But I Love Him

But I Love Him

3.8 36
by Amanda Grace

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Sometimes at night, I wake up and stare at the heart for hours. I think of how I collected each piece from the beach, how I glued it all together into one big sculpture. I wonder if Connor realizes what it means, that he'll always have a piece of me no matter what happens. Each piece of glass is another piece of myself that I gave to him.


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Sometimes at night, I wake up and stare at the heart for hours. I think of how I collected each piece from the beach, how I glued it all together into one big sculpture. I wonder if Connor realizes what it means, that he'll always have a piece of me no matter what happens. Each piece of glass is another piece of myself that I gave to him.

It's too bad I didn't keep any pieces for myself.

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.




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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

A disturbing reverse chronology of first romance gone horribly wrong.

Ann regains consciousness on her bedroom floor, bruised and bloodied, one wrist broken, and reflects on the past year. How did her loving, thoughtful boyfriend Connor transform into this unpredictable, violent monster? It seems impossible to reconcile Connor's two sides, but as readers follow Ann's mental snapshots, working backward from one August to another, they will unearth clue after red-flag–raising clue pointing toward Connor's poorly controlled anger and borderline-suicidal feelings of worthlessness and Ann's own desperate desire to be needed and loved. When these two damaged, yearning souls connect, their problems simmer, then boil over into a foul brew of codependency and isolation from everyone who might help them. The parental characters are stock—Connor's parents are locked in a years-long abusive dance, while Ann's mother is still so lost in grief over her husband's death that she hasn't said "I love you" to Ann in three years—but Ann and Connor are more finely drawn than expected, inhabiting every shade of hope, despair, confusion, ecstasy, longing, rage and guilt with heartbreaking realism. Although Grace's efforts surpass Jennifer Brown's Bitter End (2011), they fall victim to the cliché that only emotionally scarred young women are drawn to abusive young men.

Flawed, but powerful and compulsively readable. (Fiction. 14-18)

