Protagonist Johanna has survived a difficult childhood, and her experiences have made her a rescuer; she nurtures others at cost to herself. Johanna attracts Reeve, the girl she wants badly. Reeve is scarred and broken; her horrible past enrages her. Reeve is abusive to Johanna, who is determined to redeem her violent lover and salvage their toxic relationship. Can Johanna find clarity and manage to change her fate? Narrator Elizabeth Evans' gutsy pitch and attitude perfectly match Johanna's unflinchingly honest description of life in a poor town. No one is above the fray in this world, everyone seems to give pain as well as receive it. Evans sounds older than the character she portrays, but her plain and pithy delivery manifests Johanna's toughness and vulnerability.
A National Book Award Finalist offers an intense portrait of an abusive relationship.
Johanna is steadfast, patient, reliable; the go-to girl, the one everyone can count on. But always being there for others can't give Johanna everything she needs - it can't give her Reeve Hartt.
Reeve is fierce, beautiful, wounded, elusive; a flame that draws Johanna's fluttering moth. Johanna is determined to get her, against all advice, and to help her, against all reason. But love isn't always reasonable, right?
In the precarious place where attraction and need collide, a teenager experiences the dark side of a first love, and struggles to find her way into a new light.
©2009 Julie Anne Peters (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I love audio books and listening to them while I draw or paint. They help to level me and take away the stress while drawing.
There are many reviews of this on goodreads, so I wont detail out a full review here. The story is interesting and captivating. It covers some dark topics which includes violence, abuse, and volition (in the sense of taking advantage of someone). I was interested in the story, but it was clear it would not end well, from the onset.
This caused me to stop listening for a bit, get my courage up and then continue again. It is very well written and narrated, with a lot of insight into topics and issues raised. I kept hoping that an alternative to Reeve would appear in the story. In the end it didn't, and left me with an unhappy ending, not really sure what the protagonist learned from the experience. I found some of the character reactions a bit unreal, and rushed, but others have said that. I was disappointed with the protagonist and her reactions, not so much what she allowed to happen to herself, but what she allowed to happen to others. This did not sit well with me, and from the novel perspective was inconsistent with her character. Julie Anne Peters produces great works, this one needed a bit more to make it five stars, but also it is rather dark, and I felt it did not need finish in such a way.
"A love story it isn't."
Yes and no. As a novel no. As a story to understand obsession based on looks yes. Johanna ignores all the signs that tell her Reeve is a user and abusive taker just because she is beautiful to Johanna. Johanna had something missing in her to react like this.
Predictable but probably what would happen in a case like this.
no. The story was told.
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