Janessa knows she should run in the other direction when Brendan enters her life. Her squeaky-clean upbringing is in direct opposition to his piercings, a myriad of tattoos and the rumors that surround him. But she doesn’t run. Love, betrayal and lies become the foundation of their lives, but one heartbreaking confession makes Janessa question everything. After a devastating diagnosis, Janessa’s world crumbles around her. When she can no longer ignore the reality of who Brendan really is, she must choose between those who love her and the only one she has ever loved.
My thoughts on Tough Love
Years ago, I knew a girl who was in a horrible relationship with an abusive boyfriend who cared more about control than he did about her. I remember watching this girl and wondering how she could put up with it. Why didn’t she get herself out? I’ve always had a very independent personality, so I personally can’t imagine ever dealing with that. If anyone hit me, I’d hit them back! Then call the cops! The sad thing is, some girls- and women- get so caught up in a pattern that they just don’t know how to break it. They become dependent on the abuser for validation. It’s wrong, but it’s terribly and frighteningly common.
Tough Love is a true story about a girl who became wrapped up in a dangerous, abusive relationship that most of us would run from the first time it got ugly. Janessa is a relatively good girl. She’s a teenager, so expect some drama, but she’s not even close to a bad kid. Brendan, well, he’s a different story. His attitude has nothing to do with his appearance. Tattoos and piercings do not make someone horrible. His personality does that all on its own. It’s quite devastating to watch Janessa fall for him- and his destructive nature- over and over. I can’t imagine watching a daughter go through that as a mother.
While you kind of want to lock Janessa in a closet until her Brendan-programming is broken, and you really want to lock Brendan in a dark basement until he learns to be a better boyfriend, there is not denying that these characters are meticulously written. Every flaw and every strength shines through. Since it is based on a true story, I imagine it had to be quite difficult to write. It’s difficult to read, but not in a bad way. It’s just very gritty and emotionally wrought.
About the author
Marcie Bridges has always wanted to be a writer, from the time she started keeping a diary in seventh grade. Since then, she has earned a master’s degree in education from Cumberland University while teaching some wonderful children with special needs in Indiana, Tennessee and Kentucky.
While she will always bleed scarlet and gray (GO BUCKS!), she now lives south of Cincinnati with her husband and daughter. When Marcie isn’t writing, she can be found reading, watching her favorite TV shows, listening to music, or browsing her favorite websites.
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