…on Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi

Posted December 4, 2012 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 16 Comments

Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi
Series: Shatter Me #1.5
Published by HarperTeen
Publish Date: October 2, 2012
ebook, approximately 111 pages
Source:  Bought

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. –(summary excerpt from Goodreads)

**You may not want to read this if you have not yet read Shatter Me –
because I do mention the plot. You’ve been spoiler-warned!
You’re safe to read this before reading Unravel Me.**
Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi

My Thoughts:  I haven’t always been the type to buy the short stories/novellas that accompany books. Sometimes I would grab them if they were offered for free, but I’ve never really gone out of my way to read them before. This has to stop. Now. I’m being very serious.

I can’t remember how it came up in conversation, but two of my blogging friends – Heather from The Flyleaf Review and Lauren from Love is not a triangle. – both urged me to read Destroy Me before I read Unravel Me. Because I trust them completely, I said OKAY!


Here’s the thing: Like a ton of other people, I loved Shatter Me to pieces. I loved it. I thought Mafi’s style of writing was so unusual and beautiful and odd and perfect to describe the character of Juliette, the girl that had been locked away for days and months and years. In my mind, I can perfectly picture someone as fragile broken suppressed unique as Juliette thinking in jumbled, incomplete thoughts. And Mafi using run-on sentences and strikethroughs to show us exactly when Juliette’s thoughts were all mixed up? Brilliant.

Also Very Important To Know: If you remember, bad guy Warner keeps Juliette locked up – for reasons. After awhile, he puts Adam into the cell with Juliette, which is very interesting as Juliette hasn’t had interaction with anyone in a very long time. Initially distrustful, her thoughts go kind of crazy, but Adam isn’t really going anywhere being that he’s stuck in there with her, and eventually sparks just fly. And I mean, they fly all over the place and their romance is WOW.

Warner is such a creepy guy. He’s in charge and likes to show it. He has a grandiose attitude and he likes to dress Juliette in up beautiful dresses and make her eat dinner with him (creepy!). He is murderous. He is a trained leader/assassin/killer/soldier. He’s so ruthless. There are a couple of parts of Shatter Me that made my skin crawl because of his Warner-ness. But doggone it, Warner is an excellent villain. I will give the dude that. 

I have always been on the “Team Adam” side of things. I have never wavered. I have always thought Warner was the creepy (but excellent) villain. He’s on my Top Three Most-Awful-But-Best-Villains list, you guys.


Within minutes of beginning the Destroy Me novella, I actually said “Uh-Oh!” out loud. I knew it would rock my Warner-hating world. Destroy Me opens just after the ending of Shatter Me, so I felt like I was right back in the swing of things with Juliette and Warner and Adam and The Reestablishment. This is Warner’s story, so not all of the characters are present, but he does think and talk about them all. I was also able to read a bit about Warner’s father and WOW what a mean, mean man. (Immediately, I began to see what Mafi had been doing to me as a reader – where Warner had gotten his tendencies from…)

Tahereh Mafi has given Warner a voice and inner thoughts. Now everything is different! EVERYTHING. Oh, the dude is still a bad guy. He’s still a bad guy, y’all. But he is an actual person too, with thoughts and feelings. Do you remember when I mention that some of the things Warner did made my skin crawl? Tahereh Mafi used the novella to explain Warner’s reasons and thought processes for doing some of these awful things – Oh my goodness, sometimes Warner actually had (somewhat) valid reasons! I got a big ole’ glance into Warner’s life and…pardon me, but it destroyed me.

Right away when you open the novella, you can tell that it is Mafi’s writing. It’s her style, her trademark. It sounds like her language in Shatter Me – only it is so different. There are no run-on’s or strikethroughs. Warner is a much more structured person than Juliette, so the writing is also much more structured and yet it is still really lovely. The easy transition in writing style between the two characters is amazing.

I’m not going to say anything about who Warner is on the inside, his thoughts, his reasons, or any of that. I’m not going to talk of his motivations. You’ll have to read about all of that. (Trust me, you want to.) But…

As a reader that loves a fully-developed, three-dimensional character, I have to applaud Tahereh Mafi for taking the time to develop Warner a little more.
I am currently reading Unravel Me and this character development is much more in line with what we’ve gotten/are getting with Juliette, Adam, and Kenji (all from Shatter Me). Everyone seems to be on much more equal footing with their development – some characters are changing – and things are happening. BUT, it is only after reading Destroy Me that it all makes as much sense as it does. 

Did I like Destroy Me? YES, of course! I am pretty sure I will love Tahereh Mafi’s books from here on out based on the work she has put out for us. So far, I’m completely blown away. (Unravel Me is even better than Shatter Me.) But I DO NOT like feeling sympathy for the villain! It’s SO HARD to maintain my I-can’t-stand-Warner! attitude. I am still very much “Team Adam” but I am no longer flinching and creeped out when Warner is on the pages. This is alarming to me. Alarming!

I’d say that Tahereh Mafi probably accomplished her mission – at least to a small degree – with me. I highly, highly recommend that you download and read Destroy Me before you read Unravel Me. 


Destroy Me will appeal to fans of:

YA Sci-Fi/Dystopian
Tahereh Mafi/Shatter Me
Romance: No triangle in previous book. However, this novella
could mean a potential love triangle in the next book.
Short stories/Novellas

Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi 
is currently available for purchase.


