"Rae’s always dreamed of dating a guy like Nathan. He’s nothing like her abusive stepfather—in other words, he’s sweet. But the closer they get, the more Nathan wants of her time, of her love, of her…and the less she wants to give.
As Rae’s affection for Nathan turns to fear, she leans on her friend Leo for support. With Leo, she feels lighter, happier. And possessive Nathan becomes jealous. He’s not about to let her go. And with danger following her every move, Rae must fight for the life and love she deserves if she’s going to survive." (bn.com)
Rae's relationship with the new-to-town Nathan is rocky from day one. Nathan seems to set his sights on Rae and almost immediately decides he WILL date her, refusing to take no for an answer. Instead of asking her out (like a normal human being) he basically demands she meet him at a restaurant, makes her wait for him and orders for her. Then after asking her opinion on what she likes on pizza, purposely orders one with onions after Rae told him she hates onions.
From the very first date, Nathan's possessive nature is evident, starting with his demands that she delete all the boys from her phone to pressuring her to have sex when she has told him repeatedly that she's not ready. When Rae meets her friend Leo at his families coffee shop, Nathan violently confronts Rae, then switches his anger into sadness and confusion as a way to disarm Rae's justifiable anger at the present situation.
In between stressful moments with Nathan, Rae has to deal with her abusive stepfather and his ever increasing demands for her hard earned money.
Rae's life is in chaos. She lives in constant emotional turmoil. Her rays of sunshine are her love of poetry, a mysterious floral philanthropist who sends Rae on Special deliveries and Leo, the true "boy-next-door."
Falling for You by Lisa Schroeder is a really good, thought provoking novel. Watching Rae navigate her way through high school, abuse at home and a controlling boy, who just won't accept she broke up with him, makes me hope my younger cousins can navigate through life without these issues. I hope my cousins and nieces have healthy relationships. But more importantly, I hope if any of my cousins, nieces or nephews find themselves in abusive relationships, they find Rae's courage and GET OUT.
February (yes I know that is 4 months away) is Teen Dating Violence Month. According to the CDC 1 in 10 teens REPORT being hit, hurt, kissed, touched or even raped by a boyfriend or girlfriend. Keyword: REPORT. So many more teens are being abused and never say a word.
February may be TDVA month, but the time to speak up is NOW. Resources are available to help.
One resource I came across is Love is Respect, hosted by Break the Cycle. Not only does the site offer valuable information for teens, there is stuff for adults wanting to help.
Love is Respect offers a live chat feature, texting with advocates (text: "loveis" to 22522), or the ability to talk to someone over the phone at 1-866-331-9474.
Please if you need help, Get Help.
Falling for You has earned 5 dragonflies. I will pass this book on to my cousins and anyone who needs it.