Tuesday, September 6

Bitter End by Jennifer Brown

Bitter End by Jennifer Brown
Release Date: May 10, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown Books For Young Readers
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 368

Summary: When Alex falls for the charming new boy at school, Cole, a handsome, funny, sports star who adores her, she can't believe she's finally found her soul mate-someone who truly understands her and loves her for who she really is.
At first, Alex is blissfully happy. Sure, Cole seems a little jealous of her relationship with her best friends, Zack and Bethany, but what guy would want his girlfriend spending all of her time with another boy? But as the months pass, Alex can no longer ignore Cole's small put-downs, pinches, or increasingly violent threats. As Alex struggles to come to terms with the sweet boyfriend she fell in love with and the boyfriend whose "love" she no longer recognizes, she is forced to choose - between her "true love" and herself.

My Thoughts: I knew before even starting this book, it would be intense. The description alone basically implies it will be crazy intense. I just didn't know how intense it was going to be. I read Hate List a while back and it was such a heavy book so I was really looking forward to Bitter End.

In Bitter End, we are introduced to Alex.  She lives with her father and siblings (one is away at college). Her mother has been gone a long time now. She had a meltdown, ran off one night, and in the process got herself killed. Alex is still trying to form words about the incident even though its been years. It still haunts her. Along with her best friends Zach and Beth, they plan to take a trip after senior year to go to Colorado, the last place her mom was off too. Zach lives next door to Alex and he, Beth, and Alex have been best friends for years. They laugh, have fun, and just get each other.

Everything is going alright in Alex's life. She has her family (though annoying at times), her best friends to pass the time, her job, and school. She is responsible. A new boy transfers to her school. His name is Cole and he's sweet and very cute. Alex gets assigned to tutor him, and they become boyfriend/girlfriend pretty quickly.  Alex thinks he's pretty great but her friends really dislike him. She wants them to give him a chance but they don't even want to be around him.

So, Alex starts blowing off her friends for him. They start to drift apart, but she figures at least she still has Cole, right?

From there it just goes downhill. Cole gets more and more possessive. He wants Alex to stay away from Zach because Cole doesn't think she should have a "guy" friend. Alex can kind of understand his prospective but not really since they have been best friends since they were kids. He's a friend, not a potential boyfriend in her eyes.

Cole starts to physically hurt Alex, he pushes her, he hits her, and he calls her names. He even calls her a slut! She takes it because she thinks he loves her. He always comes back and tells her he's sorry and he didn’t mean too.

I'm going to stop there. What else can I say? This book was pretty amazing. It was emotional, it was intense. By the end of it, I had tears rolling down my face. I felt so bad for Alex and her situation. I also liked the way Cole's ex came into the picture. I liked the conversation between her and Alex, hoping it would open Alex's eyes a little bit and see the real Cole. I liked how her friends didn't completely give up on her, they just were in a bind and didn't know what to do or what to say to help.

Am I glad the way it ended? Yes. Yes. I am. I think it ended the way it was supposed too. But, everything isn't all sunshine and rainbows. Alex wasn't just A-ok at the end. She had to grow up, she needed to realize the truth before it was too late.

Overall:  I really enjoyed Bitter End as much as I could. It was a good book but also very emotional. It wasn't a happy bittersweet book. It was exactly what could and would happen in an abusive relationship. Bitter End was an amazing book.

Cover: Love it! I love how the girl is just standing there with his arm around her. I think it fits, especially because we can't see him.

What I'd Give It:  


Crazybookworm said...

Great review! I really loved this book, too. I like books that tackle sensitive issues, and I think Jennifer Brown did it just right. Also, I think it could help young girls to read books like this. Although fictitious, the red flags are all the same.

Alexa said...

This was a dnf for me. I just couldn't feel the heartbreak that I thought I was suppose to feel because they feel in love too fast and Cole changed from the good guy to the bad guy within about 50 pages. I think we should have seen them together longer before Cole turned into the bad/abusive boyfriend. Due to the fact that I found it unrealistic I had to put the book down about 90 pages into it. I am glad that you enjoyed the book though. :)

Cathy De Los Santos said...

Great review, I haven't seen this book around but will have to check it out.


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