Monday, November 5, 2012

Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi

Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi
Published by HarperTeen
Release Date:  Ebook Available Now
Reviewed by:  Middle Sis Jenn
The Sisters Say:  Dark and Despondent, A chilling look into Warner’s world
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.

If I could just list all the quotes that broke my heart instead of doing an actual review, I totally would because then you would realize just how much you need to read this novella!

Tahereh cracks open a door into Warner’s world, revealing a bleeding heart, a broken childhood, and an unwavering love.  Never before have I been truly swept off my feet by the villain of the story.  But is Warner really a villain?  Destroy Me will have you questioning everything you thought you knew about Warner, Juliette, and the world that is crumbling beneath them.

“Sometimes I wish I could step outside of myself for a while.  I want to leave this worn body behind, but my chains are too many, my weights too heavy.”  Location 138-140

I relished seeing through Warner’s eyes.  I have already read Unravel Me, so there were many things that were not surprising to me, but I still felt like I understood Warner a bit more—understood that his circumstances drove him to the brink of madness, understood how a man that appeared so strong and invincible could be at the mercy of another, understood how one woman could both save and destroy him.

Most of the novella centers around Warner’s thoughts, but there are times when action happens outside of the safety of his mind.  These are the times when Warner’s dad appears, and he is just as evil as you would think!  Ferocious, like a snarling dog, Warner’s dad lives his life taunting and manipulating everyone, including his son.  His actions are so cruel that Warner wishes for death saying, “Torture is not torture when there’s any hope of relief.”  Loc 405  Warner’s dad pushes and pushes until Warner is right up on the edge of a cliff, and then he stops, putting aside the torment until another day.  Seeing this mangled relationship was heart-breaking and eye-opening.

But perhaps the best part of the novella was seeing Juliette through Warner’s eyes.  I really believe that Warner understands her more than Adam will ever be able to.  It’s more than that, though, it’s even more than Warner being able to see into Juliette’s mind and soul.  It’s more like they are two halves to the same whole.  Or they are magnets that are inextricably drawn together, maybe for no other reason than that’s what they were made for.  Whatever it is, seeing Warner fall for her was breath-taking.  He doesn’t lie about who she is, what she’s capable of; and he finally doesn’t try to twist her to his will.  He sees her for who she really is, and he knows what her future holds:

“She’s either going to completely shut down, or she’s going to explode.” Loc 1072-1073

There were some slower parts to this novella, but the insight was enthralling.  I love Adam, and I know he wants the best for Juliette, but there is a part of me that just can’t help rooting for Warner. 

I’ll leave you with one final quote that shows how Warner faces his world:

“I build walls until they begin to crumble, and then I force another set to take their place.  I build and build and remain unmoving until my mind is clear, uncontaminated, containing nothing but a small white room.  A single light hanging from the ceiling.”  Loc 134-135