This book was kindly provided to me by Shrina from Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review, and I promise this will be one.
Before I start, however, I need to say two warnings:
- TW: abuse, gaslighting, manipulation
- This review will contain spoilers, I will strike them but just to make you aware.
Always Forever Maybe by Anica Mrose Rissi
When Betts meets Aiden at the candy store where she works, their connection is like a sugar rush to the heart. Betts already knows the two of them are infinite. Inevitable. Destined to become an us.
Betts has only ever kept one secret from her best friend, Jo, but suddenly there’s a long list of things she won’t tell her, things Jo wouldn’t understand. Because Jo doesn’t see how good Aiden is for Betts. She finds him needy. Possessive. Controlling.
She’s wrong. With a love like this, nothing else matters.
This book is an intense read, and it excels at that. It was hard for me, since I have been in a relationship similar to the one Aiden and Betts have in the book.
They meet up at a sweets shop and everything is “sweet” at the beginning, but then it becomes a possessive controlling thing. Aiden wants her to spend time with him, gets jealous if she spends time with her family, or her best friends, or whatever happens, he wants all her free time for him.
And he starts playing games with Betts, making her feel guilty for things he says are wrong (they aren’t) and how he can’t cope with all of this. Jo, her best friend, sees things are not okay and tries to help but somehow fails. I do not blame her, it is hard to see once you’re inside a relationship like this, things become blurry and you aren’t ever sure if it is you that’s the one that’s the problem or not.
It was also awful to read how he is violent to her or possessive, and then read how Betts questions her own mind. Part of her knows it is wrong but she feels in love and she thinks this is it, that this is what it should be. It kept breaking my heart to read this, however, I would recommend others to read it, so you don’t fall for a man like Aiden or let him get away with it!
I was also happy that there was no “romance” in the end of the book (yes, I know the book is about Aiden and Betts but there is no “I just ended one relationship, started a new one 3 seconds later”)
I don’t actually have a specific recommendation, except that if you experience anything like what Betts does here, to reach out to others. And do read this book, you can find it here.