‘You make me feel like there’s something good in the world I can hold on to,’ Aaron says. He kisses me again, draws me so close it’s almost hard to breathe. ‘I love you, Gem. And I promise I’ll hold your heart forever.’
When Gemma meets Aaron, she feels truly seen for the first time. Their love story is the intense kind. The written-in-the-stars, excluding-all-others kind. The kind you write songs about.
But little by little their relationship takes over Gemma’s life. What happens when being seen becomes being watched, and care becomes control?
Told in both Gemma’s and Aaron’s words, this is a raw, moving exploration of gaslighting in teenage relationships that skewers our ideas of what love looks like.
Top 5 Things You Hold In Your Heart
- Like Gemma, I’m lucky to have a small number of very good friends who have my back when I need them and I am very grateful to them for it.
- Obviously, my children are foremost in my heart (and my cat Eva, even when she wakes me up at 5 a.m.! I’d actually love a dog like Shiney, but I don’t think Eva would be too impressed…)
- Books! I can’t imagine my life without them.
- Music – like Gemma I love to sing, although my voice is, ahem, in the ‘requires improvement’ category, so it’s usually only my protesting children who are subjected to it!
- My plants. I used to basically kill everything I attempted to grow, but I now have some lovely house plants which are thriving throughout the house. I really love being surrounded by plants and I’ve even got a chilli plant which looks like it’s starting to grow fruit so I’m very excited about that!
Karen Gregory has been a confirmed bookworm since early childhood. She wrote her first story about Bantra the mouse aged twelve, then put away the word processor until her first child was born, when she was overtaken by the urge to write. Her first novel, Countless, published in 2017, was shortlisted for the Leeds Book Award and longlisted for the Branford Boase. Her second novel, Skylarks, was published in 2018. Karen lives in Wiltshire with her family.