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Bitter End
Cover of Bitter End
Bitter End
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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.
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.
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  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    4.8
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
    UG
  • Text Difficulty:
    3

Recommended for you

 
Awards-
About the Author-
  • Jennifer Brown writes and lives in the Kansas City, Missouri area with her family. She is the author of Hate List, Torn Away, Thousand Words, Perfect Escape, and Bitter End.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from March 28, 2011
    Haunted by the death of her mother many years earlier in a car accident, Alex has long dreamed of visiting the Colorado mountains that were her mother's destination. Alex and BFFs Bethany and Zack are gearing up for a cross-country road trip to Colorado as a graduation present when Alex falls for Cole, a new senior who seems to understand her in ways no one has before—and who is prone to violent rages. As in The Hate List, Brown demonstrates an expert ability to handle difficult subject matter. Cole's brutal abuse and manipulations, Alex's inability to disclose her battering (and her willingness to make excuses for Cole), and Bethany and Zack's frustration and fear all feel entirely authentic. The book's power—and its value—comes from the honest portrayal of characters who simply can't figure out how to bring an ugly, evident truth to light. Brown's deliberate pacing and the gradual unveiling of Cole's nature make the story, and Cole and Alex's relationship, feel akin to a train gathering momentum, one whose destruction is as assured as it is tragic. Ages 15–up.

  • Kirkus

    April 1, 2011
    The anatomy an abusive relationship. At 17, Alex still mourns the mysterious accidental death of her mother years ago and yearns for affection or even just more than a trailed-off half-sentence from her emotionally absent father. She feels invisible and unimportant, except to her best friends since early childhood, high-achieving Bethany and earnest goofball Zack. When Cole, a dreamy transfer student, lands in Alex's tutoring classroom and starts flirting with her, asking to read her poetry, then asking her on a date, Alex is swept away on a cloud of romance. But when Cole starts isolating her, pinching her and then punching her, Alex begins living the nightmare of an abusive relationship. Brown (Hate List, 2009) tackles another taboo but much-discussed topic with authority and authenticity, and she doesn't let her victim completely off the hook. Every time Cole crosses a line—physically or verbally—readers will root for Alex to break up with him. They will read on with disappointment and sympathy as she forgives him again and again before finally breaking up with him after an especially violent confrontation. It's a little cheap to write a motherless girl, desperate to be lavished with affection, as the victim here, as if only a girl with deep-seated emotional problems would get sucked into an abusive relationship. Still, readers will be enthralled, horrified and ultimately relieved when Alex gets the mostly happy ending she deserves. (Fiction. YA)

    (COPYRIGHT (2011) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

  • School Library Journal

    April 1, 2011

    Gr 9 Up-Alex is looking for something real-more real than her distant father, who never speaks in complete sentences, more real than the faded memories of her mother, who died on the night she was leaving her family, even more real than her two best friends and their plan for a graduation trip to Colorado. She thinks she has found what she has been looking for in Cole, the new boy at school whom she has been assigned to tutor. Alex is flattered when he shows interest in her, and he rapidly becomes her entire world. As she tries to balance her friends and Cole, her life begins to unravel. Bethany and Zack do not like Cole, and he does not want to share her. His increasing jealousy leads to escalating abuse, both physical and verbal. Her friends and coworkers know something is wrong, but Alex covers for him because she loves him and believes him when he says that he is going to change. When a former girlfriend comes to talk to her about Cole's abuse of her and others, and tells her that he and his family moved because of her lawsuit against him, Alex finally admits that her boyfriend is an abuser. That night he is waiting at her car after work and beats her until she is certain she is going to die. Thanks to the intervention of her boss she survives and begins the long road to recovery. Gritty and disturbing, this novel should be in all collections serving teens. It could be used in programs about abuse, as well as in psychology or sociology classes.-Suanne Roush, Osceola High School, Seminole, FL

    Copyright 2011 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Bitter End
Bitter End
Jennifer Brown
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