But I Love Him by Amanda Grace Review

“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.”

I only write reviews on books if they really get to me and/or I think they are just amazing. If you wish to read this book in the near future, do not continue to read this review as it contains spoilers.

This is your usual teenage love story, with an evil, heartbreaking twist. I quite enjoy reading abuse/domestic violence novels; NOT because I enjoy that aspect of them, BUT because it gives you an insight into the thoughts and feelings of the abused and the abuser. When we see or hear about relationships in which domestic violence takes place, both emotional and/or physical, our initial reaction is anger at both parties. We feel the justified anger towards the bully and then we feel the unexpected anger towards the victim. We feel angry that they are letting themselves become the victim, that they endure the abuse and that they are not walking away.

man hitting woman

So this leads to the inevitable question: WHY DOES A VICTIM IN A RELATIONSHIP NOT WALK AWAY?

To those of us who have never been in their shoes, we judge quickly and soundly. But when you read fiction or non-fiction based on this theme, you finally understand why the may choose to stay in the relationship and endure the abuse.

In this beautiful, but twisted novel, the answer to why she stays is simple: LOVE.

She is so deeply and irrevocably in love with him that it almost borderlines obsession. You can feel her love for him, its almost a need rather than a want. This is the type of love that I sometimes find myself dreaming about, but is it too unhealthy? Will it be too suffocating in the long run? Because the victim in this love story lost herself, her character, her friends and her family over to this love. It literally consumed her, mentally and physically. Yet this is still something we all want? But that makes me ask why?

Why are we allowed to feel something so intense, so beautifully overwhelming with another person in this world if it’s no good for us? If we are only allowed to have a taste but then we have to walk away? Surely life can’t be that cruel can it?

When you start reading this book, you will be surprised (and like me a bit annoyed) to find that the book is written in reverse chronological order, starting from the present and then working its way to the past. At first I found this quite annoying, but as you get nearer the end of the book you realise that it was a genius decision by the author. It makes the impact of the storyline more intense and shows you how something so bad was, at the beginning very innocent, sweet, and promising.

Man pin woman down, loving

The snippet’s that we see of the couple at the beginning of their love story just really embraced and put emphasis on the fact that even violent relationships really do start out as innocent and beautiful as every other normal relationship. The character’s in the beginning of their journey were shy, sweet, felt the butterflies, wanted to spend every minute of the day together, experienced racing hearts at the sight of one another and truly expressed the beginnings of a “Romeo and Juliet”.

The author did a brilliant job at showing how one partner doesn’t just become violent overnight, she showed how it’s the little things that finally became the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Couple in love kissing

The one thing about this book that I ABSOLUTELY LOVED was actually the one thing that I didn’t like in the beginning. It relates to the reverse chronological order of the book. After going through this couple’s relationship with them, after feeling their happiness, their heartbreak, and vicariously feeling the love, the fear and the hate, I think the final line of the book was just so strong and perfect. It really put the whole thing into perspective and makes you think twice about abusive relationships and our preconceived thoughts about them. If you have read or do read the book, you will realise why the last chapter of the book creates such an impact.

The last lines and my favourite lines of the book:

“My name is Ann, by the way.” And then I awkwardly stick my hand out. “Oh, sorry.” He wipes his hand on his jeans and holds it out. “I’m Connor.”

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10 thoughts on “But I Love Him by Amanda Grace Review

  1. Abuse, the topic many live but several justify. We lack the knowledge of every detail but see the outcome; bruised bodies and puncture hearts. It’s a question of love! Or is it? I asked a friend of mine “won’t you rather feel love or know you are loved?” they couldn’t answer because they didn’t see the difference. I told them “Feeling loved is the journey” but “knowing you’re loved is the destination”. We don’t fall in love with people; we fall for the person that fits our ideals. Once abuse starts to take place that word “love” is in question, when it was once the answer. Love is about surrendering not being controlled; it’s about caring for one another not taking care of one another. Power leads to abuse; abuse stems from the selfish belief that we own another. Both people are abusing one other; the man for harming his wife and the wife for making him feel like it’s okay by staying.

    • Rightly said, I think thats the problem, the people in the relationship stop seeing the difference. To an extent everything to them is blurred, and that includes what is right and wrong and what they should stand up for and what they should just endure. It’s a sad issue in which the vulnerable use love as an excuse, maybe because they are just lost about everything in their lives at that point and they just don’t know anymore?

      • It’s okay to disagree and be passionate about issues involving relationships. We just have to understand when the relationship is becoming unhealthy. So many allow things to slide by, believing little things do not one day become big. A relationship is about perfecting a dance, so we will step on each other’s toes a lot, but we have to know the difference between someone stepping on our toes and stomping on them.

  2. I forgot to say hello before i entered your home, Hello!!!!

  3. Beauty Temptress says:

    Very interesting topic, wrote an essay about it at uni. Thanks for liking my post btw 🙂

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