Monday, June 13, 2011

Review: But I Love Him by Amanda Grace

Title: But I Love Him
Author: Amanda Grace
Publisher: Flux
Pages: 264
Release date: May 8th 2011
Genre: Contemporary YA
Source: Bought at The Book Depository
Find out more: Amazon ; Goodreads

Goodreads description:
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.

First sentence:
I lie in pieces on the floor.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

First off, I love the cover of But I Love Him, and I love the whole thing with the heart made of sea glass. It's so beautiful and sad at the time, just like the book.

Even though the topic is fascinating, I was weary of reading But I Love Him because it's written chronologically in reverse. I didn't think it'd be possible for the reader to understand Ann's and Connor's relationship if you don't get to see how it started out in the beginning, and I didn't understand how there could be any real progress if the novel starts out at the lowest point of the relationship. But I had nothing to worry about. Writing this chronologically in reverse is actually pretty genius.

 Even though whe didn't see the "happy" beginning of Ann's and Connor's relationship until later, I could really understand Ann from the first page on, which I didn't think would have been possible. The writing is amazing. So vivid and beautiful, I felt like I was right there with Ann. I felt her struggle, hoping she'd just leave him and not let him treat her like that, but also wanting her to give Connor another chance and help him work out his problems so they could live happily after. I was just as torn as Ann was while reading But I Love Him. It made me understand abusive relationships so much more - it all just seems so real, so scary. I never knew before what something like that can do to a person, but Ann's broken-ness is utterly believable.

Connor is a great, complex character too. Even though I hate myself for it, I could understand him, too, at least to some extent. No, nothing can justify what he does to Ann, but I still felt for him because of his past - after all, he is a victim, too. I also enjojyed the whole storyline with Ann's family. The subtlety with which Ann's father's death and its effect on Ann and her mother was handled is great and added a whole other dimension to the novel. I felt Ann's pain of losing her father and somehow losing her mother, too.

You might think it's strange to have how Ann and Connor met and started dating and all of that at the end of the book, but it's not (at least it wasn't for me). I really enjoyed that part. There's just something so heartbreaking about reading their innocent romance, knowing what will happen later on.

***The next paragraph contains spoiler-ish information!***
I do have one problem with this novel, though. I have no idea how you could change this, since like I said, I like the idea of the chornologically reverse order, but that made it basically impossible to have any type of solution for Ann's situation. I don't mean solution as in "this is what Ann has to do, and now everything will be perfect", since obviously there is no solution like that, but I would have liked to know more about Ann's decision, and what happens afterwards. I would have liked to see how Ann's mom helps her, and how she lives on after her decision.

Despite the lack of resolution, But I Love Him is a great book, and an important book, really making you understand the issue of abusive relationships, an issue I, for one, would like to read more about in contemporary YA. It's so well-written it makes you understand and feel for each of the characters, even when you don't want to. You should definitely read it!


  1. i love the idea of a novel written in reverse. so cool.

  2. I really need to read this. It looks so good and eye-openings. Thanks for the great review!

  3. Wow, this sounds really interesting. I've never read a book that was written in reverse. That's cool that it could hold your attention and keep you reading, even when you knew how it would end up. Nice review. :)

  4. Another book for you on abusive relationships: Dreamland by Sarah Dessen :)

  5. Wonderful review. I like the cover art too. I have never heard of this book before or the author, but it does sound interesting with it being written in reverse. A bummer it doesn't give any closure by reading it in reverse.

  6. This sounds absolutely incredible. Thank you for your thoughts. I can't wait to read it!

  7. I really want to read this book, the cover is awazing and the plot really interesting and original!

  8. I really want to read this book. I've read novels dealing with abuse before but to read it in reverse definitely sounds like a fascinating concept. I'm sure it'll be a novel that makes me cry, but hopefully one that I also like. Thanks!

  9. I've been eyeing (is that a word?) this book. Told in reverse? Awesome!

  10. -Thanks for the review! I really want to check this book at. It has been on my wish-list for a while. I didn't know it was told in reverse, that just makes this book higher on my wish-list. :]


  11. I love the cover. And the first sentence of the book really matches that.

    It's told in reverse? Wow, that's such an awesome idea like the movie Memento but in YA book form!

  12. The cover is so eyecatching. This sounds really interesting- being written in reverse is pretty genius I agree.

  13. I also love the cover. I guess it depicts the fragility of the heart. I've also never read a book written in reverse but I've seen movies with flashbacks. I enjoy experimenting with different styles

  14. great review and I loved book cover


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