Sunday, August 9, 2015

Fracture Me by Tahereh Mafi

In this electrifying sixty-page companion novella to the New York Timesbestselling 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 MeFracture 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.

I love fanfiction.

I know that it’s not a widely accepted part of literature, but I have often read so many great fanfics that were far superior to some published books, that makes me wonder why it is that people run from it like the plague, especially when we consider how some of the greatest works in history have technically been fanfictions.

My first acquaintance with them was when I was practicing for my TOEFL exams (An English sufficiency test), and reading was one of the skills I wanted to improve. That was when I came across Star Trek fanfiction… without having the slightest idea of what the hell it was. I had read that fanfictions were stories created by fans, but hadn’t really understood how it worked until then. My English’s skills were quite poor at the time, and my vocabulary was especially limited, so I’d read a paragraph and my head started to ache from sixteen words I did not understand. Every FF seemed extremely complex and beautiful to me because of this, and I initially thought they were all masterpieces (I was sixteen, give me a break)

Even though now I know better, it was thanks to fanfiction that I managed to upgrade my skills and I’m now able to read full books without a problem and write seemingly coherent reviews!

But especially, I love fanfiction because it allows me to see different sides of the things I love and, let’s face it, who hasn’t had their favourite characters being mistreated by writers? It’s a hard thing to love a female/POC/LGBTQ in a discriminate narrative *cough*The Vampire Diaries*Cough*

I have seen my lovely Caroline Forbes grow into a beautiful character development, only to be dragged through the mud in the later seasons. My favourite villain, Katherine, was butchered in her characterization, turning her into a love-sick puppy she never was and eventually being thrown to hell while the other male villains are free to cause havoc another day. Bonnie… my sweet baby, when was the last time she had something to do? Something that wasn’t dying to make Elena popcorn?

Moreover, I’m one of those people who roots for the love interest that never gets picked. It’s not that I hate the other person (sometimes, others I do I’ll admit it) but it could be that my ship has better chemistry or they are simply, in my opinion, better suited for each other. Totally my opinion though. So I go off to Fanfic land and indulge myself with some stories of my favourite couples getting together. Sometimes it’s hard, especially because I’m really picky when it comes about how the romance develops, and sometimes I have come across some pretty ridiculous stuff.

Things like those two characters yelling at each other with cheesy lines and suddenly making out, because reasons.

But one of the most commons, and the one I particularly dislike the most, is when characters are drastically changed to make things work. Suddenly the bad (and hot) guy becomes the really nice person who is the only one who understands the MC, while her previously nice boyfriend is turned into an asshole who just yell at her for no reason, becomes super jealous whenever she mentions the hot, evil dude and is basically washed away from anything resembling a personality to make the girl choose the other guy.

Needless to say, I’m not enjoying very much the Shatter Me series.

I enjoyed the first book very much, but I wished things had stayed the same. It’s clear that the author changed her mind and wanted the story to go into a different direction, I completely understand that, but she destroyed her characters to make this work. Warner went from being a perfectly awesome villain, clever and ruthless to a pretty dumb guy who could not understand why the girl he tortured wouldn’t like him. Juliette went from this person trying to understand herself and make peace with who she was to this wishy-washy person who cares more about her love life that the lives of tens of thousands of people, and Adam went from a caring person to a dependant asshole who is “oh so clearly” evil and totally not the right choice for Juliette.

It would have been amazing to see Juliette struggling with his feelings for Warner had he still remained the bad guy he was in the first book, instead he’s turned into a puppy-lover, child saviour, artificially flavoured cinnamon roll, dude. So that now Juliette can love him guilt free.

In this novella, Adam’s love for James was thrown in the narrative constantly, exemplifying how Adam would never love anybody the way he loves his brother, showing us that he could never really love Juliette… Are you serious? Not only is that incredibly infantile, but also ridiculous. James is his brother, brotherly love is not the same as romantic love, you can love more than one people at time guys!! The whole idea behind this is so dangerous! To believe that the only way someone will love you is if they love only you, you first, your wants before their needs… no! Imagine having a boyfriend/girlfriend asking you not to love your family or friends “as much” as you do because it makes them feel bad, and tell me if you wouldn’t flip them off.

That’s not real, and I’m sorry because I know that so many of my friends love this series but this is terrible done. I’m not even sure I’ll read Ignite Me, and it’s insane because Shatter Me is one of my favourite books read this year, what happened?

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