Shatter Me trilogy: character arc’s


Shatter Me books

As I sit here trying and failing miserably to write a review on the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi, I realize that only one thing stands out in my mind that I am dying to write about. As much as I loved the writing style and the plot, the characters are what really stood out to me in these books. I don’t think I have ever read a book where the characters stood out as much as they did in this story. The arc’s that they all went through were so strong, and something that I had to write a blog post on. So, I am going to pick a few characters in particular to analyze, and share my thoughts on their growth throughout the story. I hope you enjoy!

Now, I automatically want to write about Warner first, but let’s save the best for last, shall we?

Since Juliette was the main character, it is no surprise that her arc was the biggest. But, I never imagined it to effect me so much. When we were first introduced to her, I had so much sympathy for her because of her condition. She was locked up, had nobody to talk to, and was convinced that she was either going to die, or was already dead and didn’t realize it. She had that weird obsession with counting everything (cracks in the walls, her number of breaths) and only had a notebook to write in. Even her notebook was full of crossed out entries and repeated words or phrases, all reflecting her insanity. However, as she began training and learned how to control and use her ability, she was able to break out of her shell, and be the leader she was always meant to be. Juliette adopted the plan that Omega Point originally tried to execute and followed it through herself. Plus, she gained the confidence of a true leader, and was the first one to step up in any situation. She did just that when everyone was wondering who would lead the nation after The Reestablishment was destroyed. She immediately knew that she could do it, and accepted the role. Oh, and realizing that Adam wasn’t the only boy in the world really helped that confidence, just saying.

Kenji was a character who I genuinely thought was only going to stick around for the first book. I thought he was either going to die in Shatter Me or just exit the story. In the first book, he just seemed like he was there just to be there. I get he was placed in the story for comic relief, but he didn’t make me laugh until the second book. In Unravel Me, I began to appreciate Kenji’s presence more because not only did his jokes improve, but he had a really cool ability. Plus, he was able to help Juliette train and learn to control her ability. By the third book, it was good to finally get to learn a little bit about Kenji’s past. When he finally told Juliette about his bond with Castle after about the fiftieth time she asked “Are you okay,” I was pleased to see that he wasn’t someone who was only there to crack jokes. The way he described his childhood and how Castle took him in and raised him was really eye opening, mainly because it gave us an answer to why Castle and Kenji were so close. Also, and this is my favorite part about Kenji’s character, he became best friends with Juliette. Their friendship was great one to watch develop because they were able to share experiences and feelings with each other that nobody else would understand.

Can we please talk about Adam for a minute. Oh man, Adam. WHAT HAPPENED? In Shatter Me, I loved Adam. His relationship with Juliette was beautiful to watch unfold, because he recognized what she had been through, and helped her to move past that. Plus, seeing how much he cared for James was so heartwarming, because we don’t really see any other family aspects in this series. But, when Unravel Me rolled around, poop hit the fan, and it wasn’t pretty. At this point in the story, I had read Destroy Me and was officially “Team Warner.” I still liked Adam as a character, but Warner had my vote. So, when Juliette heard about Adam having to disable his ability whenever he wanted to touch her and decided to break up with him, I threw a mental party. What I did not expect though, was for him to take the news like a teenage girl. You would think that he’d realize Juliette was doing this for him, but no. He had to constantly make her feel guilty about the decision she made that was meant to protect him. In Fracture Me, I was happy to see that he appeared to be moving on from Juliette, and focusing on the bigger issues. But that was obviously like a one novella deal, because he came back in Ignite Me with even more hatred than before. He was always marching off to some unknown location when he realized he couldn’t win an argument against Juliette, and made false assumptions about Warner, especially after finding out they were brothers. But, worst of all, he decides that it is a great idea to tell Juliette that he wishes he still thought she were dead, because it would hurt less than her being alive. Way to go Adam, you really hit it home on that one. By the end of Ignite Me, he didn’t redeem himself enough to have me back on his side, which is unfortunate, because I would have liked to see him apologize for all that had happened.  Adam didn’t have a character arc, he had a character cliff. Once he fell off, there was no going back.

So, here we are. Guess whose left… WARNER! Can we have a round of applause! I would love to sit and discuss chapter 62, 55, or 58 with you, but we must discuss his character arc. I had a secret crush on Warner from the very beginning. Most of my heart hated him in the first book, but a small portion wanted him to reveal some big revelation that made him good. And, although in Shatter Me he was still considered a “bad guy,” and in Unravel Me nobody wanted to admit that they loved Warner after the big 6-2  , he finally redeemed himself officially in Ignite Me. He explained to Juliette the motive behind all of the poor scenarios that he ever put her in, and even why he originally captured her. So, at this point it was just a matter of time before Juliette realized the perfection that is Aaron Warner. I was slightly annoyed that we had to wait until chapter 55 for her to finally express her feelings, but it was worth it. They can now live a happy life together.

Wow, that was a lot. But I am happy to have all of my opinions out there. I obviously left out a lot of stuff, but I think I touched on all the key points I wanted to make. If you have any comments on the character’s in Shatter Me, or anything to say about the series in general, leave a comment. I would love to know what you think.

Have a great day everyone!