Bitter End by Jennifer Brown

Published By: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Date of Publication: May 10, 2011

Categories: Contrmporary, Fiction, Mental Illness, YA

Pages: 359

Summary (from

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.

Review: I’ll start off by saying that I had a really hard time putting this book down. I found myself saying “just ten more pages”, but I couldn’t stop at ten, I had to read more. The pacing was great and it was well thought out.

The descent into the abusive relationship happened slowly and with Alex hardly even knowing what was going on. That’s how it happens in real life too. Once Alex does realize what’s going on, she can hardly believe it. Cole is her boyfriend, he wouldn’t treat her like that, would he? I thought it was very well researched. All the things that Cole does are warning signs for abuse.

I think Bitter End ends up tackling a really tough issue, but does so without being preachy or melodramatic. The characters all felt very genuine, and their actions and how they reacted to things that happened felt very real. Because of the amazing characters (especially Alex) it was a powerful read, one that I think most teen aged girls can relate to.


Disclosure: I received this book for review.


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