Book Review : Destroy Me (Shatter Me #1.5) by Tahereh Mafi
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 you haven’t read my review on the first book, click here to check it out
A Sneak Peek Into The Story :
Warner has been shot.
As it turns out, a bullet wound is way more uncomfortable than he imagined. He feels hot and cold, even breathing seems like such a difficult task. Warner keeps blinking, trying to focus as chaos explodes all around him.
Several people are shouting all at once, touching him and still – even in his now wounded circumstance – look to him as if they are still waiting for him to give orders. As if they have no idea what to do without his instructions. With a sigh, he pulls what is left of his exhausted self together and start giving out orders. Alert the medics. Prepare his bed for their arrival. Apply direct pressure to his wound. As his orders sink in, the cacophony of chaos around him too, starts to quiet down. Warner starts to close his eyes again but snaps it open before his Lieutenant gets out of the room. Warner’s voice stop him. Two words. Find her, he said.
Warner has a very low tolerance for disorder. He showers regularly, eat six meals a day, and dedicate two hours of everyday to train and exercise. He hates being bare foot. And more importantly, he does not feel like himself until he is fully dressed. It is part of who he is and how he starts his day. Yet now, he finds himself standing in his closet naked, exhausted, hungry and barefoot, with no idea how he is supposed to dress himself.
“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.
This life is all that’s left of me. ”
While Warner tries his best to clothe himself without losing consciousness, unbidden memories of Juliette start to spring to life inside his head. He had known Juliette was terrified when she lives in the base, but it had never crossed his mind that those feelings were directed towards him. He had seen her grow and change the more they spend time together. Juliette had seemed to be more relaxed – happy, even – as time passes. And Warner thought she had slowly realized that this is where she belongs. With him.
But he was wrong. Warner was too preoccupied with her, so much so that it never crossed his mind that her new found happiness was not caused by him. But one of his soldier, Adam Kent. Warner closes his eyes, trying to bring a semblance of calm to his mind and fails. The things he had said to her. Things he made her do. The way he touched her. He blames himself that Juliette is now gone. He had allowed himself to believe that Juliette was finally doing well when he should have paid more attention to the details. To his soldiers.
“I lost sight of my purpose and my greater goal; the entire reason I brought her on base.
I was stupid. Careless.
But the truth is, I was distracted.
Despite the medics’ warning for him to stay in bed and rest, Warner cannot allow himself the luxury. He is the Chief Commander and Regent of Sector 45. He has an infinite amount of things he must take care of, responsibilities. And he will not be distracted or sidetracked. Not even with this injury. He has to focus on finding her, Adam Kent and another soldier who was believed to have helped them, Kenji Kishimoto.
But it is hard to focus. He has forced himself to not think about her, but he has come to realize that he is still not strong enough. Not when he is still actively searching for her. And today, he needs to go back to her room. He has to search for any clues that might help him in his search for her. Warner had ordered his man to leave her room as is, to not be allowed to enter the space. Not until he has the first look.
I can’t control a nightmare,
but in my waking moments her name is the only reminder I will permit myself.
The door shuts, and he finds himself alone. Standing in the last place she touched. He walks through the room, examines everything. Striping the sheets, pillowcase, comforter, and the duvet. The side table. The bathroom. Under the bed. The wallpaper. Each piece of clothes in her armoire. Nothing. And just as Warner is going to make his way out of the bedroom, something catches his foot. He looks down to find a small, thick rectangle. And instantly recognition flares in his mind, the notebook. The notebook that he had found hidden in Juliette’s pocket right before she jumped from the window.
I am simply speechless. I did not expect my perception of Warner to change so quickly after this book. But it did. And I am just, mind-blown with what had just happened in this book.
Destroy Me follows Warner’s story after he was shot, and it is told from his POV. In Shatter Me – which is written from Juliette’s POV – Warner is depicted as the bad guy. He continuously pushes Juliette out of her comfort zone, constantly trying to toy and irk her, just to get a reaction out of her. Not to mention his cockiness, his confidence in how he can provide her a better future if she stays with him. And the constant talk about how Juliette belongs with him. Needless to say, Juliette detests Warner.
“I’ve come to believe that the most dangerous man in the world is the one who feels no remorse. The one who never apologizes and therefore seeks no forgiveness. Because in the end it is our emotions that make us weak, not our actions.”
Me, on the other hand, I was not 100% sold on disliking him like Juliette does. There is something about Warner that pulls me in. I am not sure what ; maybe in the way he speaks, the way he carries himself, or maybe just the way he always seems to be able to push her buttons whenever they converse. Or maybe, it could just be me and my strange attraction to characters like Warner. But I have always been sure that there is something more when it comes to Warner, and after finishing this book, I must admit, I am kind of happy to be proven right.
This novella is short. It is just shy of 100 pages. But, in this short story that is told from Warner’s POV, it is crazy just how quickly my whole outlook on him changes. Reading this book is like a total mind fuck. It throws me off entirely on all the speculations I have on him. There is so much more about him than what meets the eyes. “Destroy Me” definitely helps clarify a lot of things about Warner that has readers scratching their heads in “Shatter Me”. And it definitely gives the much needed insight on who Warner is as a character.
The Verdict :
Do you need to read this novella? I say yes.
A lot of readers tend to forgo reading novella, as novellas are usually chalked as an additional back story, but I would say it is essential to read “Destroy Me” if you decide to go through this series.
“Destroy Me” will not only shed a light on Warner’s character and how he comes to be, it also holds a big sway on how readers perceive the story onwards. I am so glad that I picked this novella up instead of just skipping it to go to the second book because the things that it revealed not only shock the hell out of me, but it also gives me a new sense of understanding and appreciation on Warner’s character as a whole.
“God, Juliette,” I gasp.
And fall to my knees.