Google+ Reading Teen: But I Love Him by Amanda Grace: Book Review

Monday, March 12, 2012

But I Love Him by Amanda Grace: Book Review

But I Love Him
by Amanda Grace
Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Flux (May 8, 2011)
Buy the book: 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.
This book is a strong, interesting, disturbing story. It begins at the one year mark of the relationship between Ann and Connor, 17 and 18 years old, respectively. From there the story rewinds showing us the progression of their romance. Connor and Ann are teens who come from very different backgrounds but make an instant connection when they meet. Ann is a senior in high school, captain of the track team and working towards college. Connor is a smart young man who dropped out of high school, got his GED and is trying to make enough money to move out on his own. Ann lives with her widowed mother and is trying to figure out how to reconnect with her since her father's death shattered their world. Connor lives with his parents and his first priority is protecting his mother from his abusive father. Unfortunately, both of these teens are in need of something much more than the other one can give.

There is a lot of sexual content and strong language in the book. The story itself is about a topic which is sad and frightening. The author does an excellent job of showing us how what appears to be a perfectly normal teenage romance can turn into a violent, destructive and life-threatening prison. The development of the characters helps the reader to understand some of the reasons Connor uses physical, emotional and verbal abuse to deal with the insecurities of his life and why Ann would even want to stay with him. In spite of the content, I would recommend that both parents and teens read this book. Domestic abuse is a scary situation and knowledge can hopefully help in avoiding entanglements in this type of relationship. I thought the book handled the subject matter in a way that is interesting and informative. It can serve as an educational tool for parents and teens alike.

  • Sexual Content:  Heavy
  • Profanity:  Very Heavy
  • Violence:  Heavy (Abuse)
  • Other Notables:   Talk of suicide, father is an alcoholic
For more details, check out But I Love Him on


  1. Thanks for the review and for bringing this book to my attention.

  2. This one has been on my tbr list for a while. Thanks for the review.

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  4. I think the publisher needs to up the reading age on this one. It sounds like it should be for teens that are of dating age, not 12 based on the content you list.

    Also can you tell me if this book really goes there with this issue, or if it's one of those titles that's shallow despite seeming otherwise. I've been disappointed lately with books that sound like they are really going to be in depth and then just skim the surface of the issue.


    1. Heather...I tend to agree with you about the suggested age for this book, however, it seems that there are a lot of 12 year olds dating out there and this might be just what they need to know. I think that this book does a very good job of addressing the issue of abuse without going into graphic detail about the violence. She really shows how easy it is to get caught up in this type of situation and how quickly it can get out of control. I think parents and teens would benefit from reading it. Hope that helps. Janeth

  5. I really want to read this one. I tried reading a book with this subject matter before and the author didn't really pull it off in my opinion, it was a DNF book for me so I'm hoping this will have the heart breaking story I was looking for.

    thanks for the great review, I'm glad you enjoyed the story.

    1. Alexa, I hope you get the time to read this book because I do think she does a good job of telling the story realistically. I have never experienced this type of relationship myself, but the story helped me to understand how girls/women can become entangled in them and end up alone and hopeless. Let me know what your opinion is after you read the book. Thanks. Janeth


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