* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *
Release Date: March 3rd 2016
Summary (from Goodreads):
Love hurts … but should it hurt this much? Reeling from her mum’s sudden departure, Anna finds the comfort she needs in her blossoming relationship with Will. He’s handsome and loving, everything Anna has always dreamt of. He’s also moody and unpredictable, pushing her away from her friends, her music. He wants her to be his and his alone. He wants her to be perfect. Anna’s world is closing in. But threatening everything is a dark secret that not even Will can control… Eve Ainsworth’s gripping second novel is a pitch-perfect exploration of love at its most powerful, addictive and destructive.
This book was such an easy read and I just flew through it. The characters are perfectly written and feel so real, and I think that’s where Eve Ainsworth’s strengths lie. Even the ‘villain’ of the story was just so human, when he could easily have just been the evil and controlling boyfriend, and that’s what really made it for me.
The relationship is an ideal one at first, almost fairy tale like. Anna is just your average girl, and Will is older, cooler and super cute. I can just imagine being in that position and not knowing why this person would even speak to me, let alone take a genuine interest in me. It’s easy to see how Anna gets sucked in.
The relationship develops badly, but it’s not always clear, especially as we see things from Anna’s point of view. It’s subtle things that might now seem so bad on their own, but all add up to make a sinister and controlling relationship: his insistence that she wears her hair down, his comments about her eating and weight that seem caring but are actually manipulative, and the way he slowly isolates her from her friends. Okay, when I say it all like that it does sound awful, but it’s all done so slowly and sneakily, you can see why Anna doesn’t suddenly turn round and dump him for being a jerk.
In between chapters, things are flipped round and we see Will writing to an unknown person. This is where we learn a little more about him, so he’s not just a villain, but an actual person too. He has a difficult home life and some mysteries in his past and while this doesn’t excuse his behaviour, you can see how it leads to it, and perhaps understand him a little better.
The climax was perfectly written: dramatic, but not overly so, and things were so tense I just didn’t want to put it down. I probably read a little too fast because I needed to know what was going to happen – next time I’ll try to take it a little slower!
I’ve heard great things about 7 Days, Eve Ainsworth’s debut novel last year, and reading Crush has reminded me that I really need to read that first book too. I love the way the dual perspective gives an insight into both sides of the story and allows you to see different sides of each character too. Ainsworth’s characters are so realistic you’ll feel like you’ve met them, and I can’t wait to read 7 Days and whatever she has in store for us next!
You can buy Crush by Eve Ainsworth here
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Eve Ainsworth has worked extensively in Child Protection and pastoral care roles, supporting teenagers with emotional and behavioural issues. Her debut novel Seven Days was released in 2015 and has been nominated for a string of awards including the Carnegie Medal. Her second novel, Crush, is out March 2016. She lives in West Sussex. @EveAinsworth
Catch up with rest of the Crush blog tour using the links below:
Monday 7th March
Tuesday 8th March
Wednesday 9th March
Thursday 10th March
Friday 11th March
Saturday 12th March
Sunday 13th March