I went into this having no expectations whatsoever, so imagine my shock when it turned out to be an amazing novel that I ended up loving!
My only complaint was that this...was...graphic. Incredibly so at times. And for a YA book...that was just, a bit too much. Other than that, I don't really have any other negative feelings besides that at times it was slow.
In the beginning, you see how Anna was slowly broken down, without even knowing it. She didn't know what was different, what was wrong, not consciously at least. She was...a complicated character that while I couldn't really connect with her, I could understand her. And she really...she really was broken and she couldn't see it. It just...hurt in a way that can't be explained, but I sympathized with her, deeply so. She wasn't solving her problems in any way by doing what she did, and honestly that was a little annoying, but it was her way to cope. She just didn't learn any different.
The writing in this was completely beautiful and it was just stunning. The way this story unfolds is definitely like poetry (but no, it's not in those weird literal poetry form paragraphs!) and I just fell in love with the story. It was emotional in a way that it doesn't make you cry, but it makes you think about your place in your family and in society itself.
Sam, honestly, wasn't very important until 5/6 into the book, near the end. So what we read is really Anna's path towards the person she's wanted to be and the family she's always wanted. Sam was just there to push her on her way, and that wasn't necessary till the end. So no, this isn't really a love story at all, is it?
Honestly, if you're looking for a light fluff, this seriously isn't the book for you. This is a brutally honest book that will make you not only look at the world differently, but yourself. I think I'd recommend this for fans of 13 Reasons Why and even for those who didn't really love it (like I did...)