Love hurts ... but should it hurt this much? Reeling from her mum's sudden departure, Anna finds the comfort she needs in her blossoming relationship with Will. He's handsome and loving, everything Anna has always dreamt of. He's also moody and unpredictable, pushing her away from her friends, her music. He wants her to be his and his alone. He wants her to be perfect. Anna's world is closing in. But threatening everything is a dark secret that not even Will can control... Eve Ainsworth's gripping second novel is a pitch-perfect exploration of love at its most powerful, addictive and destructive.
This was a toxic relationship, right from the start. It started off quite subtle, like the way he wanted her to style her hair, then got progressively worse, telling her what to eat, how to do her make-up, then grabbing her arm and her hair. As Will can't quite control his anger, it shows how abuse can start and snowball into something unrecognizable. Anna was twisted to Will's way of thinking, she didn't want to make him angry because he loved her, right?
With Will's little journal entries, we saw inside his head and sort of understood his reasoning; he had been abused by his older brother, and his mother was a wreck, his father absent, and he just wanted something he could control. It was still awful, of course, but somehow by trying to understand it, it made it a bit more bearable, as Will was a victim too. Not that that excuses his behavior, it just makes it more understandable. At least from my perspective.
All in all, a very tough story that dealt with abuse the best way it could, be laying it all out as something to be identified and talking about it openly.
Published 3rd March 2016 by Scholastic. Thank you to the publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest review.
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