Ann was a smiling straight-A student and track star. But after she meets Connor, it all changes. She surrenders everything to be with him, and by graduation, her life has become a dangerous high-wire act. One mistake could trigger Connor's rage, a senseless storm of cruel words and violence damaging everything--and everyone--in its path.
I'm just going to go ahead & state the obvious: yes this book is about an abusive relationship, but it'll change your perspective on how women get drawn into these situations. Amanda Grace has created a phenomenally powerful story that allows you to really get inside the mind of the victim & empathize with their situation. By telling the story backwards, you start the book with the monster & gradually go back through her memories until you meet the boy Ann fell in love with a year earlier. This very unique difference gives us the ability to really relive these events with Ann so that we can better comprehend how she "let herself get to this point".
With flashbacks to present day interspersed between the memories, we find ourselves just as lost & confused as Ann. That's not to say that the reader can't understand what's going on, but we get as suspended in the memories as her. She has such a difficult time reconciling the boy that she loves to the monster she's living with now. That's not to say that Connor isn't to blame for what happens, but they were both complicit (even if only subconsciously) in the events that took place. Connor is charming & smarmy all at the same time while Ann was just looking for comfort. She found what she needed in him, but chose to ignore all the warning signs & changed her behavior rather than tell him to take a hike. And Connor knows what he's doing is wrong, but refuses to get the help he so desperately needs.
Even more astounding than the writing style was the flow of the story. I know by the end of the book you're really supposed to know the characters, but in this instance the felt conflicted on how I should feel about the characters & what I was really supposed to know about them. Everything I thought I knew changed with the story & despite the fact that my anger at Connor flared every time we cut to the present, I still found myself falling for him just like Ann did when they first met.
In short, this book is well worth taking a look at. There is minor violence (obviously) but nothing that you wouldn't expect to see in this kind of story. I was honestly more shocked by the emotional turmoil this book held over me. Be sure to get yourself in the right frame of mind before taking this one head-on.