Tuesday, June 12, 2012

"Bitter End" by Jennifer Brown

359 pages

When Alex falls for Cole, the cute new guy at school, everything seems perfect. Sure, he seems a little jealous of her good friend Zach, and any other guy who comes near her. But he's sweet, he loves her, and he understands her like no one else. As time goes by, though, it seems like something's wrong. Soon Alex can't ignore Cole's put-downs, threats, and increasingly violent behavior, but she can't seem to let go of her first love. As things get worse, Alex realizes she's going to have to make a big decision before it's too late.

I'm really happy to see a teen novel that addresses violence like this without being too preachy. That said, I didn't really enjoy the actual story very much. It felt very predictable to me and I thought several aspects were oversimplified. I wish there was more backstory on both of the main characters--Alex and Cole--to help me understand how they ended up in the positions they were in. Although limiting their stories emphasizes that dating violence can happen to anyone, as a reader I wanted more. 

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