Author: Amanda Grace (Pseudonym), Mandy Hubbard
Genre: YA, Social Issues, Relationships & Abuse
Publisher: Flux Books
Publication Date: May 8, 2011
Pages: 254 pages
Source: Purchased Finished Copy
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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.
"What do you do when the one person you want comfort from the most is the one who caused your pain? How can I want so desperately for him to wrap me up in his arms but also want so much for him to leave me alone."
"It's not fair. It's not fair that he lets his rage take over, that he lets it rule him. I don't know why he has to let it rule him. I don't know why he has to be two people. I don't know why he gets to be two people, and I only get to be me, the one who is here to take what he has to give, and who is here to pick up the pieces afterward."
"But even when I stop crying, even when we fall asleep and I'm nestled in his arms, this will leave another scar. No one will see it. No one will know. But it will be there. And eventually all of the scars will have scars, and that's all I'll be--one big scar of a love gone wrong."
I could just leave my review at that and I would have summed up what I felt when reading But I Love Him by Amanda Grace. Told in reverse chronological order But I Love Him chronicles the love story between Ann and Conner that was doomed from the very beginning.
I liked this book because it made me feel for the characters; both of them. It's so easy when writing a story that chronicles abuse of any kind or the demise of a relationship to create at least one character, usually the abuser, that is just so horrible that the reader hates them. They often come across as having no redeeming qualities and by the end of the book you are waiting and hoping for them to get a dose of their own medicine. By contrast the victim is usually not really someone that readers can identify with, and spend the entire book shaking their heads wondering why they don't just get out. That is not the case with this book.
In But I Love Him, Amanda Grace introduces two characters you can't help but feel for. There is Ann who is the All American good girl who everyone loves and appears to be genuinely good person who wants the best for those around her. Conner on the other hand is not so much a bad boy, but a broken boy. He comes from an abusive home himself and seems to want to break the cycle of abuse, but he either doesn't know or posess the skill set to do so. Ann wants to help Conner and wants him to be better, and it's over this year that she comes to realization that she can't save him, but rather she has to save herself.