Friday, August 23, 2013
Bitter End by Jennifer Brown
Book Nerd Teri and I attended one of the author speed dating sessions at this year's RT Convention and met Jennifer Brown. I never would have selected one of her books based upon the descriptions, but by the end of our short discussion with her...Teri and I were sold. Her books deal with very difficult subjects that are relevant to teens/high school students.
Bitter End is about an abusive relationship. Alex is a senior in high school and has been best friends with Bethany and Zack since they were all in diapers. She is an excellent writer and spends time tutoring other students. This is how she meets Cole, a standout athlete who transferred from another school for his senior year. They begin dating and everything appears to be wonderful, but Zack does not approve of Cole. Something happened between them in gym class, but neither Cole nor Zack is willing to discuss it.
Cole becomes obsessive, stalkerish, controlling, and eventually his jealousy/anger turns to violence.
Bitter End is a very fast read and I was immediately drawn into the lives of the characters. I could completely understand and appreciate Alex's thought processes. I'm sure everyone has heard of situations like this and unless you are the one in the situation, you can't fully understand what is going on. We all think...WOW...this guy is a creep and if it were me, I would ________. It is very easy to judge someone else, but there is always more to the story than meets the eye. Alex is not weak. She knows from the very first incident when something is amiss, but she can always seem to rationalize it.
This is an excellent book that I would highly recommend high school students read. It is a great way for teens to break the ice and begin thinking and perhaps discussing these types of situations with their friends or *gasp* maybe even their parents. Even if the topic doesn't pertain to them or someone they know, becoming more aware of domestic violence and ways to recognize and deal with it before it spirals out of control could certainly benefit anyone.