Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Review: Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi

* This review contains spoilers for Shatter Me. *

Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi
Destroy Me (Shatter Me #1.5)
By Tahereh Mafi

To Sum It Up: Recovering from the gunshot wound Juliette gave him, Warner plots to get her back—and to punish Adam. Both Warner’s injury and the escape of Juliette and two officers under his command have brought an unwelcome guest to Sector 45: the Supreme Commander of The Reestablishment, who is also Warner’s father. When the Supreme Commander reveals that Juliette is nowhere near as important to The Reestablishment as she is to Warner, it becomes imperative for Warner to find her first.

Review: I’m still not sure what I think of between-series novellas overall, having only read one other, Cynthia Hand’s Radiant, prior to reading Destroy Me. I loved Hand’s Unearthly series, and so I purchased Radiant to tide me over as I waited for the release of the final Unearthly book. In the end, though, I didn’t find Radiant to be essential reading. I’d say that I have to be heavily invested in a series and/or one of its characters for these novellas to pique my interest, especially when I have to shell out a few bucks for them (I’m a bit of a cheapskate). When my cousin, a fellow Shatter Me fanatic, informed me that there was a novella written from Warner’s POV, I HAD to have it, no matter what it cost. This is Warner we’re talking about here, people.

I happened to love Warner in Shatter Me, propensity for insanity and all. He was the character who commandeered my attention and never let go of it. And I don’t think he’s going to relinquish it any time soon, either.

Destroy Me picks up immediately after Warner’s been shot by Juliette, and in typical Warner fashion, he loathes looking weak in front of his men. He also can’t quite wrap his head around the fact that Juliette pulled the trigger on him. As Warner recovers from his injury and focuses on finding Juliette—and Adam, whom Warner wants to kill with a ferocity that’s scary even by Warner standards—he reveals an entirely different and surprising side to his character. See, I loved the Warner I met in Shatter Me—arrogant, manipulative, and unhinged—so I can only imagine what reading Destroy Me was like for readers who hated him in Shatter Me. If, like me, you fell in love with Warner just as he was, don’t worry; he doesn’t magically morph into a hero overnight. What Destroy Me does is present him as a complex human being; there are so many facets to Warner than the outward appearance he’s constructed for himself as the Regent of Sector 45. It may be difficult to believe at first, but Warner is capable of feeling human emotions like love and hurt. In Destroy Me, he’s experiencing a lot of the latter.

I admit that it was tougher than usual for me to separate my feelings for a favorite character from my feelings about the book, or in this case, novella, as a whole. The part of me that wanted to rate Destroy Me based on emotion alone said, “Duh. It’s Warner. Five stars!” before I even started reading the Prologue. The more rational part of my brain says that this is an incredibly insightful look into the mind of a character who is otherwise not easy to read. Of course, it’s not as though Warner spills all his secrets here; he still leaves you plenty to speculate about.

And here I was thinking that I was only going to write a mini-review of Destroy Me. Ah, Warner. I do love talking about you.

All in All: If you love this series, and even if you don’t love Warner, you need to read this. Destroy Me just might make you rethink your opinion of him. If you already love Warner, then you’ll probably love him even more after reading this. I know I did.


  1. This is one of my favorites! But, like you...I LOVE Warner so even if sucked - I'd still love it. I think it was a nice peek into his mind.

    1. I absolutely loved getting a look inside his head. And even if this had been 100 or so pages of Warner staring at a wall, I was going to love it anyway because . . . it was Warner.

  2. I was on the fence about Warner the first time I read Shatter Me, I was interested about him, but I didn't love him like I do now. But this book was what changed my mind. This book showed me how complicated he was and how his awful forced him not show his emotions. It was so great!!
    And please tell me your reading Unravel Me, because you need to read that as soon as you can.
    Great review :D

    1. Already read it! :D Between this and Unravel Me, my mind was blown by the depth of Warner's character. He just becomes more fascinating with each book. Can't wait to read Ignite Me!

  3. I was already half in love with Warner in Shatter ME and this one firmly put me on fully in love with Warner :D. Can't wait for Ignite Me!

    Nyx @ Unraveling Words

    1. I'm dying to read Ignite Me, too! I NEED to know what happens to Warner!

  4. I really enjoyed this novella. Warner is one of my favourite antagonists just because he is so complex that even though he is "evil" you can still see signs of good. He is one that you know you shouldn't like but you can't help yourself :) Great review!

    -Mari @ The Sirenic Codex

    1. There's so much going on in his head that I never would have guessed without reading this. I love the depth that he has to his character; he's not entirely bad, but he's not entirely good, either. Morally ambiguous characters are my favorites, which is probably why I'm so obsessed with Warner.


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