Bitter End by Jennifer Brown
Published May 10, 2011
Bitter End dealt with a very serious topic: domestic abuse and abusive relationships. It’s not a topic I usually have a lot of exposure to other than the media out there so I found this book very emotional and raw. While I found the subject to be very important, I found the main character, Alex, to be a little underwhelming. To be perfectly honest, I found her naïve and stupid.
Okay, I understand the point is to show that she fell so fast and so in love with her boyfriend that she didn’t see what was going on clearly; however, personally, there were many times I wanted to just simply slap her. First of all, she let her boyfriend verbally abuse her best friends. Hello! Haven’t you ever heard of the term “chicks before dicks”?! I couldn’t believe the fact that she allowed him to speak to her BEST friends like that without saying anything back to him. Even a “hey, don’t talk to them like that” would have been perfectly acceptable. Instead, she kept all of her thoughts inside and didn’t say anything which ultimately drew her apart from her friends. Plus, if all of your friends (she really only had like two) were getting bad vibes from your boyfriend (who was supposedly “so great”) then maybe you should listen to them. There’s a reason why they’re your best friends and have been for many years. And the second main thing pissed me off so much. When he started to hit her, she made an excuse for him! Like WTF?!? That is a huge no-no for me. Again, I do realize that the point of abusive relationships and the author is trying to get across is that sometimes when you’re in that situation, you just simply can’t believe that the man/boy you fell in love with would hurt you and then you forgive them after they “sincerely” apologize. The first time – perhaps I can overlook it but the second and then third time? I don’t know… Point is, for me, there were just of instances when I simply wanted to take Alex by the shoulders and give her a hard shake.
Moving on…I found her friends, Zack and Beth, to be wonderful people. I especially loved Zack’s character – he’s funny and totally loyal to his two best friends even though Alex started to drift away from him but he would still stand up for her. His humor really stood out in the book. Beth was more of the quiet friend and took more of an offense when Alex didn’t defend her from Cody but at the end of the day, she still stood by her side.
Cody, the abusive boyfriend, was a terrible person. There were certainly times when he was convincing – gentle, sweet and funny but then all of the times when he wasn’t totally discounted his sweetness. I also didn’t realize what a terrible person deep down (other than the abusive part) until I found out what he was telling the guys in the locker room that made Zack stand up for Alex. It was disgusting and he was a rotten example of a decent human being. It just makes me so sad that there are people like this out in the world and usually it’s because they were either abused themselves or had faced something traumatic when they were younger. If only people will change for the better and try to NOT be what their parents were.
Overall, Bitter End was very deep and real novel on a sensitive subject. I definitely recommend it.