Beware of spoilers below for Shatter Me!
Destroy Me and Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
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Publication Date: October 2, 2012 / February 5, 2013
Pages: 103 / 465
Target audience: Young Adult
Keywords: dystopia, powers and abilities, broken government
Format read: ARC from HarperCollins (Thank you!)
Summaries: Told from Warner’s perspective, Destroy Me begins after Juliette, Adam, and Kenji make their escape from Warner; he finds Juliette’s journal and we’re given more information about who he is and what his true motives are. In Unravel Me, we reconnect with Juliette after her arrival at Omega Point where she learns that war against The Reestablishment is imminent.
» » » Destroy Me » » »
Guys. Remember back when I had cute bangs and brown hair and I called Warner detestable in my vlog review of Shatter Me? I was super hesitant to read Destroy Me because, really, why would I want to know about a character that I disliked so much? There had never been a villain that made my stomach churn as much as Warner. But I did it. I read it anyway.
Here’s what I wrote in my notes:
– Want to dislike Warner.
– Don’t want him to end up with Juliette.
– He’s twisted as a result of how he grew up. (But yes, I do see he has a heart underneath all the evil.)
So there I was … realizing that Warner had a messed up childhood and not wanting him to say all the lovely things he did about Juliette or understand how he connected to her as he read her journal that she wrote while she was locked away in the asylum. I was perplexed, but still very Team Adam. I wanted to fight for the Good Boy (and I am not very good at being wrong) so I very diligently tweeted about how I would see this journey through with Adam.
Aside from the confusing realizations I came to about Warner, I felt like I got to know even more about Juliette through her journal entries. It was great to connect with her even though she wasn’t an active character in Destroy Me. My biggest piece of advice to you as readers is to read Destroy Me before you move on to Unravel Me. It helped me get back into Tahereh’s writing style with so much ease and while reading Unravel Me, helped me understand all the Warner complexities that arose. This is a short novella, so remember that while you’re reading — you’re not going to receive a huge plot reveal, but you’re reading for character development.
» » » Unravel Me » » »
I’ve discovered that I have Aversion to Middle Book Syndrome. I get really antsy, anxious, and nervous for the sequels to be released, but then I just. can’t. do it. It takes tons and tons of willpower for me to pick up the book and carry on. With Unravel Me, I just knew there was going to be something that made my heart stop which would then transform into anger at having to wait so long for another book.
What I didn’t expect was that this Huge, Big Thing was going to be abandoning Adam in the midst of tons of grief and running to Warner with wide open arms. (Yes, I know. That makes me sound like a terrible person.)
Before jumping into the million reasons why I
cannot stop thinking about and love Warner, let’s reflect on Juliette. I found her character to be so unique and refreshing in Shatter Me, but this time around I was a bit thrown off by her. Mafi does an incredible job molding her into a girl that I completely understand – I get why she doesn’t trust people , why she feels so isolated, and why things never seem to go easily for her. But I reached a point where I just wanted to say, “ENOUGH! Accept this and move on.” I wanted her to fight for herself and to not be the small, fragile girl she had been molded into. Thankfully, Kenji was around to balance out my frustrations, put Juliette in her place, and provide humor by referring to himself as sexy all the time.
Omega Point is where Juliette should have been learning more about her ability and meshing with people who have powers like hers. Time passes by quickly as Juliette is struggling to gain control of her life and make friends there, but despite the good things she has going for her, she remains isolated. I felt a bit like Juliette was a psychological study – lock a girl in isolation and see how she deals in the world when she’s released (and furthermore – immerse her in a world that’s underground and see how she handles it).
Part of the complication is Adam. He and Juliette hit a crossroad. It’s one of those things where you throw your hands in the air and wonder why. There are so many revelations (with Adam and Warner, specifically) that will have you icing your jaw because it’s dropped so many times.
Speaking of the whole Adam v. Warner debate… let this be my two cents: For all that I am supposed to love Adam, I feel I am not fully convinced Warner isn’t better. I no longer feel like I know Adam’s character – I didn’t see enough of him and there are just so many complications. I was constantly frustrated with the tension and how on-edge Juliette always was. I hope so badly that I am not wrong about Warner. I feel like I’m being lured in to love him and quite possibly, something will happen to him or he’s going to prove me wrong and leave me weeping in a dark corner.
This fear of Warner proving me wrong? The not being able to know what happens for a whole year? That, friends, is why I have Aversion to Middle Book Syndrome.twitter-convo with Makeshift Bookmark’s Jen and Tahereh Mafi and for your amusement, I’m including a few spoiler-free texts between Elena (of Novel Sounds — which is also where you should listen to her Unravel Me soundtrack) and myself while I was reading:
(The next two images are my texts to her and then her reply to me.)
(And yes, I did intentionally cut off the screenshot so you couldn’t tell what chapter we were referring to — I couldn’t ruin that delicious surprise for you. ;))