Fun fact: Anica Mrose Rissi lives in my town. I see her downtown sometimes. I once attended an author event that she spoke at. I really wanted to love her book. It was fine, but unfortunately, I didn’t love it.
Let me just start off by saying that I think this book is really important. Sure, there are plenty of YA books addressing abuse, but I think that this one handled the progression of Betts and Aiden’s relationship from cute and sweet to terrifying and abusive really well.
When Betts and Aiden meet, sparks fly instantly. They’re attracted to each other, they genuinely like each other, and they become each other’s whole world really quickly. I’ve seen a lot of reviews mention the instalove aspect, but I kind of get it here. Yes, it’s a little crazy to start dropping “I love you”s two weeks after meeting someone, but teenagers can be dramatic and I didn’t think it was out of place here. Their relationship seems healthy at the beginning. Little things that seem a little off start happening, and then almost out of nowhere (but not really, if you’ve been paying attention), it’s like a switch flips and Aiden is controlling every aspect of Betts’ life.
That said, other than the progression of the relationship, I didn’t love this book. I thought the love triangle was unnecessary and weird and added nothing to the plot. I hated Betts’ parents and think this book would have been infinitely better had Betts been able to talk to them once her relationship began to turn abusive. And, finally, aside from being a cautionary tale, what was really the point of this book?
This is a decent book, but definitely not one of my favorites.