Published: December 17th 2013 by HarperCollins
Format: Paperback, 62 pages
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As Omega Point prepares to launch an all-out assault on The Reestablishment soldiers stationed in Sector 45, Adam's focus couldn't be further from the upcoming battle. He's reeling from his breakup with Juliette, scared for his best friend's life, and as concerned as ever for his brother James's safety. And just as Adam begins to wonder if this life is really for him, the alarms sound. It's time for war.
On the battlefield, it seems like the odds are in their favour—but taking down Warner, Adam's newly discovered half brother, won't be that easy. The Reestablishment can't tolerate a rebellion, and they'll do anything to crush the resistance . . . including killing everyone Adam has ever cared about.
The novellas for this series seem pretty divisive. When Destroy Me came out everyone was swooning over Warner and at the announcement of Fracture Me there was a lot of back-lash over it being from Adam’s point of view, and not Warner’s (or even Kenji’s). So much of the conversation in the fandom is about who Juliette ends up with, but I think it’s more important to look at the differences between how Juliette sees Warner and Adam, and how they see themselves.
For the me, the struggle is getting to like Warner. I’ve already reviewed Destroy Me, and if you’re interested in all that I had to say, you should read it, but I’ll summarise here.
I can see that Warner, in his own way, loves and cares for Juliette. I also see that he’s only ever tried to help her, that he knows how horrible the Reestablishment is and he wants her to survive within it. He knows the horrors his father will unleash on her if Warner can’t control her.
But at the most fundamental level, I don’t think I can go inside an abuser’s head, see their justifications, and then decide that how they’re acting is OK. I understand, and even sympathise with Warner, but the fact remains that he made Juliette’s life a living hell, that he abused and tortured her. And I don’t think his reasoning for doing so excuse him of this acts, and I certainly wouldn’t expect, or even want, Juliette to suddenly turn around and forgive him because he’s so sweet and mushy inside. He is still her abuser.
Which brings me to this novella. Adam’s very different to how Juliette sees him. She sees her protector, her only friend, someone who is her sanctuary, even though she’s growing apart from him and learning to be self-sufficient. She’s convinced she loves Adam. And being inside Adam’s head reveals some ugly truths about him.
But I can’t, for the life of me, understand why the fandom swoons over Warner’s rationalizing of the hurt and destruction he and his forces cause, and yet fail to sympathise with Adam’s internal dilemma of wanting to keep both his brother and Juliette safe. I, for one, will always applaud someone choosing a ten-year-old kid over an almost grown woman who broke their heart.
Somewhere a long the way Juliette and Adam have lost their overpowering sexual attraction, or maybe they still have it, but they’re fast realising that they may not be the best for one another. I don’t even think that Chapter sixty-two in Unravel Me can be used to say Juliette loves him either. In my opinion, Juliette thinks that Adam brings out all that is good in her, but Warner is like a kindred spirit. She’s endured weeks and weeks of being kept apart from Adam, knowing that he might die from touching her, but wanting to touch him anyway. I hate Juliette for how she forgot Adam for a few minutes and decided to go a crazy, but I think I also understand it because, at that point, she thought she was a horrible person, she’d just suffered a tragedy, and Warner had revealed his power.
I don’t think this novella has made me like Adam more, just like Destroy Me didn’t change my views on Warner. I think the novellas are awesome because we see how these characters think of themselves, and we get to see Juliette from the someone else’s eyes. I love that the voices are so different. Tahereh Mafi is a masterful storyteller, and the raw emotion she packs into everything she writes is awe-inspiring.
It’s not essential to read the novellas to get an understanding of this trilogy, but in my opinion, it would make the experience a lot richer. I can’t wait to dive into Ignite Me and see how it all turns out.