Nina Faye was most definitely not a hopeless romantic. Her own mother told her (when she was only 14 years old) that there was “no such thing as unconditional love,” and she took that message straight to heart. Nina’s work in a high kill shelter and her obsession with stories of saints who had endured horrible tortures to prove their love for God only reinforced her mother’s statement. And because she was aware of the fact that love was “conditional,” she made it her mission to figure out the conditions of love for the people in her life. Not only did she try to figure out what she should do to make sure her parents didn’t stop loving her, but she also started to keep track of the conditions by which she could keep her boyfriend happy. But what if knowing those so-called conditions of love is not enough?
This story was a brutally honest, often heart-wrenching, look into the struggle many girls face with both loving and being loved. As the story alternates between Nina’s own story and the stories she is writing for her senior project (inspired by the stories of the tortured saints), readers are able to witness Nina’s life and better understand her frame of mind. Since it describes both sex and torture in graphic detail, nevertheless, I feel compelled to state that this book is not for the faint of heart.