Wednesday 24 February 2016

Reviewed: Crush by Eve Ainsworth

Crush will be published by Scholastic on March 3, 2016.

Thanks to Lucy at Scholastic for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Crush is a really impactful, beautifully written story of an abusive relationship between two teenagers. It’s a dark theme told extraordinarily well by the author, with highly drawn emotion and a poignancy that at times had me moved to tears. There’s such an important message in this book and one that needs to be explored in young adult fiction and Eve gets every feeling, every emotion and every bit of pain spot on. The experience of abuse ultimately is different for everyone but the hurt and confusion Eve draws upon is so recognisable and plausible so that even if you can’t relate to a similar experience, you will be moved by the way things play out.

Anna is a fourteen year old girl attempting to come to terms with her mum walking out on her family. It’s a bit lonely for her now only living with her dad and younger brother and at school she doesn’t have many friends either, just Izzy and Dan. When Will, the older guy in school that every girl wants after, shows an interest in Anna, it draws in unwanted attention from everybody in school but Anna is so taken with the feeling of being in love, she almost doesn’t notice. Will is her escape from every bad thing she’s trying to avoid. But the true core to their relationship is heart-breaking to read.

The pace of this story is not rushed, everything unfolds naturally from the feeling of falling in love to the confusion, the obsession, sadness and the blame of everything that transpires during and after. The scene is set perfectly early on – the school setting, the slight naivety, the way teenagers genuinely feel and how they prioritise and juggle time with friends, family and boyfriends/girlfriends. Crush took me back a few years to when I was in school and all the emotion and dialogue came across really realistically, like Anna was a real person and her story was playing out in reality right in front of me. Almost unsettling to read in that I wanted to step in and protect her character but I believed in her from page one, trusting she had the strength to overcome anything.

In its exploration of the fragility of relationships both romantically and between families, Crush is quite an eye-opener to some of the things that go on behind closed doors. I genuinely felt for every character involved in this story whether I particularly liked them or not as their stories were delivered in an insightful way allowing me to connect with each one of them. It’s a really thought-provoking book that proved to be a bit of a reminder that the personality and motives of a person is never just black and white – their experiences from youth shape them into who they are. It was about reading more into things, seeing the signs that maybe something wasn’t right in Will and Anna’s relationship, balancing the line between normal and not-normal. I was completely engrossed in their story.

I felt like Eve’s writing made an upsetting theme accessible to read, not being too heavy in detail but still touching on things well enough to make an emotional impact on the reader. It was why I always felt compelled to read one more page and one more chapter, because the writing was so refreshing to read and true to a teenage mind-set.

It’s difficult to say I “loved” a book that revolves around such an uncomfortable theme but Crush is one of the most moving books I have ever read. Told in a really engaging way, it might have been a quick book to read but the impression it had on me will last far longer. Eve’s writing is authentic and addictive and Anna and Will’s story is truly unforgettable. Seven Days, Eve’s previous novel, has been sat on my wishlist for ages now but I have a feeling a copy will be in my hands very soon because I can’t wait for more from this author.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...