Facts and Figures
Published: March 3rd 2016, Scholastic
Acquired: Kindly sent for review for the blog tour by the publisher
What’s the story?
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.
What did I think?
After loving Ainsworth’s first release, Seven Days, I was excited to read Crush and enjoy another one of her authentic, raw stories…and it absolutely didn’t disappoint. Building on the real, honest style that was established in Seven Days, Crush is a worthy second novel and has made me even more excited to see what she does in the future.
The story we see in Crush is all too familiar – a controlling relationship that creeps up on you insidiously, until you’re too deep to escape by the time you realise something is wrong. It’s so easy to ignore friends who express concern and write them off as jealous or bitter and to shun parents or teachers, telling them they don’t understand. Most of us have surely seen this happen to a friend, or been through it ourselves, and it was fantastic to see such a realistic portrayal of a controlling teenage relationship.
What I love most about Ainsworth’s books is how she presents both sides of the story. Her villains are never just 2D archetypal ‘bad guys’. There’s a depth to them that so often isn’t explored in books and shows that everybody is fighting a battle that you don’t know about, even the person who’s making your life hell. It isn’t done to create sympathy for the villain, it’s just presented to show the audience the other side of the story – it’s left up to the reader whether they feel sympathy or not. And if there’s one thing I love it’s a book that lets the reader draw their own conclusions.
Who would I recommend it to?
Anybody looking for a realistic depiction of teenage life – the good and the bad.
About the author
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.