Monday, July 15, 2013

Love Triangles 101: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Okay, so this is our second Love Triangles 101 Post. In this one we'll be discussing the much loved Shatter Me series, and why we think that the love triangle works #Chapter62.

Warning: this is going to be spoiler filled. If you haven't read the Shatter Me series yet close the page. Now. No kidding. (There is a spoiler tag though. So you don't have to be too quick about it.) If you've only read the first book just read up to "Unravel Me".

We're going to be doing this discussion by book. Because as you'll find out, Shatter Me = Adam dominance, whereas Destroy Me and Unravel Me definitely garner more support for Team Warner #Chapter62. The discussion reads like a conversation because it's the (very) loosely edited transcript of an actual conversation between us.

Click me to read spoilers

Shatter Me
Chantelle: So, Adam. The kind of guy he is...

Nara: Blue eyes.

C: LOL. Okay, Adam is the generic...

N: The nice guy.

C: Yeah! The nice guy. Really understanding

N: Supportive, protective. Overprotective really.

C: The only guy that can touch Juliette and all that (that we know of in Shatter Me...) Well, the first person that she discovers can touch her.

N: You know, that was actually a massive risk. You know how he was all "yeah I found out I can touch you because I comforted you when you had a nightmare". THAT REALLY COULD HAVE BACKFIRED. YOU COULD HAVE DIED. That was a really stupid move.

C: Then again, we didn't think he was stupid at the time. This is just in hindsight haha. So...Adam was pretty great.

N: Yeah, I agree. He's great. I do like Adam as a character. In Shatter Me.

C: I don't know. I just think he was lacking a certain something. He's a bit bland, which left a hole that Warner was too glad to step right into!

N: Definitely! hahaha

C: I guess Adam was like the martyr as well. Like, "I will risk my position and my job to be with you and love you". He also had the really cute brother.

N: What about Adam with Juliette? What do you think about that?

C: I think that he was what she needed at the time. At the beginning. She was so scarred and in her own world. She just needed a really supportive guy.

N: Definitely. I think Adam was right for her at that time.

C: But still, I think that the romance itself came across to the reader as a bit...bland.

N: I guess so. I mean, it was a bit "you're the only person who can touch me, therefore you're my love interest".

C: Yeah, a love interest by default. But also, Adam had the history. That was good. Brownie points for the history!

N: That was definitely a good back story.

C: Still, with the bland romance, I felt like we needed something more. Normally, I'm against love triangles, but I think they needed it in this series, because the romance itself wasn't epic enough to support itself.

N: It was right for the series, because of the character of Juliette. Juliette is her own world, very "me, me, me". Even though there's a war going on or whatever, she's all like "oh, I can't do this stuff".

C: Especially in Shatter Me, it focuses more on her. You don't really know there's a war going on.

N: And she's just really weak. Like, I'm going to be honest.

C: Very needy. Oh yeah, and Adam has the bird. THEY WERE MEANT TO BE.

N: That was really random. I was just like, why would he have a bird there?? I don't know, that was weird.

C: Okay, so what were the points about Warner in Shatter Me that made you think "even though he's so evil, he could be a potential love interest."

N: ...because he genuinely cares for Juliette. Even though he's a terrible person, you can tell that he genuinely likes her. There's a genuine connection there. (Transcriber's Note: way too many "genuines")

C: It's a very one-sided connection haha.

N: No, like, I mean, the feelings were there.

C: Yeah, the feelings were there even though they weren't returned, and that made you secretly wish...well not wish, because you're definitely Team Adam, but secretly hope that "this could make a love triangle".

N: As in, he could bring himself back up. He could redeem himself. There's something there. And because he wants the best for her, he wants Juliette to be strong, to take control.

C: And that's something that's always supported in YA. A strong heroine is always the goal. Also, I find it interesting how Tahereh manages to show us Warner's point of view without actually giving him a point of view.

N: Until Destroy Me. Read that, and BAM.

C: Game over. And why is that? In Destroy Me?

Destroy Me
N: Because you see so many details about him that Juliette doesn't know. For example, you know how he kills the traitor in Shatter Me, and Juliette's all "that is just heartless", we find out that that guy was actually abusing his family. So, you find that even though he himself thinks that he's nonredeemable, he actually is redeemable.

