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.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.
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.
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