When Alex falls for the charming new boy at school, Cole, a handsome, funny, sports star who adores her, she can't believe she's finally found her soul mate-someone who truly understands her and loves her for who she really is.
At first, Alex is blissfully happy. Sure, Cole seems a little jealous of her relationship with her best friends, Zack and Bethany, but what guy would want his girlfriend spending all of her time with another boy? But as the months pass, Alex can no longer ignore Cole's small put-downs, pinches, or increasingly violent threats. As Alex struggles to come to terms with the sweet boyfriend she fell in love with and the boyfriend whose "love" she no longer recognizes, she is forced to choose - between her "true love" and herself.
I didn't know what to expect of this book. I read the Hate List and it was a pretty intense book. What I really like about Jennifer Brown's books is that it's always pretty original topics. When someone thinks 'teen' they usually think of these words: sex, rape, love. But suicide? Bullying? Abuse? This book really got my attention. I have read books about sexual assault before, such as Speak, but never physical abuse. You know what I loved about this book? The way it gets to you. When I read what it was about I thought "I will never like the son-of-a-bitch that hits her" but those first few pages when Cole is actually nice and loving, I actually did fall in love with the guy! I mean seriously, he was so sweet and the guy we all dream about. I was actually feeling what the main character, Alex, was feeling. Even those first times when he started with small threats I felt bad for her....and then fell in love with him again. The book is also very realistic, no abused girl goes for help the first time. And you can see that the Alex is truly in love and has confused feelings. She doesn't want to turn her back on her friends but she doesn't want to leave Cole even after everything he's done to her because he's in love. The reader is a little confused as well, at least I was. One would think when dealing with an abuser one would say "Hell, I'm done with him!" But no, because when someone's in love the think they're gonna change. But they don't, and it takes for someone to hit rock bottom to realize it. That's what happened to Alex, she hit rock bottom. All I can say is that I loved this book's realism the way the writer reaches to the reader just by the way the main character narrates the way she feels about a guy.
I give this book 5 stars!