Book Title: Bleed Like Me
Author: Christa Desir
Publish Date: October 7th, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: YA Contemporary
Synopsis from Goodreads:
From the author of Fault Line comes an edgy and heartbreaking novel about two self-destructive teens in a Sid and Nancy-like romance full of passion, chaos, and dyed hair.
Seventeen-year-old Amelia Gannon (just “Gannon” to her friends) is invisible to almost everyone in her life. To her parents, to her teachers-even her best friend, who is more interested in bumming cigarettes than bonding. Some days the only way Gannon knows she is real is by carving bloody lines into the flesh of her stomach.
Then she meets Michael Brooks, and for the first time, she feels like she is being seen to the core of her being. Obnoxious, controlling, damaged, and addictive, he inserts himself into her life until all her scars are exposed. Each moment together is a passionate, painful relief.
But as the relationship deepens, Gannon starts to feel as if she’s standing at the foot of a dam about to burst. She’s given up everything and everyone in her life for him, but somehow nothing is enough for Brooks-until he poses the ultimate test.
Bleed Like Me is a piercing, intimate portrayal of the danger of a love so obsessive it becomes its own biggest threat.
Disclaimer: I received this book from Simon Pulse via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.
Trigger Warning: Self Harm.
Oh boy, I think this review will be on the long side because I have a lot to say. I just love the way Desir tells the stories. She writes stories that most authors would never write. She’s got the guts to write the tough stories and the stories that not everyone will like. She goes for it and goes for it hard.
Michael Brooks and Amelia Gannon are not characters that you’re gonna like a whole lot. This isn’t a sweet, romantic love story, Desir doesn’t write those. What she does write are thought provoking, complicated stories that leave your thoughts conflicted.
Brooks has his own demons. He’s got a father he’s terrified of. He’s been abused by his father and he’s been in foster care for a very long time. Nothing is really “his” anymore. He’s been in juvenile hall and he’s done drugs. Not the kind of guy any reasonable parent would want around their daughter.
That is, if they are even present in their daughter’s life. Gannon’s got more of a “typical” family. Things were great for so long when she was a child. All that changed when her parents adopted three boys from Guatemala. These boys have so many issues of their own, that Gannon has been pushed to the back burner since they arrived.
And that’s when she started the cutting.
There was so many times in this book that I wanted to shake Gannon. Brooks was controlling, he was abusive and he got her into so many things that she had never been into before. Breaking and entering, drugs like Ecstasy. Things only got worse as the book went on and Brooks wanted to know who she talked to, why she talked to them. He also kept telling her that he was all who mattered. Her parents didn’t matter, her best friend Ali didn’t matter. It was hard for me to like her. She was making all the wrong choices and at one point, after I had screamed in frustration, it hit me.
Relationships like this are so prevalent, particularly among teenagers. I have never experienced one myself, but I know a couple of girls who had experienced this when we were all in high school together. Just because it wasn’t something that I had personally experienced, did not mean that it wasn’t an important book.
The ending was incredibly intense. I had to put my Kindle down and actually physically walk away from this book because the ending was so intense. I do wish there had been a little more in the epilogue. I wanted just a little bit more closure.
I can’t really say that I enjoyed this book, because a book like this, you can’t really enjoy, but I will say that it was an incredibly important book that needs to be required reading in high school. It’s not just girls who fall victim to controlling & abusive partners. Guys do too. 4 stars to this book. I’ll read anything this woman writes.