Synopses & Reviews
He told me he loved me and I believed him.
When Alex falls for the charming new boy at school, Cole -- a handsome, funny sports star who adores her -- she can't believe she's finally found her soul mate . . . someone who truly loves and understands her.
At first, Alex is blissfully happy. Sure, Cole seems a little jealous of her relationship with her close friend Zack, but what guy would want his girlfriend spending all her time with another boy? As the months pass, though, Alex can no longer ignore Cole's small put-downs, pinches, and increasingly violent threats.
As Alex struggles to come to terms with the sweet boyfriend she fell in love with and the boyfriend whose "love" she no longer recognizes, she is forced to choose -- between her "true love" and herself.
"Haunted by the death of her mother many years earlier in a car accident, Alex has long dreamed of visiting the Colorado mountains that were her mother's destination. Alex and BFFs Bethany and Zack are gearing up for a cross-country road trip to Colorado as a graduation present when Alex falls for Cole, a new senior who seems to understand her in ways no one has before and who is prone to violent rages. As in The Hate List, Brown demonstrates an expert ability to handle difficult subject matter. Cole's brutal abuse and manipulations, Alex's inability to disclose her battering (and her willingness to make excuses for Cole), and Bethany and Zack's frustration and fear all feel entirely authentic. The book's power and its value comes from the honest portrayal of characters who simply can't figure out how to bring an ugly, evident truth to light. Brown's deliberate pacing and the gradual unveiling of Cole's nature make the story, and Cole and Alex's relationship, feel akin to a train gathering momentum, one whose destruction is as assured as it is tragic. Ages 15 up. (May)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
* "Brown demonstrates an expert ability to handle difficult subject matter....entirely authentic. The book's power--and its value--comes from the honest portrayal of characters who simply can't figure out how to bring an ugly, evident truth to light."--Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "Brown's writing flows smoothly and naturally...will linger on readers' minds long after the story is completed."--VOYA, starred review
"Brown tackles another taboo but much-discussed topic with authority and authenticity....readers will be enthralled."--Kirkus Reviews
"Brown creates multifaceted characters as well as realistic, insightful descriptions of Alex's emotions....A tough but important addition to the YA romance shelves."--Booklist
When seventeen-year-old Alex starts dating Cole, a new boy at her high school, her two closest friends increasingly mistrust him as the relationship grows more serious.
About the Author
Jennifer Brown writes and lives in the Kansas City, Missouri, area with her husband and three children. Her debut novel, Hate List, received three starred reviews and was selected as an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a VOYA Perfect Ten, and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year.