Author: Eve Ainsworth
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Release Date: March 3rd 2016
Book Length: 228
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.
Crush is a hard-hitting book that looks at violence in a relationship between teenagers Anna and Will. This book is powerful and will evoke a wide range of emotions due to Ainsworth’s ability to portray a sensitive topic in a frighteningly realistic way.
Anna is a fourteen-year-old girl who lives at home with her brother and father. She struggled to deal with her mother walking out of her life so she see’s the school counselor regularly but she’s lucky enough to have a strong relationship with her best friend Izzy and band mate Dan. When the hottest guy in school Will Bennett takes a interest in Anna she can’t believe her luck, she’s instantly infatuated with Will and he soon becomes her whole world.
The relationship between Will and Anna progresses slowly, you're able to see how an abusive relationship can start just like any other relationship and how much hope and faith you can have in your first love. Slowly but surely Will started to show warning signs, he wanted Anna to look and act a certain way, he gave carefully constructed advice that comes across as sweet and caring but is actually cunning and malicious. Anna finds herself questioning her friends’ loyalty and she soon finds herself alone, without friends and only Will.
What’s truly terrifying is the way that the relationship was written; it’s incredibly brutal and honest. As a reader you know the truth about Will from the beginning but you cannot fault Anna for her choices throughout their relationship, you watch her isolate herself because she believes these perfectly crafted lies. Crush provides a realistic view of violence in relationships and an awareness when it comes to new relationships no matter how they start or who they’re with.
Crush is an extremely important book that will open your eyes and provides you with insightful knowledge on sensitive subjects such as abuse, bullying and blackmail. Crush gives you a rare glimpse into the darker side of relationships that should be explored more in YA books and I feel that everyone should read at least one; the knowledge gained from these types of books is invaluable.
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. @EveAinsworth