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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Review: Bitter End by Jennifer Brown

Title: Bitter End
Author: Jennifer Brown
Published: Little Brown Books
Pages: 359 pages
Source: Hardcover borrowed from library.
Rating: 3/5

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 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: When I saw this book in my library I immediately had to pick it up. I mean, "Look its Jennifer Brown!" I loved her debut novel, Hate List and recommend it to anyone who'd want to read it. Well, after I got over the fact it was by Jennifer Brown I started to read it and by the end, I felt it was kind of a let-down. More like a slap in the face. It faces a hard issue in a good way ,  but it didn't feel like enough for me, as in something else should have happened to complete it. 

It wasn't really my kind of book, but it did have it's good parts. Alex is just a girl looking for love and Cole, the new boy, came around and gave her just that. Or maybe he loved her a bit too much? I don't know and frankly, I really don't want to know. To Alex, a few bumps and bruises wasn't a big of a deal, as long as Cole loved her and would work through it. He tried, but in the next few chapters it happened again and again and with every time it got worse. Alex stayed in the position until it got to a really bad point. Even though I didn't enjoy Alex as a person, I felt sorry for her, very sorry, but I also just wanted to slap her. He was beating her and she never caught on that Cole would never stop beating her no matter what she did, but this is how most victims act against abuse. They hide it and just try and smooth things over. I didn't just dislike her for that reason, I disliked her because she was pushy. She kept pushing Cole to be friends with her friends, Zack and Bethany, when they obviously didn't want to be friends with him. She kept ditching her friends to hang out with Cole and it just got to the point when I almost didn't finish the book.

As you can tell, it hits hard on the domestic abuse issue and it hit it hard. Not Ellen Hopkins hard, but still hard. In most situations if you asked someone what they would do, many girls or women would say either: "If a man ever hit me, I'd..." [ Insert tough, witty saying here.] or "I wish a man would hit me!" Honestly, if they'd ever been in this situation they'd probably wouldn't know what to do; I know I wouldn't! My boyfriend has never laid a hand on me like that and most likely never will. I just wanted to get that point across, so overall, it was an Ehhh, kind of book. It's okay, but not just there yet. 

Favorite Line:  It was time to tell Cole good-bye. [ Hands down, best line ever!]

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