Friday, May 27, 2011
Bitter End by Jennifer Brown
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.
So many emotions went through me while reading this novel. I didn't know whether to be happy, sad, angry, etc. This particular novel evoked emotions in me that I hadn't expected. Brown's first novel, Hate List, was amazing in its own way, but this one felt closer to home. I couldn't personally relate, but I know people who have gone through situations such as this. I always tell myself that something like this would never happen to me, but so did Alex. Alex got wrapped up in the idea of "love" from Cole and took his abuse because she felt it was her fault. She thought she should stop doing whatever it was that was making Cole angry with her. These feelings are very common among abuse victims, but I think this novel puts the situation into perspective for teenagers. I feel teenagers can relate to this novel and probably have experienced in some way a form of abuse. Whether the abuse is happening to them or someone they know, they have likely felt the same emotions.
Alex is very strong-willed and courageous, but it isn't until a particular situation with someone from Cole's past that she is able to make the decision to leave him and learn from her mistakes. Brown shows us all that no matter what the situation you need to discuss abuse with a trusted friend, family member, or other adult. Abuse should not continue and we need to show support to those who we suspect are going through this type of situation. You can't hide forever and you shouldn't have to. You need to learn to live your life and stand up for what you believe in. Take control and realize that you are worth it. You are loved. You are needed and you have more support than you will ever know.
A great novel by Brown that points out the horrors and experiences of those living in an abusive relationship. This shows the true emotions from the side of the abused and how you CAN find your way out.