Release Date: May 8th, 2011 by Flux
Details: 245 pages, paperback
Source: Bought through Amazon.com
Rating: 5 out of 5
Tonight was so much worse than anything before it. Tonight he didn't stop after the first slap.
At the beginning of senior year, Ann was a smiling, straight-A student and track star with friends and a future. Then she met a haunted young man named Connor. Only she can heal his emotional scars; only he could make her feel so loved — and needed. Ann can't recall the pivotal moment it all changed, when she surrendered everything to be with him, but by graduation, her life has become a dangerous high wire act. Just one mistake could trigger Connor's rage, a senseless storm of cruel words and violence damaging everything — and everyone — in its path.
This evocative slideshow of flashbacks reveals a heartbreaking story of love gone terribly wrong.
o0.|| My Thoughts ||.0o
After reading Stay by Deb Caletti I didn't think I was ready to handle another book on abusive relationships so quickly. I didn't think I had the strength to get so emotionally involved in a another intense book. But I picked it up anyway and I devoured it.
But I Love Him is told in reverse order (I know everyone's mentioned this in their reviews, but trust me, it's important) and in between certain dates, we get a glimpse of the present, where Ann is laying bleeding and broken on the floor.
I'll admit, at first this reverse order stuff confused me. I was constantly flipping back pages just to make sure I wasn't... I don't know. I don't know what I was thinking but let's just leave it as for awhile, I was confused. After the first 50 pages it starts to make sense and everything starts to pick up. I agree that an opening like the one this book has definitely grabs you. You want to know why Ann is broken on the floor. You want to know why she let it get this far and you want to know if she'll get revenge on Conner. No? Was it just me? It couldn't had just me who thought that!
As the story unfolds or folds or whatever it's doing, you start to see the insane parts of their relationship first but you also feel the struggle that Ann has to deal with. Why she feels the need to stay when she knows deep down inside Conner can't be saved. But it's not told in an annoying-she's-so-stupid way. You can feel her concern, her panic and her hope for him. The thing that sets this book about this subject apart from all the others is the detail, the detail and being right there with the character. While all the other books based on abusive relationships take place after the relationship, this one pulls you right in there with Ann from the very first page.
Amanda Grace stated in an interview in the back of the book that she wanted to show that Conner wasn't a bad guy, just a broken one and I think she achieved that. In the beginning of the book I hated Conner, to witness what was going on was sickening and stupid but towards the end when you start to see the good sides of Conner you can't help but just feel bad for him. He never asked for this life or this responsibility. But it still doesn't give him the right to take it out on Ann.
Abusive relationships are like that; full of fun and butterflies and intensity in the beginning then the next thing you know you're spiraling out of control and you don't know when everything started going wrong. I love that there are so many YA titles being released this year based on abusive relationships, I think this is an issue that hasn't been focused on that really needs to be.