Have you read Shatter Me?
Do you plan to continue with the series?

I HIGHLY recommend you purchase & download
Destroy Me before you read Unravel Me!


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


16 responses to “…on Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi

  1. I am SO glad you reviewed this one, Asheley!

    First off: you know I totally did it backward, read Unravel Me first, and then regretted that decision once I read Destroy Me. I am RIGHT THERE WITH YOU on the whole novella-between-the-big-book thing (that's a crap description, sorry!) After reading DESTROY ME, IRON'S PROPHECY, and THE QUEEN'S ARMY (The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer) I will never, ever NOT read those in between novellas. They should be marketed as required reading before continuing with a series, imo. As you said, SO very important in terms of furthering character development.

    Back to Destroy Me and WARNER, who you know I really love talking about:) I adored this revealing look inside his broken little mind. And yes, it does take him a notch down from the super-villain that he was in Shatter Me, but I for one don't mind the trade off. He's still pretty dark and twisted (even if his motivations aren't what we expected.)

    I cannot wait for Bk# 3 and am very, very hopeful for another novella from Adam's POV before the final book. Let's petition Tahereh Mafi for that, ok?

    Love this review, Ash:)

    • Totally agree with the novellas. I'm a changed person, I think, where they're concerned.

      As an ADAM person myself, I thought the look into Warner's mind was kind of tough to stomach but also kind of wonderful. Mafi really stepped up her game to be able to go back and give him some depth and extra character after-the-fact…unless he had that already in her mind – which is entirely possible. I agree that he isn't EXACTLY the super-villain anymore, but I still maintain that he's still a bad guy. Dark and twisted is correct, but at least now I understand why. Those motivations – killer. WOW. Doggone it, Tahereh Mafi.

      I completely am with you on an Adam novella. Where can I sign this petition??? 🙂

  2. I just got this, thanks to the generosity of friend and fellow blogger Cass, and I MUST read it. I simply MUST know what is in Warner's head. I MUST. I really recently read Shatter Me, so I'm really looking forward to this!

    • Alexa, this will take you ALL UP INTO Warner's strange little head. I'm not sure if you're an Adam-person or a Warner-person, but MAN if this doesn't shed some light on a few things!!

      It's really great. I'm so glad you're gonna read it!

  3. I felt all these things when I read Destroy Me as well! You captured everything I wanted to say and MORE. GREAT review. I love how you talk about Mafi's writing. Her prose is still so identifiable, but Warner thinks very differently from Juliette. Mafi captures that difference so well. Can't wait to discuss everything when you're done with UM!

  4. First off, Asheley, you know I love reading your reviews because they're so much fun. Secondly, I have been on the fence about Shatter Me. Even though the cover is very striking, I'm just not sure. Finally, why don't publishers market these in-between books? I mean really. If reading it made such a difference in how you are seeing Unravel Me, shouldn't they have been like "READ THIS NOW!!" or at least included it as a preface to Unravel Me? There is an in-between book in the Iron Druid Chronicles, actually several I think. And I didn't know about these until I finished book 4 in the series! And that's only because I was wish-listing book 5. Gah. I feel left out.

    That concludes my rant that has mostly nothing to do with your review.

    • First of all, thank you! Second of all, covers aside, these books are so great – in my opinion. I have just this morning finished Unravel Me (book #2) and I am just so blown away at how excited I am about this series. No second book slump. No boredness at anytime, anywhere. I enjoyed every single word on every page and on my Kindle. 100%, seriously.

      I'll do another blog post on Unravel Me when my head clears a little bit but I, of course, want to push this series on everyone.

      About the novella thing? I KNOW. SERIOUSLY. From here out, I'm going to put more of these little things up on this blog. I mean to do that. Because this one actually has affected my reading of the following book AND it needs to be read in the correct order to have that effect, etc. This is actually a pretty long one, an estimated 100+ pages, so it is like a short book itself. Because of the way I feel about this book, I'm going to probably check out the shorter in-between stories that follow Cinder and Under the Never Sky (both of which I'm re-reading right now) and I'll probably post about them up here too.

      AND WHAT? I didn't know about the little Iron Druid books?1?! Thanks for that heads-up.

  5. I am so torn. I really don't want to have to buy the enovella here (I like to borrow books whenever possible and I don't like owning only one ebook in a series) BUT I am super curious to read about Warner's perspective.
    I totally emphasize with you on not wanting to feel sympathy for the evil character. And now I'm curious as to what exactly happens in Destroy Me that is changing peoples' minds to such a degree. I think I need to read a few more reviews of Unravel Me before I decide whether or not Destroy Me is really necessary or just something nice and additional to read.

    • I totally understand where you're coming from.
      I can say that I'm very glad that I did read Destroy Me before I read Unravel Me because it made a lot of what I read make much more sense – just because I had the backstory.

      BUT…I can understand about the necessary vs nice and additional question. In this case – for me, it was necessary, I'd say. Some of these other novellas out there – I'm not so sure of. I'm reading them, but they aren't all as necessary as Destroy Me, in my opinion. Destroy Me is like double the length of most of the others that I've read so far…

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