This starts off as a traditional ‘boy meets girl and falls in love’ story – it is a tale of love at first sight, as Gemma falls in love with a boy a few years older than her. He has a car, and money and can shower her with gifts. As time passes, her family and friends start to notice how controlling Aaron is, but when they try and discuss it with Gemma, Aaron persuades her to cut communication with them. Gemma thinks they aren’t being supportive and gradually shuts them out of her life, isolating herself and leaving her open to Aarons manipulative ways. She moves in with him and her isolation is complete, and it is only then she begins to realise how controlling Aaron really is.
Gemma’s family dynamics is very interesting in the book, and makes you wonder if this relationship has contributed to her current situation. We see how her brother’s football training appears to take priority, leaving her feeling inadequate and forgotten.
Interestingly, we see a little of Aarons viewpoint and the reader is able to see how he can view the relationship as acceptable, even though the reader knows otherwise.
This is a powerful story and one that will resonate with many people. It is an honest depiction of how you can gradually lose control of your relationship, until you are too deep into the relationship to extradite yourself. It is an emotional book that teens will be able to relate to. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to students in my library, especially those vulnerable to similar situations.