Because I Love You: 3.5/4 out of 5 Stars

I received a copy of this book for free through YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

**Contains minor character spoiler – read with caution**

Someone needs the safe sex talk.

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Eight weeks after sixteen-year-old Andie Hamilton gives her virginity to her best friend, “the stick” says she’s pregnant.

Her friends treat her like she’s carrying the plague, her classmates torture and ridicule her, and the boy she thought loved her doesn’t even care. Afraid to experience the next seven months alone, she turns to her ex-boyfriend, Neil Donaghue, a dark-haired, blue-eyed player. With him, she finds comfort and the support she desperately needs to make the hardest decision of her life: whether or not to keep the baby.

Then a tragic accident leads Andie to discover Neil’s keeping a secret that could dramatically alter their lives, and she’s forced to make a choice. But after hearing her son’s heartbeat for the first time, she doesn’t know how she’ll ever be able to let go.

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I’m torn as to my rating so we’ll stick with somewhere between the two for now.

Thanks so much to Sara at YA Bound Book Tours for sending me this bad boy because I was hooked from the very first page.

Andie, Neil and Jill = #squadgoals. The dynamic in this group is really strange but as a unit they somehow managed to balance each other perfectly.

“Because you make me feel something. Because I can’t stop thinking about you, wondering if you’re okay, aching to spend another minute with you. Because I notice when you walk into a room. Because being with you doesn’t just make me happy-it makes me want to make you happy.”

*Swoon*

Andie:  Andie is a 16 year old girl who makes a mistake with a boy she thinks loves her. I really liked Andie from the outset – she is smart, funny, humble and she treats everyone with kindness and respect. Once the pregnancy is revealed and she goes through the motions of trying to figure out what to do about the baby, I did feel like her decisions were a little naive however you can’t expect anything more from someone of her age. Watching her fall apart and then find herself again with the help of Neil and Jill was a really beautiful albeit quick journey that put a big smile on my face.

Neil: Why are bad boys with a heart of gold so damn incredible? Young Neil whose reputation proceeds him is about the sweetest guy you’ll meet in this little town. He doesn’t hesitate for one moment to join Andie’s team and he brings so much joy into her seemingly fragile world. Neil is living with a shitty family situation which is obviously tearing him in two and it was nice to see him put himself first when it really mattered. The way he treats Andie – the scavenger hunt! – is extremely admirable for someone of his age…if only I had a guy like Neil in my life when I was 16. Sigh.

Jill: I heart Jill. A nerdy and quiet kid in school, she is relatively invisible until she befriends Andie when rumours of the pregnancy starting filtering through school. Jill becomes the ultimate companion and I really liked that she didn’t see Andie as a sensitive soul that needed overprotecting – she made every situation light hearted, teased her about boys like girlfriends do and was a shoulder to cry on when needed. She is also a fan of Star Trek and has a lover of it myself, I was down with her from the start.

Mum: Muuuuuum, you beautiful soul. I love great parental characters and Andie’s mum is definitely one of these. Her reaction to the pregnancy was incredibly realistic and she rode her own emotional roller coaster throughout this book. A conservative Christian woman, Andie was obviously concerned about revealing she was pregnant, but no matter what tough realities her mum laid out for her, it was always apparent that she was in Andie’s corner; unconditional love is a powerful constant in this book. Her mum is dealing with her own issues throughout the story – unbeknownst to the reader until the end – and I feel like this made her a stronger woman and an all around better mother.

Heather and Carter: Ugh, I get that these characters are in high school but her so called best friends were heinous assholes. Everything is business as usual in these kids lives until Andie tells them that she is pregnant and they all run for the hills like she is carrying a zombie virus. The cruelty that stems from Heather and Carter in the wake of Andie’s teen pregnancy was really hard to read and I was glad that they weren’t given much story time because I would’ve reached into the book and punched them both in the face if I could. The last thing you need when you’re about to be a teen mum is your friends calling you names, pulling pranks and abandoning you- bitch needs her squad!

This book is by no means perfect but I can’t really fault a book that I read in two days – I was hooked on Andie, her pregnancy and her journey.

Give this a go if you like quick contemporary reads.

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