Friday, November 21, 2014

Destroy Me - Review

Destroy Me (Shatter Me, # 1.5)

By: Tahereh Mafi

Published: October 2nd 2012 by Harper (first published October 2nd 2010)

109 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Fantasy, Paranormal, Novella

Source: Borrowed from the library

( Goodreads | Amazon )

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Goodreads description--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.

Before I even began Shatter Me the only thing I knew about this series was that there were Team Warner fans, Team Adam fans, and that folks raved about this series. After reading Shatter Me it was hard for me to conceive how there could be Team Warner fans out there. And so I knew I must be missing some critical information. Simply knowing that Team Warner fans existed while reading Shatter Me kept me from fully committing to Team Adam—even when Team Adam felt like the only option. So when I finished Shatter Me I asked if I should bother reading the in-between novellas, Destroy Me and Fracture Me, and I was met with a resounding “yes.” (Well with the exception of one “no”.) And so far, I’m glad that I did.

Destroy Me is from Warner’s point of view. Warner is essentially the main villain from Shatter Me. We know there are other villain’s out there, but Warner is the immediate one that our characters are faced with. But I find that anytime I can get inside a character’s head, I end up relating to them more. Sympathizing with them. Empathizing where I can. And even if I still don’t agree with their actions and behaviors, I find that I understand them. And that’s exactly what’s happened with Destroy Me.

I read it. And I came away feeling like I had more information to this grand puzzle, but all the questions that were answered only led me to more questions. Exposing these puzzle pieces only made me realize that the puzzle is perhaps bigger than I originally thought. Seeing inside Warner’s head did make me want to root for him. Seeing that he feels such a deep connection to Juliette on a level much deeper than I (or she) even imagined gives me hope for him. Yet, I wonder how he can ever make her see what he sees. Is there any hope for him, for them, at all? I just don’t know.

I picked up Destroy Me because it was a novella. Short. I could easily finish it in a day. And I wasn’t in a slump exactly, but I’d tried to start two different books and neither one were getting my attention. So I wanted something I could “accomplish” quickly. Plus it was available immediately from the e-library. So why not?

Once I realized that Destroy Me was from Warner’s perspective, I wondered how Tahereh Mafi would handle writing from a different character. I fell in love with her writing style through Juliette with Shatter Me, but I wanted to make sure the characters felt distinct. And they did. They really did. While I loved the strike method that Tahereh Mafi uses in Shatter Me with writing from Juliette’s POV, I loved even more that she didn’t use it while writing from Warner’s POV. Yet she still found a way to incorporate it in Destroy Me through the means of Juliette’s journal. So smart.

Favorite quotes:

-Torture is not torture when there’s any hope of relief.

-It’s been so long since I’ve felt like a coward.

-I’ve never read anything like this before. I’ve never read anything that could speak directly to my bones.

-Terror, I realize, is one of the easiest feelings to read. Even on a soldier’s stoic face.

-Swallow the tears back often enough and they’ll start feeling like acid dripping down your throat. It’s a terrible moment when you’re sitting still so still so still because you don’t want them to see you cry you don’t want to cry but your lips won’t stop trembling and your eyes are filled to the brim with please and I beg you and please and I’m sorry and please and have mercy and maybe this time it’ll be different but it’s always the same.

I also love the play on perspective. Shatter Me being told from Juliette’s perspective offers you, as the reader, only what she sees of Warner. The opinions she’s formed of him. But she offers them to you as if they are fact. You see Warner as a heartless monster because that’s what Juliette sees. But Destroy Me shows that Juliette doesn’t have all the information. She uses what information is available to her to draw the conclusions that she has. But it isn’t all truth. And this works in our everyday lives. And I love this. Just because I don’t see all of the pieces doesn’t make the pieces that I do see fact or truth. They’re just pieces. They’re perspective. And perspective is colored by past experience as well. So I love seeing that things aren’t always as they appear.

Even though I was only going to read Destroy Me because it was a novella and then move back into some review books that I need to read for deadlines and such, the copy of Destroy Me that I borrowed from the e-library had the first two chapters of Unravel Me included. And so I read them. And in doing so, decided to not only go ahead and purchase Unravel Me but to continue reading it…now. I need to know what’s going to happen and if Juliette is going to ever see the similarities between herself and Warner the way that he sees them.

Destroy Me easily gets 4 Stars. It moved the story along without actually moving it along at the same time. The information given within sparked my curiosity for more information. It sparked my desire to continue reading this series sooner rather than later. And it gave me a great new perspective on the characters involved and the events taking place. Have you read Destroy Me? What did you think? Let me know!

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