome, but I feel Warner is right for Juliette. They can understand each other on a deeper level, while Adam can only sympathize and not empathize with Juliette.

All in all, I completely loved this novella, and I'm probably going to re-read it at least three more times before Unravel Me comes out. I've heard there's a lot of Warner in Unravel Me, and that makes me so much more impatient for it! Destroy Me was a perfect fill-in for the series; so perfect that it didn't even feel like a fill-in. I loved reading from Warner's perspective, and I hope Tahereh Mafi does more of this in the future.

Rating: 5/5


  1. Ek! I've been team Adam all the way. I read a lot of reviews who changed sides as well! Thanks for the review I can't wait to read it soon.

  2. I've been Team Warner even in Shatter Me and this novella only strengthened the feeling. The wait for Unravel Me is agonizing!!


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