Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #55: Destroy Me

Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #55: Destroy MeDestroy Me by Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me #1.5
Published by HarperCollins on October 2, 2012
Genres: Dystopian, Paranormal, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance, Short Stories
Pages: 111
Format: eBook
Source: Library

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.

Recommended by: Katie (One Page at a Time) and Gillian (Writer of Wrongs) ordered me to read the novella; Kayla Beck (Bibliophilia, Please) got me started on the series.

Most of you probably know my very staunch no ebook policy, and I’m particularly opposed to this mid-book novellas. However, Katie and Gillian were both very stern about how essential Destroy Me is to one’s feels for Unravel Me. Also, my library apparently gives me access to a couple of e-novellas, something I never knew. So here we are. All I can say is that I am thrilled to know that Mafi can write without overdosing on metaphor.

For the most part, I think Mafi does a pretty good job with Warner’s POV. It’s definitely distinct from Juliette’s, much less flowery and without the counting. There’s a similarity in style, but it’s very easy to tell that he’s not Juliette. I like his particular focus on order and the way that he copes with life. While Juliette has had more to deal with, every human being is constantly trying to process and cope with what their life gives them.

The novella does make Warner much more likable. In fact, I feel like he’s made too likable. While he now does seem a much more legitimate love interest, I also find him much less interesting. The guy’s a freaking cheeseball inside. He’s a grilled cheese sandwich, grilled and stiff on the outside, but warm and melty on the inside. Supposedly this is all due to Juliette’s influence, but I’m still having trouble stomaching the cheesiness of his instalove on her. The fact that she sat in an asylum unmoving and counting gives you feels? Really?

Mafi basically makes it such that Warner is as nice as he can possibly be given the world he is living in. His every negative action is explained or excused by the environment in which he was raised. He’s still not a good character, precisely, but he’s not the dark villain I was hoping for and expecting. Basically his only bad quality, aside from poor choice in fathers and professions, is the fact that he wants to kill Adam for touching his girl. Well, that and the cheesy instalove thing.

A view into Warner’s head was interesting enough, and certainly enlightening to set the stage for chapter 62. I can see where this is in some measure necessary for the series, but, at the same time, this doesn’t have any plot. Nothing really happens, aside from Warner’s sort of adorable relationship with Delalieu, who has survived in this world by magic and coffee.

I’m giving Destroy Me three stars despite the lack of plot and my hesitations about what it does to the character, because I’m so excited that Mafi can write without overwrought metaphor. There were only one or two, and yay for that!

Favorite Quote:

I will give no one the satisfaction of my death.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

Only pretend it says Warner instead of Veronica Mars.

Only pretend it says Warner instead of Veronica Mars.

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4 responses to “Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #55: Destroy Me”

  1. Angie F. says:

    This novella did make me love Warner even more, and I liked that he’s not all bad! Although, yeah, he did kind of lose his villainy persona, but whatever. Bring on the cheese! It’s my favorite. 😀
    Angie F. recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #116My Profile

  2. Kelly says:

    I think you’ll find Ignite Me continues this trend, of explaining away all of Warner’s faults with plausible explanations.
    Kelly recently posted…Pretty Little Discussion: Book Riot’s Four Bookish PhrasesMy Profile

  3. That was my problem with this novella too! I liked Warner being evil and obsessed with Juliette. It made him fun and made him fit the criteria for my favorite kind of ships, which was why I shipped him with Juliette when I read Shatter Me. Then this novel, Unravel Me, and the first few chapters of Ignite Me turn him into little more than a misunderstood, lovestruck boy. BRRRRRRRRT. NOPE. That’s why I’m not bothering with Ignite Me anymore. I don’t even ship Juliette and Warner anymore because it’s not fun or complex. It’s just bland.

    I’ll just rewrite series canon in my head to keep me happy. It’s not like I haven’t done it before; that tactic is how I keep Spirit Bound and Last Sacrifice from poisoning my love for the Vampire Academy series. According to me, everything in those last two books is in Rose’s head, so yeah.

    I still remember posting my review on Amazon around the time it came out last year and seeing that Ransom Riggs’ five-star review of it was the very first one. Snerk.

  4. Bonnie says:

    Warner is a TOTAL cheeseball I so agree. In book one he was so more complex and intriguing but now he’s just ‘so in loooove’ and *snore*. I also gave this 3 because I was so glad to see a sample of her writing without jaws hanging from shoelaces and whatnot.

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