Summary Provided by Goodreads:
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.
But I Love Him is a beautifully written story about a young woman named Ann, and her abusive relationship with Conner. Many girls do not think they could ever be sucked into something like this. They say they would leave before it ever got that bad. Amanda Grace shows us that it isn’t always that easy to leave. But I Love Him is told in reverse chronological order and I loved that the author decided to tell us this story in that way. I really got to see where Ann’s “voice” changed. As we read about earlier in the relationship, we see Ann as a happy, energetic, friendly, young girl. When the book starts (a year being in an abusive relationship), Ann is submissive, lonely, and emotionally drained. She doesn’t know how her life turned out the way it did.
Reading this book was very hard. I felt Ann’s pain and I wanted to help her. I felt powerless. Just like her friends and family felt. Knowing people who have gone through this makes it that much harder to read. But it is an important story that needs to be told.
Ann was in love with Conner and never saw the warning signs until it were too late. She wanted to help Conner heal from the emotional and physical abuse he suffered at the hands of his dad. She thought if she could just help him move on from his pain, then he wouldn’t be so angry, and things would be ok. They would finally be able to be happy.
This book shows us that the abuser is, in many cases, is also a victim. Conner needs a lot of professional help to deal with the scars he carries. This is not an excuse though. Many people suffer a lot worse, and never grow up to hurt another person. Either way, I still felt for Conner. I understood why Ann wanted to help him. He didn’t deserve the life he was dealt.
But I Love Him is a heart breaking novel that shows the codependency of an abusive relationship. I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in those kinds of dynamics. This is not a light read, but it is a story worth reading.