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Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
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File size:
211 KB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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But I Love Him 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
KDH_Reviews More than 1 year ago
I decided to pick up But I Love Him based solely on the description of the book. I didn't read any reviews before I started the book, but I wish I had. If I did, I probably wouldn't have bothered reading it. While the book wasn't horrible by any means, I really wanted to like it more than I actually did. One thing I did enjoy about But I Love Him was the book was written in reverse chronological order. As the book is merely snippets of Ann and Connor's relationship, I feel like this greatly helped out the book. I don't think it would have held my attention long enough for me to finish it if it was told chronologically. That being said, I didn't really like that the book was only snippets of their relationship. I felt like I was reading Ann's diary rather than reading a book. If that was supposed to be intended, it should have been stated more clearly. Whether it was intended or not, it made the book less enjoyable for me. Overall, I don't feel like the book had the emotional depth it was capable of. It could have been a really good book, but instead it fell flat. That was the biggest letdown for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First of all, the book is great. No, fantastic! Everyone should read it. I couldnt put it down! Great for girls 10+ Second, does anyone ever write short reviews around here? Think about the people that just want "it was great" or "i hated it. Dont buy it" life would be so much easier!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a really good book but i got really anxious to find out what happened. it kinda dragged on and i lost some interest but i finished it and liked the last chapter. Good book
Lauren817 More than 1 year ago
Startling, exceptional, and fast-paced, Amanda Grace's But I Love Him offers a fascinating new look into the world of abusive relationships. Prior to meeting Connor, Ann was a girl going places. From a track star, to a loyal friend, to a good student, Ann appeared to be the picture perfect girl. However, everything changes the day Connor walks into her life. Connor is a boy with a bad family history, but all Ann can see is a boy who needs someone, a boy who can be loved even if he does not realize it himself. That is when everything changes for better and worse. At first, Ann and Connor's relationship seems to be fabulous. Sure, it has its bad moments, but everyone's does. Then he hits her, and everything goes askew. Told in reverse chronological order, Ann and Connor's story is quickly revealed from start to finish in short and powerful bursts sure to intrigue nearly any reader, as they ask themselves "When did everything go so wrong?" I always find books about abusive relationships to be interesting, and with Amanda Grace's But I Love Him, this interest level was raised to the highest of levels for several reasons. For one, the idea of reverse chronological order was simply brilliant. I loved that it allowed for not only suspense but for a new level of understanding in abusive relationships for both the victim and the abuser, which leads me to the characters. In most ways, Ann is nearly broken to no repair. She is someone who has been hurt and beaten down to the extreme emotionally and physically, and yet the reader is not able to judge her for not leaving, simply because it is easy to understand her feelings towards Connor: how hard it is for her to walk away and admit failure. Connor, on the other hand, is presented in an interesting way. For the most part, I could not help but dislike him. He was distrusting, rude, and dogmatic, but I could not help but feel a little bit sorry for him, because he was a nice boy under it all, he just did not know how to show it and submerge his anger instead. As briefly mentioned above, the plot in this was fantastic. I loved the suspense because it allowed for some many questions to be constantly running through my head. The twists and turns were also fabulous, and best of all, there truly was not a moment in this story that I felt was unneeded, which is a big thing in my eyes. Grace's writing was decent as well. She presented this story in a complex way in which she showed the best and worst of all the characters and relationships, which left for much thought on my part about abusive relationships. In all, Amanda Grace's But I Love Him not only packs quite the emotional of punches, but also introduces a great new player in the world of gritty contemporary YA. I highly suggest this one! Grade: A+
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
At times I wasn't sure of the dates and of where the story was going. But then the more I read the more I got that it was going backwards, between past and present. I kind of like that actually. Made the book an interesting read. A sad emotional interesting read. The writing I think I liked the most and well that the cover has to do with the story. The kind of writing that makes you want to read the next chapter and wonder what will happen to the characters. This took a little longer than I thought to finish. Mostly because I had taken a break from reading this since well, it was hard to read at times. But then I wanted to go back to the books I had taken a break from. This was one of them and was curious as to how it would end. Then I read where I left off and was like oh okay, makes sense now. I have heard of the author's other books and might read those.
cutiedummy22 More than 1 year ago
This book was so sweet and yet so sad! I loved the connection Conner and Ann had in their relationship. It went from good to bad then back again to good. I praise the fact that Ann finally had the courage to leave Conner even if she loved him so dearly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is the coolest book i have ever read. Its amazing how they fell in love and cute but sad that was hapening to her, but what you think is love or is. Can make you do crazy things and believe anything for love. I loved it and i think anyone should read this book.
HannaDe More than 1 year ago
When I first started the book I easily read the first 100 pages, but at any given moment I could have put the book back on the shelf if I wanted. Due to me never wanting to leave a book unfinished, I read till the end. Though the story really showed how a bad past and could effect someone and their future, it was quite slow and boring. I felt that Ann just kept blaming everything on Connor's past and not every really regretting anything. Also, I hated how when Connor's mom was getting abused Connor and Ann are talking about how bad the father is and that Nancy deserves better, but they are in the same problem. The book was the best at the end and truthfully, if the end wasn't as good as it was I would have given the book 1 star instead of 3.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could someone lend me this book. Im new to this so I don't know how this lend me thing works. But I really want to read this book!! please! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I rated thus book 5 stars because i was really compelled throughout thw story. I really liked the way the author wrote it inn reverse chronological order. It is a really unique writing style and it made me never want to put the book down so i could see how it all started. I really loved how Amanda Grace made you like Conner. Of course what he did was horrible, but i definitely sympathized with him, especially towards the end of th book. I hated wha he did to Ann, but i liked that the authir made him likabke instead of portraying him as a complete monster.
EllaAngelus More than 1 year ago
