Bitter End, by Jennifer Brown
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Tragedy, Abuse, Romance, Contemporary
Rating: 4/5 stars
Goodreads 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 loves and understands her.
At first, Alex is blissfully happy. Sure, Cole seems a little jealous of her relationship with her close friend Zack, but what guy would want his girlfriend spending all her time with another boy? As the months pass, though, 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.
But I have to, inside at least. :( Books like this have hardcore hard subjects that the characters deal with. Books like this aren't just regular teen contemporary novels, they're something more and bigger. Books like this will stay with you forever, and it's one of those books that will remind you of real life situations. Watch yourself looking back at this book when you hear something on the news that is so sad and sudden like the situation in the book. It can be you, your friend, or someone you pass by at school or work everyday. You never know anyone's story unless you are them.
Books that deal with abuse hit me hard the most. I usually don't tear up, but I get that heart-clenching feeling in my chest that makes me want to scream. It's the type of book that intimidates you, that stares at you, forcing to put yourself in the protagonist's situation.
This book was probably the most touching story that Jennifer Brown has written, excluding Thousand Words, which I haven't read yet. (But that's next) I really enjoyed it, despite my few negative thoughts about it. But first, let me tell you the story, and what it's about.
The moment Alex sees handsome (very handsome) new boy Cole arrive at her ordinary high school, she falls head over heels for him. She has never really had any intimate serious relationships with anyone, and when Cole shares an interest in Alex because of how close they got through tutoring, she jumps at the chance for first love. As months pass, pinches, hits, and punches from Cole in different places on her body scar Alex, for reasons such as her best friend lightly patting her, scars Alex, but she is not ready to tell. This is her first love, and she doesn't want to ruin it by telling someone, which will cause Cole to hate her. Alex has to make a choice- and it better be fast before something severe happens to her.
I was very pleased from the first chapter. Alex's voice absolutely captivated me and was real. Situations like this occur all around the world, everyday, and Jennifer Brown was the first author (for me) who has written a book that deals with this sort of subject and reality. The best thing about this is that this can come from anyone. It's not a specific subject only geared towards certain people- it can occur to anyone and everyone, and from learning a lot about this subject in this 350 paged book, I felt that this is disastrous thing to visualize and live through. Jennifer Brown just wrote it right.
I was obsessed with this book. There weren't any moments (rarely) where I got bored of this action-packed thriller. It is a thriller, it gave me spine chills all throughout, because having to think of this happening to you or someone you love is heart-tearing.
Alex... I'd really have to say that she was my problem with this book.
Okay, okay, I'll get to the point. She was dumb. There I said it. *another sigh* I know that when going through a situation like this is scary, and it's scary to tell because you might be afraid of what your "partner" will do to you then. But I didn't like her attitude. She was too forgiving, and seemed to forget about the rest of the world and what was going on when she was with that butt-hole. She basically forgot about her friends, family and job all the time. She was easily distracted, and distracted by a stupid guy who seriously needed help. I pictured it coming from the beginning- from the moment Alex met him. Alex was way too desperate for A GUY SHE BARELY KNEW. Bethany was right the whole time- stupid Alex only knew him for like a week! Ugh, and look at the mess she got herself into. :/
Okay, let's not get into the romance, because I wouldn't even call the "bond" between Alex and Cole an actual relationship. It just was desperateness and we all saw it and knew it from the start. Cole basically had mood swings, and it wasn't even interesting to see because he's just a butt-hole. These characters were disgusting.
Overall, I'm very pleased with this book. It was so enjoyable and really hit me hard, and I know that it will hit people even more. Pick it up if you're looking for a real inspiring book.