Monday, November 28, 2011

Bitter End By Jennifer Brown

Title: Bitter End
Author: Jennifer Brown
Publisher: Little, Brown
Reading Level: YA, 14+
Publication Date: May 10, 2011
Pages: 359
My Edition: Hardcover

Cover Rating: C
Book Rating: C-

Plot - 15/20
Characters - 15/20
Writing - 16/20
Originality - 13/20
Entertainment - 6/10
Recommendation - 5/10
Total: 70/100

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.
This novel was decent. The writing was decent, the story was decent. It was just ... okay. I just felt like I had read the same story before because the characters of Alex and Cole were just so similar to almost every other domestic abuse novel I've read. The subplot about her mother was nice, but it wasn't amazing.

The tone of the book didn't really feel the way it should have. Alex's friends and family didn't even make an effort to help her even when they knew about what was happening to her. Bethany and Zack were supposed to be her best friends, but they weren't, even after they found out was she was going through. They didn't try to help her at all. Her sister knew something, but did she mention it to her dad? No. Her mother-like figure, Georgia, had suspicions, but why didn't she act on it? Obviously, this novel frustrated me. 

The character of Alex seemed like almost every character in abuse stories out there. In fact, I did find her quite annoying, even before her relationship started. There wasn't anything unique about her at all. Cole was told to be this perfect, perfect guy, of course, but really he just wanted to get in her pants. There was nothing unique about that. The writing was decent also. I never really got completely absorbed into the novel, nor did the characters entice me enough. The plot went through the stages of domestic abuse alright. Through the whole novel, I was just waiting for something really exciting to happen. It was all slow going and I was looking forward for the one moment where I was rooting for Alex, but, unfortunately, that never happened.

Overall, this book was decent, it kept me reading (mainly because I just wanted to see how it would end). But, truly, this book was very unoriginal compared to other domestic abuse novels out there. I kept saying almost becuase there is one domestic abuse novel that was actually quite original, and I'd recommend it over this novel: Dreamland by Sarah Dessen.

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