“Fracture Me (Shatter Me #2.5)” by Tahereh Mafi

Tahereh Mafi
Read Date: 4 January 2014
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

In this electrifying sixty-page companion novella to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, discover the fate of the Omega Point rebels as they go up against The Reestablishment. Set during and soon after the final moments of Unravel Me, Fracture Me is told from Adam’s perspective.

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 favor—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.

Even if I don’t really like him, it’s nice to read about Adam’s point of view during this crucial point in the story, especially after we have read Warner’s in Book 1.5 as well.

I understood his doubts and indecision and I can sympathize with him, but he very well knew, just like Kenji did, how urgent the situation was for the inhabitants of Omega Point and for Juliette. It’s like he learned nothing from being a soldier. Unfortunately, this doesn’t endear Adam to me. In fact, this knocks him a few more notches down on my slate.

This is a good arc for his character, though. I just hope Tahereh Mafi has something interesting planned for him in the last book.

I’m excited for “Ignite Me”! I will be rooting for Kenji. 😛

And of course, Juliette, too.

And I hope Warner surprises me. Like on a J.J. Abrams level of surprise.

(20140109) EDITED TO ADD: I went around Goodreads and other blogs to read other reviews after I posted this, and many people commented about being unhappy that Adam’s battle became a family vs. Juliette one, and that this feels like the beginning of Mafi destroying the Adam / Juliette / Warner love triangle.

I wasn’t happy that this became a battle to choose between James and Juliette either, to be honest; that’s practically a cliche in Asian romantic dramas (LOL), and I’m sure Mafi is capable of constructing more creative alternate scenarios for Adam’s conflict if she wanted to. I tolerate this in Asian dramas because in most Asian cultures, family really is that important when considering relationships. I’m not saying it’s not considered in other cultures, of course, but it goes down better if the audience/reader knows that something like that is expected out of the character.

And I did expect this from Adam at the back of my mind because of how he was portrayed in “Shatter Me”, and in a post-apocalyptic setting like this one, it’s only expected that family becomes more important to keep if you have one. This was a running theme in “The Hunger Games”.

The part that I didn’t like was, as I said above, that Adam did not use his head, and by the end of the story—yup!—he was blaming himself. He should. After serving as a soldier, he should have already imagined the many horrific scenarios that Anderson or even Warner can possibly think up, and he should have been prepared for them. He picked his priority—and I’m not faulting him for it—but now he should live with it.

As for the love triangle, the entire thing is still iffy to me. While I love Warner as a character (and it feels to me like he is Mafi’s favorite, too), I’m not sure if Juliette will be able to forgive him so easily despite her attraction enough to even make Warner a legitimate “team” to root for. And because Juliette is not privy to Adam’s internal conflict, she is still probably thinking that Adam and the others did their best to rescue her but were thwarted. Now she wants to escape and take revenge, so at this time, she has virtually chosen Adam and the others at Omega Point over Warner. I’m hoping that, in the end, any romance that will be cemented will happen not just for romance’s sake.

❆ ❆ ❆

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