Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Review: Destroy Me (Shatter Me, #1.5)


Destroy Me (Shatter Me, #1.5)Author: Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me
Publication: October 2nd 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
ebook, 150 pages
Buy: Amazon


When did Taheref Mafi go from being a debut author that intrigued and confused me to being on my very short list of authors whose works I buy without a second thought? I think Shatter Me is one of those books that kept changing and changing in my mind long after I finished reading it, becoming better every day, as it endured the test of time. I read a lot and I forget easily, it is a simple fact, but Tahereh Mafi never allowed herself to be forgotten. And she just sealed the deal with Unravel Me, which I was fortunate enough to read ahead of time and which turned out to be my second favorite book in 2012.

I didn’t like it… getting to know Warner, seeing a different side of him (not a better side, mind you, just one that made him clearer to me), and actually considering that he might be a better choice for our Juliette… Nope, I didn’t like it. I didn’t like it one bit. How can I feel so much love for a sociopath, a man damaged beyond salvation? Warner is cruel and frightening, but he also understands Juliette better than Adam ever could. The two of them are so alike, both abused by their parents, both living with so much ugliness on their conscience.
The life I know now is the only one that matters. The suffocation, the luxury, the sleepless nights, and the dead bodies. I’ve always been taught to focus on power and pain, gaining and inflicting.
I grieve nothing.
I take everything.

Because Juliette’s voice is so distinctive and closely connected to Mafi’s writing style in any reader’s mind, Mafi changed her writing completely for Warner, and it is the smartest thing she could have done. I’m not just talking about the absence of poetic descriptions and (in)famous strikethroughs, even the rhythm and sentence structure are different. This story from Warner’s point of view is clean and delivered with military precision, skillfully written and tightly controlled. Tahereh Mafi gave him a voice so unlike Juliette’s that there is no mistaking the two, and the contrast is made even more obvious by Juliette’s diary entries Warner discovers in her old cell room.
My mind is a warehouse of carefully controlled human emotions. I can almost see my brain as it functions, filing thoughts and images away. I lock away the things that do not serve me. I focus only on what needs to be done: the basic components of survival and the myriad things I must manage throughout the day.

And these diary entries… these words Juliette wrote down while she was in the asylum… even though there aren’t many of them, each and every one is so completely and utterly heartbreaking, her every thought, every memory is a new knife that finds its way into the reader’s heart.

This unusually long e-novella that takes place between the events of Shatter Me and Unravel Me is an absolute must-read for all Mafi’s fans. If I weren’t in the habit of reserving my five-star ratings only for books that really and truly take my breath away, I would have given Destroy Me those five shiny crowns. This way, it gets four and a half, but I need you to know it came very close, my friends. Very close indeed.



18 comments:

  1. oh wow SO glad you enjoyed it so much. I have been dying to pick it up but at the same time afraid of what to find, but knowing Mafi changed her writing for Warner is a good sign, not that i doubted it wouldnt be awesome!

    great review

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

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  2. Yay! I'm so exicited to hear that it's a good novella, Maja! :) I just got my copy and I can't wait to dive into it. But you have me a little worried though ... I can't imagine how I might like Warner for Juliette! Oh well, I better read it soon to find out! :)
    Great review, Maja! :D

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  3. I must get a hold of this book and I WANT book two but I can't seem to convince those people at Harper to give am a copy of anything! Lovely review as always, Maja!

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  4. Fantastic review! I need to read this series, it sounds amazing. And the cover is stunning. Thanks for posting and for sharing those amazing quotes :) <3

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  5. I'm quite scared of reading this. I don't want to like Warner - no matter what. He is a very interesting character, I'll give Mafi that... but wondering if he is a better choice for Juliette? I don't want to go there! I probably won't read this until I finish the series. Give me an Adam novella in the mean time... ;)

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  6. oh this is out!? I don't often read novella's because they'Re so short and often pointless but this one being on the long side sounds like one not to miss. I also really liked Shatter Me so it will be a good way to get me excited for book 2!

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  7. Maja, I didn't think it was possible, but you've convinced me to go back and re-read Shatter Me and finish it fully and see if it works out for me as the novel progresses. I hear SO much about this series from you and it's one of the few novels where our tastes don't align, so clearly something must be wrong with me. I'm so glad you even enjoyed this novella so much, so I hope I can find the time to give Shatter Me another chance soon! *fingers crossed*

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    1. I was SO very uncomfortable with Shatter Me at the beginning, I had no idea what to think of it, but the book and Tahereh herself somehow grew on me. I guess it just took some time for us to click.
      There's nothing wrong with you, honey! I can see why it made you uncomfortable or irritated or just disappointed. :)

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  8. I am not sure how I feel about this novella. It does sound interesting and I love that apparently the writing style and tone and everything has changed to reflect the new narrator - that's a sign of great writing to me. But it almost sounds a little fan-fiction-like to me. I mean, Warner's POV should not be necessary to our understanding of the series. And if it is, it should form an actual part of the books, not just be an extra novella. Your review, however, is very positive. So I'm not quite sure what to think about this.

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  9. SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! I so badly want to read this book! When I first heard that Tahereh is writing a short story from Warner's POV, I was ecstatic. After reading Shatter Me, I was really intrigued by Warner. I know he's bad but there's something about him that really intrigued me. I NEED to read Destroy Me Soon!

    Awesome review, Maja! ♥ So glad you enjoyed it!

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  10. Yowza. I've had Shatter Me out a few times but Goodreads reviews are hit or miss on it. I saw Mafi a while back and she intrigued me--did you know she is a diehard HP fan? She was just gushing about how much it affected her. Anyway, I was never super excited about Shatter Me but after reading this, I think this one might be more my style. (I love crazy sociopaths, what can I say?) Now I'm excited to get here. I hope I like #1 enough to move on!

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  11. I'm waiting to read this until I finish Unravel Me, which, btw is HEARTBREAKING, but oh-so-good!

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  12. All I can say is... yes. Yes! YESSSS!! All the yes's in the world for you, darling Maja! You continue to rock my face off. Fabulous review! <3

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  13. This sounds good... I still have to read Shatter Me! It's sitting on my shelf right now. I'm glad to know you enjoyed it so much. :)

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  14. I haven't read Shatter Me but.. I do have it sitting on my Kindle shelf. I wasn't sure if I wanted to bump it up to the top of my TBR Pile. But somewhere in the back of my mind, the curiosity has been registered and I will sooner than later check the book out!
    Convincing review!
    Addie @ That READioactive Book Blog

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  15. I'm on chapter four of this but haven't moved passed it because I am savouring it & it really makes me want to read Unravel Me, haha. I love Warner (and hate myself for it because you're right sociopath) and I like that this novella explores him even more. Great review!

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  16. Right so I obviously really, really need to read Shatter Me now, I am just so worried I won't like it. Great review, Maja - it's interesting that she changed her writing style to suit the character, very clever!

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  17. If I needed something to push me and make me read this series, this review is it. I honestly held back because Shatter Me released really close to Touch and they sounded very similar, going from summary alone. Which now I realize was stupid, but anyway. I stand corrected, I'll try to get to this series ASAP.

    Thanks for sharing! :)

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