C: And that's like the jackpot of YA. It's really cool how we see the good side of him before Juliette does.

N: When he's playing with the dog, I was like THIS IS THE BEST.

C: Okay, and Unravel Me

Unravel Me
N: Well, clearly Team Warner. #Chapter62

C: Oh, actually, the first half. When Adam and Juliette have that really angsty bit.

N: Hmm, actually that was quite equal at that point. Adam and Warner.

C: Adam made a move. Those were some really well written scenes.

N: The poor guy. I feel so sorry for him. He thinks that everything is perfect, because he's the one person who can touch the person he loves. And then you find out that it's his power. SAH HEARTBREAKING.

C: And how did the love triangle help? I guess because suddenly there are two front runners.

N: #Chapter62

C: One that we know and one that she knows. That was definitely different. Because that's not normally what happens. And the love triangle definitely drives the series.

N: I think that the war is kind of like a sidenote. As in, it's not really a focus, like, it's not a main plotline.

C: Yeah like you said before, it's definitely "me, me, me". It's more so about Juliette deciding whether she wants to be in the war.

N: Which, you know, is a bit annoying. Because you want her to be strong. And you want her to get out there. AND THAT'S WHAT WARNER'S TRYING TO DO! That's why you support Warner!!

C: And Adam becomes a lot more of a follower. In Unravel Me. Compliant, non-questioning. Which isn't so interesting. But it's definitely consistent with his character. The generic nice guy.

N: But there is still the turmoil. With the whole power turning off thing.

C: See, once you can't kiss the girl anymore, that makes it a lot harder.

N: Yeah, you know how Juliette almost kills him. I was like, well, that's a bit awkward. But you do feel sorry for him. Because you see that he genuinely loves her as well.

C: I don't know how I feel about that whole plotline. I don't know if it's just a random plot device Tahereh pulled out to get more support for Warner.

N: But there is the whole, Adam could learn to control his power thing. So I think it's still open.

C: But he'd have to be on guard 24/7.

N: Yeah, that'd be a bit hard. Especially if you were sleeping or something. Just like, woops, gets touched, dies.

C: Okay, now #Chapter62

N: That was an epic chapter. Because you see more and more of Warner's thoughts. As in, he says them out loud. Because you actually knew them in Destroy Me, but he wouldn't vocalise them. But then in #Chapter62, he did.

C: There was so much anticipation about that scene. That chapter. And it took up to freaking #Chapter62 to get to that point. But there was definitely love for that chapter.

N: A looooot of love.

C: Too much love? Nah, not enough love. Never enough love.

N: And OMG, at the end. You know how Warner is quite proud. But he begs those two girls to heal Juliette. I'm just like *swoons*.

C: You see a lot more character development in Warner.

N: That was the best scene. THE FEELS.

C: Nara is going red with passion.

N: hahahaha. OH THE FEELS. And the ending was so annoying. You know how they wake up, and Warner's just there. It's like WHY. I wanted them to work out their issues. But they're obviously going to do that in the third book. GIMME THE THIRD BOOK.

C: And yeah, that's the thing. Without the love triangle, there wouldn't be such a massive fandom for the book. Because Warner's who everyone is going CRAZY about but Adam's what Juliette needs. Or well, needed in the first  place. I mean, imagine if Juliette only had Warner at the start.

N: Yeah, that would not work.  Because she has to heal first before she can develop as a character. And she is healed by the second book, I guess, ish. And that was because of Adam. I think that overall though, Warner is a better love interest because he has a better understanding of Juliette as a person.

C: Yeah, but we wouldn't have known that before the novella. So I think it's a toss up between what Juliette needs and what the reader wants. And that's why we're so torn. And why the love triangle works so well.

So that's the end. If you couldn't read any of that because you haven't read the series, go read them. Seriously, it is definitely worth it. (And then come back and read this post haha) If you missed it, here's our introductory post as part of the Love Triangles 101 feature. And here's the link for the full event schedule.


  1. Yay! I do like to provide my views but then, I haven't read the series yet. Shatter me is still on my TBR list. :D

    Thoughts and Pens

    1. Yeah, unfortunately, it's a bit hard to discuss this love triangle without spoilers :) But definitely read the series because it's amazing!