But I Love Him by Amanda Grace

This book is not like most other books on dating violence.  Not only does it start in the end and work its way back to the beginning of the relationship, but it also treats the abuser as more of a broken human being than a monster.  (Actually, it’s kind of like Alex Flinn’s Breathing Underwater as told from the abused girl’s perspective.)  In the author’s note, Grace admits that she intentionally wrote the story backwards so that it would be impossible for readers to declare that they would have left after a certain incident.  Instead, readers are forced to focus on how Ann’s entrenchment in this unhealthy relationship tore her entire life apart and how Connor’s childhood filled with abuse contributed so much to his own uncontrollable rage and abusive behaviors.  I admit that I often find it easy to judge the victim in a story about abuse, even though I know I shouldn’t, and I was happy that this story made it impossible.  Instead, it showed me just how easily I could have ended up like Ann and how thankful I am that I have never had a Connor of my own.  A must-read for all teen girls and their parents.  (Teen boys could probably get quite a bit from this one, too.)

Happy Reading!

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