Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on June 13th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, romance
Source: the publisher
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Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone.
Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it's too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she's unable to escape.
Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiraling into darkness—and emerging into the light again.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I’ve lived this book. Perhaps not to some of the extremes Gavin went to, but I’ve been the other half of a verbally abusive and emotionally manipulative relationship. After one daughter and four years of my life, all I can do is reflect and learn from that experience. This book was so uncomfortable at times. At one part I even had to stop and vent to my friends in a chat about it. I dreamt about it. It consumed me for the two days I was reading it. It is most definitely a love story in reverse.
Some people doubt the reality of abusive high-school relationships, but they exist. Some people define abuse by physical touch. This book demolishes those two misconceptions. Gavin Davis is the epitome of a heart throb in Grace’s, and many other females’, eyes. He plays the guitar, has perfect hair, and seems tragically romantic whenever he attempts suicide after a breakup. When Grace falls, she falls hard. She’d been secretly crushing on him for years and reached out whenever he was in residential therapy. Once he was back, they quickly became a major part of each other’s life. He told her she was the only one who understood him. He was her knight in shining armour when it came to her overly-strict parents and rough home life. The red flags are everywhere, it just took her, like many, seemingly a lifetime to see them. By then she’s in too deep.
Beyond the story and message itself, I adored Demetrios’ writing style. I’m already adding her other books to my TBR because it just spoke to me. I loved the pop culture references, like Beyonce lyrics. I loved her character development. Grace was so well-rounded and alive. Her best friends, Lys and Nat, were people you could imagine knowing. It really added to the story.
I loved this book. It hurt at times, but I loved it. I’m thankful for it. I think it’s incredibly important and therefore I give it all the stars.
*Note-I think this could be intensely painful for past abuse victims and those who have dealt with suicide or suicidal thoughts.
After reading the book and writing this review, I stumbled upon this slam poem. It’s breath-taking and perfectly meshes with this story. Here’s the link: