Mel's best friend Dustin is her dream guy, but she lost her chance with him last year and now he's seeing someone else. Enter Colter, the handsome new guy in school who is definitely interested in her. It's just the thing Mel needs to get her mind off Dustin. Before Mel realizes it, she's spending almost every waking moment with Colter, even skipping volleyball practices and nights out with friends.
When Colter gives Mel a ring, alarm bells start ringing, and Mel worries that maybe they're moving too fast. But every time Mel tries to cool things down a bit, Colter latches on even tighter. Mel can't bring herself to leave him. But she is beginning to wonder what lengths Colter will go to if she does.
I have read many many books on dating violence in the past. During my teen years I basically read YA books on three subjects: dating violence, eating disorders, and self injury. I was a bit morbid in high school. Anyway, this book was a breathe of fresh air for someone who has read many books on this subject before.
The main character, Mel, is in love with her best friend Dustin. But he has a girl friend and she is sick of wasting her time on him. Enter Colter, the new guy at school. He is cute and intriguing and seems interested in her. What more perfect way to finally get over Dustin than letting herself fall for Colter.
At first things are great. Colter is a great guy and Mel is finally not thinking about Dustin. But soon Colter starts demanding more and more of Mel's time and eventually she is spending all of her time with him, missing volleyball tryouts and never seeing her friends.
As Colter grows more and more serious will Mel she starts to realize that something is definitely off. She realizes she needs to end this relationship but she's terrified of what will happen to her when she does.
The thing that sets this novel apart from others on dating violence is that Mel can see what is happening and takes action to stop it before the violence escalates. So often when reading a novel on dating violence I find myself growing aggravated with the main character as her whole world crashes around her and she doesn't see it happening. Which is true to life, don't get me wrong. But it doesn't have to be. Love Hurts focuses more on how hard it is to leave once you realize that you have to. Not only because you feel bad about hurting that person but because by leaving them you are putting yourself in danger. Instead of growing frustrated with Mel, I found myself cheering her on as she was trying to figure out the best way to leave Colter. I feared for what would happen to her but also I was so proud of her for making such a difficult decision for herself.
This book was a fast read, flowed well, the characters were well developed, and it offered a new take on an old topic. Definitely worth the read.