Destroy Me (Shatter Me 1.5) by Tahereh Mafi
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. (Goodreads)
This is a mini-review because it’s a mini book. It’s a novella. Honestly, I usually skip these little novels but this time I couldn’t resists because it’s written from the perspective of my beautiful Mr. Evilpants himself, Warner.
The Story: (spoiler alert for Shatter Me)
Juliette, that wascally wabbitt, escaped Warner’s clutches thanks to the help of two traitorous soldiers, Adam (her sexy shower makeout partner) and Kenji. Before her narrow escape, Warner made the near-fatal flaw of exposing himself to Juliette (um, not literally you guys. Geesh) by telling her he was in love with her. This shocked the hell out of Juliette (and me), especially when he hungrily and passionately kissed her in the moments that followed. Juliette used that opportunity to reach inside his jacket, steal his gun and shoot him before jumping out the window. Warner was, to say the least, a tiny bit peeved.
When we pick up, Warner is still healing. He almost died. And his father has come in to run the show since his son is a ginormous disappointment as far as vicious, murderous villains go. This is where the story gets interesting. There is not a ton of action in this book, but we do get to see how exactly Warner came to be so fascinated with Juliette and what he was trying to do by holding her captive–I mean, if he says he loves her he probably shouldn’t threaten her, right? We also learn more about what Warner has experienced with his father and just how that’s shaped him into the man he is today.
I think if you’re a fan of this series, Destroy Me is a must-read. You can truly read the next book without it but this gives you so much insight, gives you empathy and understanding for the guy we thought was a monster all along (albeit a hot monster). As novellas go, it’s very short but it’s worth diving into. If you’re not a Warner fan, this will, at the very least, help you to see him a little more clearly. If you are a Warner fan, like me, it’s a building block that takes you from viewing him as a totally intriguing guy you should stay away from to one who might be worth giving a chance.
Crush Intensity: 4.5 What can I say? I love this series.