Review: “Destroy Me” (Shatter Me #1.5) by Tahereh Mafi

Title: Destroy Me
Shatter Me #1.5
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Language: English
Genre: YA, Dystopia, Romance, Novella.

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.

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If you thought you knew something about Warner, well, forget it, because this novella manages to convince everyone that he is not just the monster that has been described in the first book. Unlike traditional short stories that form the backdrop to the series, in this Tahereh Mafi takes a step forward clearest and most decisive in the narrative of her story, almost to make this work indispensable to better understand what happens after (or that is already happened).

“I wanted so much more than her body. All at once I implore my mind to imagine nothing but walls. Walls. White walls. Block of concrete. Empty rooms. Open space. 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. […] Sometimes I wish I could step outsider of myself for a while.”

I will not say that I felt it, given his enormous potential, but I am happy not to be mistaken as I created in my mind the picture of how I thought it was really Warner.

He remains a controversial figure, probably psychotic, yet through his point of view you will discover so many things about him to better understand the events that focused on “Shatter Me”.
We find Warner immediately after the shooting of Juliette struggling with the consequences of what he feels for her, and with a looming threat, the visit of his father who is now aware of his failure.

“This is my boy!” He says, waving a hand in my direction. “A meek, pathetic fool.”

I believe that the only quotation from the ‘dear’ dad Warner will make it clear what he thinks of his son. Their relationship is very reminiscent of the one that Warner and his soldiers of Sector 45: the father commands and the son have only to execute. Through the words of Warner we also discover the role of the father in the world and how their ways of acting are completely opposite. And we also discover another male figure in his life, that of Delalieu, the only person in his employment, that, despite the prestige he might be enjoyed because of his age and his work, stills seems to fear him, but do not want him dead .

“Friendship is not a thing I have ever experienced. Not as a child, and not as I am now. Except. One month ago, I met the exception to this rule.”

The character, however, with whom Warner relates mostly, although she is not ‘really present’ in the story, is Juliette. He shows for her envy, jealousy, sympathy and love: all mixed feelings and caused by reasons very different from each other. The hallucinations in which he sees her and the reading her diary, which he found in her room, increase his torment, making the most hidden feelings come out.

“I was jealous. Ridiculous. I wanted her to know me; I wanted her to talk to me. And I felt it then: this strange, inexplicable sense that she might be the only person in the world I could really care about.”

Personally I think they are very similar, although perhaps to determine the differences between them were the people they met. Adam has had some influence on Juliette ever since they were little, he was an idea of ​​normality and he is now more than ever, a model who is closer to perfection. Warner, however, has his own problems, despite his attempts to overcome them, controlling them, and at the same time is very reserved, with his walls and his white rooms. Of course, his obsession may seem exaggerated, maybe it is, because in his mind he had created an idea of ​​Juliette which does not necessarily correspond to the truth, but reading the diary of her confirms as he is hiding a real feeling, that almost cause him physical pain.

“I am not myself. My thoughts are tangled in words that are not my own.”

“Destroy Me” is an absolute must for fans of the “Shatter Me” series and a long journey into the mind of one of its protagonists. This novel does a little what its title promises, it destroy us, destroying everything we thought about Warner and, at the same time, directs us toward the second book in the series, “Unravel Me.”

Rating:

Se credevate di sapere qualcosa su Warner, beh, dimenticatela, perché questa novella riuscirà a convincere proprio tutti che non si tratta del mostro che ci è stato descritto nel primo libro. A differenza delle solite short stories che fanno da cornice alle serie, in questa Tahereh Mafi fa un passo in più netto e decisivo nella narrazione della sua storia, arrivando quasi a rendere questo lavoro indispensabile anche per comprendere meglio ciò che accadrà dopo (o che è già accaduto).

“I wanted so much more than her body. All at once I implore my mind to imagine nothing but walls. Walls. White walls. Block of concrete. Empty rooms. Open space. 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. […] Sometimes I wish I could step outsider of myself for a while.”

Non dirò che me lo sentivo, dato il suo enorme potenziale, ma sono felice di non essermi sbagliata mentre creavo nella mia mente l’immagine di come credevo fosse davvero Warner.
Rimane sempre un personaggio controverso, probabilmente psicotico, eppure attraverso il suo punto di vista si scoprono così tante cose su di lui da capire meglio gli eventi che lo hanno riguardato in “Shatter Me”.
Ritroviamo Warner subito dopo lo sparo di Juliette alle prese con le conseguenze di ciò che prova per lei e con una minaccia incombente, la visita del padre venuto a conoscenza del suo fallimento.

“This is my boy!” He says, waving a hand in my direction. “A meek, pathetic fool.”

Credo che la sola citazione del ‘caro’ papà Warner possa far capire cosa pensa di suo figlio. Il loro rapporto ricorda molto quello che ha Warner con i suoi soldati del Settore 45: il padre comanda e il figlio deve solo eseguire. Attraverso le parole di Warner scopriamo anche il ruolo del padre nel suo mondo e come i loro modi di agire siano completamente opposti. E scopriamo anche un’altra figura maschile nella sua vita, quella di Delalieu, l’unica persona alle sue dipendenze, che nonostante il prestigio di cui potrebbe godere per via della sua età e del suo lavoro, sembra ancora temerlo, ma non volerlo morto.

“Friendship is not a thing I have ever experienced. Not as a child, and not as I am now. Except. One month ago, I met the exception to this rule.”

Il personaggio, però, con cui Warner si rapporta maggiormente, sebbene non sia presente davvero nel racconto, è Juliette. Per lei prova invidia, gelosia, vicinanza e amore: tutti sentimenti contrastanti e dovuti a motivi estremamente diversi fra loro. Le allucinanzioni in cui la vede e la lettura del suo diario, che ritrova nella sua stanza fanno aumentare il suo tormento, facendo venir fuori i sentimenti più nascosti.

“I was jealous. Ridiculous. I wanted her to know me; I wanted her to talk to me. And I felt it then: this strange, inexplicable sense that she might be the only person in the world I could really care about.”

Personalmente credo che siano molto simili, anche se forse a determinare le loro differenze sono state le persone che hanno incontrato. Adam ha avuto una certa influenza su Juliette sin da quando erano piccoli, era un’idea di normalità e ora lo è più che mai, un modello che si avvicinava alla perfezione. Warner, invece, ha i suoi stessi problemi, nonostante tenti di superarli controllandoli,e al tempo stesso è molto chiuso, con i suoi muri e le sue stanze bianche. Di certo la sua ossessione può sembrare esagerata, forse lo è, perché nella sua mente si era creato un’idea di Juliette che non necessariamente corrispondeva alla verità, ma la lettura del diario di lei conferma come nasconda un sentimento reale, provocandogli quasi dolore fisico.

“I am not myself. My thoughts are tangled in words that are not my own.”

“Destroy Me” è una tappa obbligata per i fans della serie “Shatter Me” ed un lungo viaggio nella mente di uno dei suoi protagonisti. Questo romanzo fa un po’ ciò che promette il suo titolo, ci distrugge, distrugge tutto ciò che credevamo su Warner e al tempo stesso ci proietta verso il secondo libro della saga, “Unravel Me”.

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