Monday, May 30, 2011

Bitter End by Jennifer Brown

Young Adult: 359 Pages
Published: May 10th, 2011
Publisher: Little Brown for Young Readers
Series: None
Source: Finished copy from publisher
Buy the Book:Amazon
Find the author: Website

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.

"We were grieving together, and in some way that felt right. Felt better. At least if I was going to be miserable, I wasn't going to be alone. At least he'd hurt himself, too."

I have read a few young adult books this year that focus around abuse and obsession. Stay by Deb Caletti and But I Love him by Amanda Grace just to name a couple. I have read articles that say these type of books are to "dark for teens". I, however completely disagree. These books may be on the dark side, but I am in full support of them. I think these are books that deserve to be written and published. These stories need to be told because the fact of the matter is...This stuff happens in real life! Now having said that, let's get on with the review.

I loved that Bitter End started from the very beginning. It gave me a great view of how Alex was before she met Cole, and how she dramatically transformed during the time of their relationship. The character cast was extremely well written and intense. I loved the "Terrible Three". Alex and her friends, Zack and Bethany were the ultimate best friends. What Alex couldn't get from her own family, she got from her friends. Zack was a total Swoon-worthy character. He was hilarious, protective and kind. The total package. Alex was a sweetheart, but was stuck under Cole's spell. There were so many times were I wanted to grab her and shake her. Snap her out of this horrible situation.

I love a book that brings so many emotions out of me. Even if hate is one them. I have never been so angered by a character in my life. Cole definitely makes it to my top 5 villains list, for sure! He is manipulative, controlling, and cold hearted. His character kept me on the edge of my seat because like Alex, I didn't know what mood or state of mind he would be in next. It made for a very suspenseful read!

This book was an emotional read, and a powerful one. Jennifer Brown did a wonderful job getting into the mind of a 17 year old, vulnerable girl. And also, getting into the mind of an abuser. Her writing style and character development was flawless. She crafted a gripping, raw and honest story. I would recommend this book to everyone I know, because simply, it is a story that should be read.

*Check out the awesome playlist Jennifer Brown created for Bitter End HERE*
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