Published by: Flux on May 8, 2011
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
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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.
But I Love Him is a gripping tale of domestic violence, an issue I’ve always felt strongly about, through the mind of the victim. This is actually my first book I’ve read on the subject as I try to avoid this topic because of how I feel about it, but I’ve heard good things about the book so I wanted to give it a try. It was definitely different in that the story was told in a reverse timeline order, starting with the moment the woman realizes what she’s gotten herself into, the pivotal moment when the man abuses her.
Each chapter brings another piece of the puzzle from that point all the way back to the beginning when the couple first meet, with flashes of the present situation mixed in. I didn’t understand why Grace decided to write it that way until the end when I read her interview answers, saying she wanted the reader to understand the whole picture and not come at Ann for not leaving at a particular moment in their relationship when things didn’t seem right, which is what I would have done if the story was told in chronological order.
Grace’s story is so much like the reality of many people in the world today and through her main character, Ann, you can see how someone could fall for the wrong person so easily, yet not know how to get out, even worse, not realize how they got to where they are until it’s too late. Grace does paint a troubled history of Conner, so people see that he isn’t a terrible person, just deeply dysfunctional and unstable.
Overall, it was a good story to read with a sense of truth and reality in it that really makes you think and feel. It was a bit confusing at times with the dates of the events, but Grace did a great job telling her story and I highly enjoyed it, even if the topic was one I hate so much!