In truth, I thought I had washed my hands of the vile and repellant nature of this series quite a long time ago. It was poorly written, to begin with. Mafi repeatedly manipulated her characters in increasingly unrealistic ways all in her own attempt to manipulate her readers into feeling certain ways about them. There was a massive amount of the story that didn’t make sense when you went back to look at it. And, full stop, Mafi wrote a book series that straight up romanticizes abusive relationships. At every single turn of her books, she pushes her readers to believe that an abusive relationship is the one her readers should be supporting.
And so, when I finished book three, I was done. Granted, I didn’t honestly believe that there would ever be a fourth book. Or a fifth one. I wrote my review, fumed in anger about the fact that someone would put her main character in the “loving” arms of a psychotic abuser, and moved on. There were better books out there for me to read and they were ones that did not promote falling in love with someone who physically and mentally abuses their love interest. But it seems that the world wasn’t going to let me forget about this horrible book series.
For quite some time now I’ve seen it all over Twitter. For some unfathomable reason, a great number of people seem to love Warner, the psychotic and disgusting trash of a person who Mafi tried to force her readers into believing was redeemable. Though in a way I do suppose she succeeded with quite a number of her readers, and this in and of itself is what depresses me most of all about this series. So many people fell for the utterly unrealistic turnaround–which wasn’t really much of a turnaround anyway–that Mafi shoved down my throat as I read her books. So many people love him.
And this isn’t to say that I don’t think those who do love Warner shouldn’t have the right to do so. By all means, love him. But I do think that there is an importance to understanding the truths about Warner that many simply seem to ignore throughout this series. And so, in the interest of revealing each piece of Warner that is truly abusive as well as pointing out how utterly manipulative it was on the author’s part to come up with as many dumb and convenient excuses for why Warner always acted like such a psychotic monster (as if good intentions ever excuses torturing others; protip for you all, it does not), I’ve decided to reread the Shatter Me series.
Now, I realize that this is probably going to upset a lot of people. No one ever really likes to hear criticisms of the things that they love. I’ve been there. But the fact of the matter is that a) Warner is abusive, b) the Shatter Me series promotes the romanticization of abuse, c) Mafi wrote deeply unrealistic characters because of the fact that she completely decimated their personalities over the course of her three novels, and d) I don’t think enough people are aware of these facts. With the addition of two new novels to the series, I truly do see it as a disservice to the world that this is not discussed more often.
At least with the trash that is Fifty Shades of Grey, I regularly see others call it out for the abusive relationship promoting book that it is. I do not and have never really seen this with Shatter Me. So, as I reread this series I plan to regularly post updates describing the true abusive nature behind Warner, the disgusting reader manipulation that tried to force me to feel sorry for him, the problematic nature that comes from books that promote abusive relationships, and how all of the characters were poorly written in that the changes made to their personalities were wholly unrealistic.
But before I get to that, since I’ve only just started rereading the first book, here’s the first review I ever wrote for this series for those interested.