"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

BUT I LOVE HIM by Amanda Grace

Oddly enough, reading this book was a breath of fresh air for me. Why? Because it hooked me from the first word and forced me to stay up late until I was done, and I love when that happens.

BUT I LOVE HIM by Amanda Grace* (Flux, May 8, 2011)

I picked up the book during my daughter's swimming lesson, and couldn't stop reading. Sadly, I had to take a break in there to pretend to make dinner for my family, but once that was out of the way, I went right back to reading. BUT I LOVE HIM deals with physical and emotional abuse in a teen relationship, and the writing engages readers from the first word and refuses to let them stop.

The story is told backwards. We start one year into the relationship, and from there, the narrator moves backwards, only bringing us back to present to remind us of the final outcome. At first, I wasn't sold on this reverse linear structure, but as the story progressed, I came to have a way deeper understanding for why the author did it this way. The key point (I think) she was trying to make is that there may not be one defining moment when abuse begins. It may be easy to stand on the outside and vow to never enter an abusive relationship. But reading this book gives a whole new perspective on the matter, and makes the reader realize it is not that straightforward and easy.

Okay, so there was the fact that I read it in basically one sitting. But even after that, BUT I LOVE HIM is the kind of book that keeps bringing the reader back and making them think through the issues. It's not a graphic or gratuitous book, so no worries for those readers who don't want to read about abuse. It's a book that I put on the same playing field as THIRTEEN REASONS WHY. These are important books to read and share with teens, and these are stories that have to be told.

Highly recommended for girls and boys, readers if all genres, seventh grade and up.

* Amanda Grace is a pseudonym for literary agent Mandy Hubbard.

From Amazon:

Sometimes at night, I wake up and stare at the heart for hours. I think of how I collected each piece from the beach, how I glued it all together into one big sculpture. I wonder if Connor realizes what it means, that he'll always have a piece of me no matter what happens. Each piece of glass is another piece of myself that I gave to him.

It's too bad I didn't keep any pieces for myself.

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.

Source of book: From publisher by request


Miriam Forster said...

I want to read this book so BADLY. It sounds awesome.

PJ Hoover said...

It's really awesome, Miriam. So worth the read!