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."-GoodReads.
Paperback, 245 pages
Published May 8th 2011 by Flux
(first published May 1st 2011)
Sociology was one of my favorite studies in college, as was psychology. So naturally I
am drawn to books about people with "issues". I find the human mind and how it works
in different situations fascinating. Unfortunately, that was not the case with "But I Love
Him". I was far from fascinated. Mostly, I think, because it is told in reverse
chronological order. Starting with day 365 working back to day 1, when it all began.
Basically it was being thrown right into the climax of the story. But I didn't know
who the characters were or how they got to where they were. I didn't know about all
the pain Ann had already gone through. And I had no idea what was causing Connor
to act the way he was.
And since I was technically reading the story from end to beginning, seeing Connor
at his worst first, then slowly working my way back to where he was sweet, decent,
and a good boyfriend, made me not be able to feel for his situation. I didn't like him
right off the bat. And that is CRUCIAL to these kinds of stories. You need to show
me what Ann saw in Connor, why she loved him enough to stick around and be
beat by him.
There was a line in the book that made me livid. Ann says "and I know that when
the anger is gone, and he's back, he will cry for what he's done to me. He'll mean
every word he says, every apology. But it won't stop it from happening again." p.64
Yeah, that doesn't happen. The abused doesn't think that way. They truly believe
that when they are told that "that was the last time I will ever hit you" is really the last
time. And I'm sorry, but if he is apologizing and really "means" every word, but you
know it won't stop, then he doesn't actually mean what he is saying.
There were also two things that I wish had been explained better. First, why did she
stay with him? When I saw how many red flags were shown in their first couple of weeks
together, I wonder why she didn't get out before she was in too deep. It made very little
But my biggest question would have to have been, why was Connor that way?
Connor's father is abusive to his mother when he's drunk, which would cause me
to believe that Connor would become abusive after drinking since things like that arehereditary. But he didn't drink. He was always sober when he got angry. And the
weirdest things set him off.
It just didn't come off a psychologically sound story.
Too many aspects thrown into one story to try and make it heart-breaking. Which it
was to a point. I felt sad for Ann that she thought she had to stay with Connor to feel
needed and loved.
But this was definitely not one of the "better" and more believable abusive boyfriend stories.
It lost me too many times, so I rarely felt connected to the story or characters which, in theend, made me care little about what happened.