Bitter End
Bitter End

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Annotation: When seventeen-year-old Alex starts dating Cole, a new boy at her high school, her two closest friends increasingly mistrust him as the relationship grows more serious.
Genre: Love stories
Catalog Number: #50634
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition Date: 2012
Pages: 364 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-316-08696-7 Perma-Bound: 0-605-49673-0
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-316-08696-7 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-49673-6
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2010034258
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
When Alex and new-guy Cole hit it off during their tutoring sessions, Alex can't believe her good fortune. Not only is Cole sweet, gorgeous, and fun but he knows exactly how to make her feel special. He wants to be where she is, even watching her while she works at the Bread Bowl. He cares enough to be jealous of her best friends, Zack and Bethany, especially Zack. He is certainly different from her still grieving, emotionless father! Many readers will spot Cole's ultimately abusive tendencies early on, but Bitter End is rarely didactic, and Brown draws on her professional psychology background to create a nuanced novel that will help young readers explore not only why women allow themselves to be abused but how love factors into their inertia in seeking help. Brown creates multifaceted characters as well as realistic, insightful descriptions of Alex's emotions, and readers will empathize with Alex's terrifying decision to cut all ties before Cole harms her further. A tough but important addition to the YA romance shelves.
Horn Book
Alex feels that her boyfriend Cole is the only one who loves and understands her. So she forgives his occasional aggressive actions: being rude to her best friends, squeezing her wrist too tightly. As these incidents become increasingly violent, Alex finally accepts that she's being abused. Brown deftly captures the complexities of enduring--and escaping--domestic violence in this sensitive novel.
Kirkus Reviews
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)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up&12; Alex is looking for something real&12;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.&12; Suanne Roush, Osceola High School, Seminole, FL
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (Fri Apr 01 00:00:00 CDT 2011)
ALA/YALSA Best Book For Young Adults
Horn Book (Mon Aug 01 00:00:00 CDT 2011)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (Fri Apr 01 00:00:00 CDT 2011)
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Wilson's High School Catalog
Word Count: 84,655
Reading Level: 4.8
Interest Level: 9-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.8 / points: 13.0 / quiz: 144049 / grade: Upper Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.5 / points:20.0 / quiz:Q57201

He told me he loved me and I believed him.

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, and 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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