Friday, 11 March 2016


TITLE: Crush
AUTHOR: Eve Ainsworth
PUBLISHER: Scholastic
RELEASE DATE: 3rd March 2016
GENRE: Contemporary

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. 

I'll admit it, I haven't read Eve Ainsworth's Seven Days. I know that everybody else loves it, and I've heard so many great things, but for whatever reason I'd just never gotten around to reading it. Therefore, I really wasn't sure what to expect going into her second novel, but I have to say I was very impressed!

Crush starts out innocently enough, with a very realistic view of Anna's everyday life (Hooray for YA characters who don't have weirdly perfect high-school-movie lives!), but it's not long before the pace starts to build and the relationship at the heart of the story starts to unravel. I thought Eve Ainsworth did a brilliant job at slowly building the tension without it seeming too rushed, and that made the book so much more powerful. By the end of the story I was on the edge of my seat, tears in my eyes, feeling almost every emotion that Anna did. It's not an easy read, and it's hard to say that I actually enjoyed the experience, but it is a deeply important and moving one.

Ainsworth's writing is simple, almost juvenile at times, but that worked perfectly with the story and only made it even more compelling to read. Her style kept me locked in the book for hours, and made it so hard for me to put it down. That's probably why I ended up finishing Crush in two (very intense) sittings. It's not a long book, but it is one you need to set some time aside for; once you start you won't be able to stop!

Anna was a character I really sympathised with, although she frustrated the heck out of me at times. She's realistically flawed and makes some decisions I just couldn't understand, but I loved seeing her character grow and change over the course of the book. Her relationship with her family, particularly with her younger brother, was one of my favourite parts of the story because I thought the dynamics between them were so authentic and realistic (and heartbreaking, at times). Some of the side characters are really interesting, although I would have liked to have learned more about them. Spin off books, maybe?! Even Will, a character I knew I should hate, had so much depth that I couldn't help but sympathise with him a little bit. The book was told partially from his point of view, which I really appreciated as it showed that the issue of domestic abuse isn't quite as simple as it seems, and even though his sections were hard to read they added a lot to the story.

It didn't hit me until I started this book just how little I'd heard about abusive relationships in the media. Given how common relationship abuse is among teenagers, and how many young people it effects, I was honestly shocked to realise that I'd never actually read a book that handled this topic before. Crush is honest and brave with it's approach, and I think it's so important to see that in YA literature. This is the kind of book that could really help out a teenager in a horrible situation, and one that should be in every school library.

Crush is a powerful and realistic novel, dealing with an extremely important topic that just isn't covered enough in YA. It's simply written but compulsively readable, with characters you can't help but feel for and a brilliant message that everybody needs to read.



  1. Like you I haven't read Seven Day (which I need to get onto!) but I plan to read this book before because it does have such an important, powerful message that I want to be present/talked about more in YA and to hear that you think it's delivered thoughtfully is really encouraging. I'm glad you enjoyed it as well! Fantastic review as always Mia
    Enchanted by YA

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