I remember when Mandy, who's a good friend, first mentioned this project. She said she was intrigued by the judgment that people tend to put on abused girls and women: "Why doesn't she just leave him?" people ask. "I would have left a long time ago." But when you're actually *in* a relationship like that, it can be hard to know when to say when. I remember Mandy saying she felt like writing the story backward could help people better see how a relationship could develop when neither party knows the outcome. (If that makes any sense - for a writer, I can be a pretty terrible paraphraser.).
Anyway, here's the plot description, from Goodreads:
"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."
And here's the trailer.
Kirkus called BUT I LOVE HIM “A disturbing reverse chronology of a love gone horribly wrong… Powerful and Compulsively readable.”
I asked Amanda/Mandy a few questions, and here's what she had to say about the book:
What made you want to tackle the subject of abusive relationships?
The book has such a unique structure. Tell us how and why you decided to write the story backwards.
Did you do any research on abuse, especially in teen relationships?