Monday, 1 August 2011

The BITTER END of Domestic Violence

Just yesterday, I finished a novel by a woman named Jennifer Brown. Ever heard of her? She wrote the YA book Hate List (which remains as one of my favourite books of all time) about the after effects of a school shooting.  Now, she has another book that focuses on something that people are normally touchy about: domestic abuse.

After reading the amazing book Hate List, I was sure that this book was going to be right up there with it. I cracked open the cover, prepared for a climactic beginning that stayed high until the very end, a  fast-paced story line that hooked me and kept me on the line until the final word. Instead, I was greeted with a slow, rolling story that didn't really pick up until halfway through. Of course, I'm not complaining. The writing was still good, if cheesy at times and perhaps unrealistic to teenage life today. In fact, I enjoyed the book.

Bitter End by Jennifer Brown
Before you say that you don't want to read Bitter End now, hold on. Maybe the plot wasn't as fast as I expected, or even as exciting. But the message, the story, was something everybody needs to know. Domestic abuse effects a lot of people, but mostly women. This book showed that, as Jennifer Brown herself said in so many words in the author's note, the thoughts and heart behind staying in an abusive relationship, whether it be physical, verbal or whatever other kinds of abuse there are. In that sense, this book is a must-read.

Still not sure what this book is really about? Alex, a senior in high school, is just like every other teenage girl. Anxious to head away after high school, happy go-lucky with good marks, and a tutor to boot. When Alex is paired to tutor the new guy, Cole, things start to get steamy in the classes. Excited to be with the "hottiest guy in school" Alex ignores the occasional cruel remark and bruise. But when things get worse, Alex has a decision. To stay or not to stay, that is the question.

Please pick this book up if you've ever been in an unhealthy relationship, if you know somebody that's been in one or if you've ever wanted to know about the thought process behind an abused woman. Bitter End by Jennifer Brown teaches people so many things about these topics, I can't help but give it four dream catchers out of five (read it and you'll understand). And for those of you that may be suffering in a relationship like that now, please check out these resources to get help.


  • (this is a list of all the domestic violence resources you can reach in Europe. Just click on your country.)
  • (same deal as above)

  • (same as above. It stinks that there aren't very many resources for other continents).

If I've forgotten your continent/country, I apologize. My geography is really terrible. Also, if you believe you're being abused, get help! Things will only get worse, no matter what you tell yourself. 

Sorry for the completely serious review today. Domestic abuse is a topic that deserves full and undivided attention, and Bitter End give it just that. Please read the book and get yourself help or read up on this awful thing the world has to face. Violence is unnecessary, especially towards someone you're supposed to love.
With Love and Never Hate or Hurt,