"But I Love Him" is a story of great depth, that delivers a lot of character struggle throughout the events that occur. The story is told backwards for us not to meddle in the middle of the plot and say "This is where she should've left". By writing it in this matter, we are forced to read it entirely and only after that, judge or not her actions and decisions. There are multiple ways in which Ann, the main character, is hurt. Connor abuses her not only verbally, but also physically, emotionally and all of it has a significant impact on her. She's not herself anymore, she's afraid of having any friends, she forces herself to a lonely and abusive life. However, her love for him is too great for her to just walk away. So she endures it all, hoping he'll eventually change and that she'll be his saviour: "I wanted to be his life preserver, the thing that would keep him afloat. Instead, he became my anchor. And I’m tired of drowning." So, does she eventually realize she's making a mistake by sticking with him or does she leave? Because of the way everything was told, I somehow fell in love with the ending. It was so, so simple and yet it stayed with me long after I finished reading it. I still remember the words and I don't think the book could've ended better. I strongly recommend it, if you're into these types of books that follow more the character's emotions rather than the story itself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the sample and all i have to say is: Its alright. The perspective of annes reminds me of a little girl. I can relate this story to Dreamland by Sarah Dessen but i think that Dreamland is better. Its detailed better and the perspective of Caitilns is much more suffistacated. And caitlins character is only 16. I know i shouldnt judge the book since i havent read all of it but i do think this book is good. If you liked this book then i highly reccomend you read Dreamland by Sarah Dessen. Its a very good book. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The_Busy_Bibliophile More than 1 year ago
This book is written differently than other books I’ve read. It’s written backwards, kind of like the movie Memento. You start at the end of the story, after the climax and work backwards to the beginning. At first I found it jarring and actually thought about going to the end and reading it chronologically, but I decided I owed it to the author to read it the way she intended*. And I’m so glad I did. After a few chapters, I got into the groove and even started to enjoy the way it worked backward. It was interesting to see Ann react to Connor’s apology, then learn what he did to have to apologize for. Poor Ann. She used to be such an interesting person, with friends and a social life. Then Connor got his hooks into her and she became nothing. Their relationship had all of the classic signs of abuse – she pulled away from her friends and family and he was super controlling. The people around her may have seen the signs, but they weren’t able to do anything to help her. Besides, she didn’t see their relationship as something so easily categorized as ‘bad’: "But it’s not black and white at all. It’s gray. It’s a never-ending world of gray. They don’t understand that there is so much to him that they’ll never see." The plot was good, but the way the novel is written in reverse chronological order made it even better. It was focused entirely on Ann and Connor and their relationship. There wasn’t much character development for any of the other people in their lives, though we did learn about where Connor’s abusive tendencies may have started. I was surprised at Ann’s parents. I like to think that if I had a daughter, I would have handled a similar situation differently than they did. But, I guess we never know how we’ll react until we are faced with a situation. I enjoyed the writing, it was simple and straightforward. There was no attempt to lighten the mood or make anything seem darker than it really was. Everything just seemed very stark to me, like how it would feel to watch a movie or TV show with no background music; like there is nothing to get in the way. I don’t think I’m describing it very well, but that’s how it felt to me. Raw, without any excess feelings, emotions or extraneous words in the way. The cover is right on. The heart sculpture actually plays a part in the story, plus it’s simple and pretty. As reviewed by The Busy Bibliophile.
WishStealer More than 1 year ago
I'm actually surprised that I liked this book. It's about an abusive relationship between Ann and Conner, without a way to escape. The way author Amanda Grace made the events in this book go backwards illustrates a better point of how abusive relationships work. I'm not saying you should read this book or not read the book, but it leaves you thinking about it for nights after you've finished...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For starters, I definitley had low expectations for this book. However, this novel told in reverse chronological order (or backwards) by Amanda Grace highly soared over the little expectations I had to begin with. I think Grace made a great move by telling the story backwards so that you couldn't ever blame Ann, the victim of abuse by her boyfriend Connor, for not leaving. As a reader, it is a great advantage because you couldn' t really pinpoint a place you would be like 'That's it. If I were Ann, I would leave right there'. This novel gave a real insight to what an abusive relationship is like and how it escalates and how it physically, and psychologically, damages the victim as well as the abuser. Grace's writing shows how in Ann and Connor's relationship, it gradually spiraled out of control. I felt so sorry for Ann because she was this lively person and she gave up everything for Conner and ended up as a broken person in the end of the relationship. While I hated Conner for what he did, I did not hate him because he was such a broken person himself and in the end, he just exploded. In my opinion, this is a great acheivment for Grace as an author because in so many rape or abusive relationship novels, you hate the abuser so much that you do not care what happens to them and the reader themseleves forgets that the abuser is also a human too. And while you definitley have a good reason to, Grace's talent is shown by, from some other readers based on their reviews and my opinion of him myself, is their feeling towards Conner. While, yes, I hate what he did, I feel heartbroken for him because his actions are in the result of his father's and he ended up not being able to be the man he aspired to be. I also do not hate him because in the end, you see how he treated Ann the first three months they knew each other, and you could tell he loved her and never wanted to hurt her. I definitely reccommend this book it gives real insight to the abusive relationship and the book comes to life as well as its characters. Read and enjoy!
epicrat More than 1 year ago
But I Love Him breaks my heart. I am left with so much heaviness and uncertainty that it makes me marvel at how much stronger Amanda Grace has become as a writer (compared to her debut Prada & Prejudice). Walking backwards through Ann and Connor’s tumultuous relationship is a stroke of genius – and the question of how these two got to this pivotal moment burns through my mind as I read onward to the very beginning. The warning signs are there, but the troubling and most heart-wrenching thing about them is how much Ann and Connor wanted to their love to counteract all negativity in their lives – and watching them fail. With a bittersweet ending, But I Love Him will be an unforgettable classic that will make you wish that life’s lessons did not always come in hindsight.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was very engaging and compelling and told in a really great way. The fact that the author told the story backwards was a good way to show the truth in these situations. For fans of: The Pretties, Beastly
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
On one hand, I really enjoyed and sped through But I Love Him, but on the other, I still have reservations. I think that the positive part is definitely the winner though because this is an issue that is near to my heart, and it is really hard to tackle it in a way that will suit everyone. But a book like this has a very powerful message that women all around need to hear and remember. It's easy to say, that's where I would walk away... but it's not that simple. And the way that Ms. Hubbard/Grace did it in reverse order, where it wasn't so easy to pin an exact moment that the reader can point to, because when you're in it, in love, that moment is just as unclear. I really like the character of Abby, it is the definition of a true friend, and I like the characterization of Ann. Sometimes we have the kick ass heroines, and it's good to admire that, but I think that Ann is more of what you find in real life--with real strengths, and with all too real weaknesses.
WildPug More than 1 year ago
There were some great parts in this book where the author grabbed the emotional aspect of it to hook the reader. There were some parts where I didn't understand why Ann did the things she did, or didn't do. The ending was a little unsatisfying also. A lot of this book is like an emotional roller coaster ride! One thing I did find unique was the author's way of revealing Connor & Ann's relationship in a backward sort of time line. It's one of those books I will probably never read again, but I invite others to check it out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago