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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  2,136 ratings  ·  301 reviews
Sometimes there's no easy way out.

Victor hates his life. He has no friends, gets beaten up at school, and his parents are always criticizing him. Tired of feeling miserable, Victor takes a bottle of his mother's sleeping pills—only to wake up in the hospital.

Bull is angry, and takes all of his rage out on Victor. That makes him feel better, at least a little. But it doesn'
Hardcover, 311 pages
Published January 3rd 2012 by Simon Pulse
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Zurah There's a lot of inappropriate language in the book. On the other hand, there are morals in this book. I'm already hooked reading it. I can't put the…moreThere's a lot of inappropriate language in the book. On the other hand, there are morals in this book. I'm already hooked reading it. I can't put the book down!(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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May 17, 2014 MLE rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: yad
It wasn't written terribly, but the plot and characters felt more like an after school special than real people. The bad parts were bad, but the simplistic solutions, and overly neat ending made everything that came before seem less significant. I found myself wondering; if that's all it took to make things better, than was it really that bad to begin with? I found the changes the characters underwent were too forced, and too abrupt. Bullying is an important issue, and, while I'm glad more autho ...more
A solid read with two authentic and hurting male voices. Bull's the bully but acts that way because that's the way he's grown up. Victor, on the other hand, is the bullied and allows himself to be picked on because that's the way he's grown up. There's a nice exploration of families, of social class, and of the importance of knowing you're loved/giving love.

A couple of things didn't work for me, including the quick turn arounds of both boys when they'd hit rock bottom. I was hoping for a lot mo
Vivien Keiling
Well hot damn! FINALLY!! A book that really gets to the quick on issues like suicide, abuse and bullying for GUYS!!! - and from both POVs of the bully and the bullied.
[it seems to be the case that a bunch of authors got the memo that, done right, the double POV can work magic!]

I am so sad to say that this one flew under my radar until recently...on the plus side, this means that her second book - Empty - is already out and I can read it right away!!

Very well written - this was a gripper. It was
Call me cynical, but when I read a book about hard-hitting themes like bullying and suicide, I don't necessarily want "happily ever after." While this book does a decent job tackling these two serious topics, I felt the rosy ending for these characters didn't jive with reality.

This novel is told through the eyes of two boys - chapters alternating between Victor and William "Bull". Victor is a victim of bullying done by Bull. The bullying has gone on since kindergarten and hasn't improved. At the
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kimberly Sabatini
This book matters.

It's a simple as that.

Bullying is a pervasive issue in our society today and more people need to be reading a book like this. Why? What makes this one special? I have a few reasons why I think this is a stand out. But first, I'll be honest with you... K. M. Walton is a friend, an Apocalypsie and a fellow author at Simon Pulse. I sort of wish this wasn't true because there will be many people that assume that my respect and love for CRACKED is influenced by those connections.
Nuisance Nonsense
While I absolutely loved the characters and the overall theme of Cracked, I didn't care much for the way Walton portrayed psychiatric units. Most of the situations in the hospital felt out of place. One thing that bothered me is the complete lack of interest from the nurses and staff when Victor tells them that he can't be roomed with Bull. In my experience, people who knew each other outside of the hospital or people who couldn't get along were put on a sort of restraining order where they were ...more
I am something of a contemporary nerd. A total contemporary nerd. There, I said it, I have outed myself -- contemporary YA is my favorite genre and I love contemp books. So I had wanted to read Cracked for a long time, since the cover and synopsis were released.

My issues with the book were larger than I'd hoped they would be but I still enjoyed the novel.

Bull and Victor hate each other. This is not some kind of low hate, like hating pepperoni or sausage on your pizza or hating a particular ba
Lenore Appelhans
I cannot rave enough about this novel. I was so completely emotionally invested in these characters that I cried at least four times - and I hardly ever am moved to tears by books (maybe only around 10 in the whole history of my reading life post childhood).

More to come ...
BAYA Librarian
Victor is the quiet kid in class who gets picked on and bullied on a daily basis. His home life is no better. His parents blame the majority of life’s problems on their son, stating that if it was not for him life would be perfect.

Bull (as you could probably tell by the name) is the primary bully in school. He comes from a broken home where he lives with his alcoholic mother and abusive grandfather. Bull is both physically and mentally abused, so he in turn takes all of his anger and frustratio
Abria Mattina
Told in alternating chapters narrated by Victor and Bull, Cracked is the story of two young men who end up in a psych ward. They have a long history -- Bull has been the schoolyard bully since kindergarten and Victor is a perpetual victim. Each of them has problems at home to contend with as well, ranging from physical abuse to emotional neglect.

When Victor and Bull end up being roommates on the ward, I expected the story would be about learning to forgive and apologize. It's more about the ide
Corrine Jackson
When I was in NYC earlier this month, my eyes spied the gorgeous cover of K.M. Walton's debut novel, CRACKED. I coveted it immediately, and my editor was kind enough to slip me a copy. This book will be out January 3, 2012. Full disclosure: K.M. Walton is a fellow Apocalypsie and we share an editor. Read below to see what I thought.


CRACKED is about two guys who are polar opposites, one with less than nothing and one who seemingly has everything. Okay, I know what you’re thinking. These guys
Loved this author's writing style as well as story line.
We have one boy being bullied by the same kid most of his school life. He is an outcast with no friends. He is invisible to his parents who remind him he was an accident and generally ignore his whole existence except when he may do something to inconvenience their lives. After his dog who was the only one that valued him passes away he is devestated and swallows a bottle of pills.
Then there is the second boy. The bully. And as we are sho
I like this book, I really do. That said, I nearly put the book down in the first 30 pages. The main characters are a stereotypical bully and victim, almost painfully so. I started to wonder if I was reading a young adult novel or a 300-page narrative pamphlet on bullying. With a victim named Victor and a bully named Bull, it seemed a near thing.

But it gets better. The story starts out a little slow but you don’t really notice it. The author switches between the two main characters every chapter
Anne Willkomm
I met K.M. Walton at Children's Book World in Haverford, PA not too long ago at an author social. She and I chatted about YA writing and how it has so much to offer to both teens and adults - that it isn't "dumbed" down writing for a younger set. That night I purchased her book "Cracked, " and she graciously signed my copy.

This is the story to two boys: Bull and Victor -- the bully and the bullied, but this is not the crux of their story. "Cracked" is the story of two boys who are suffering at t
Kelley York
Cover: 4/5 Simple and effective. I don't care for the black border; I think a stark white cover with the cup of pills would have been more aesthetically pleasing. If I saw this on a bookshelf in a store, I'd pick it up.

Characters: 4/5 Bull and Victor are both great narrators. Very different from each other, despite having the same wants: acceptance, love, respect, 'normal lives.' I particularly enjoyed Victor, likely because I related to him more and how he felt invisible and so anxious about r
Reading about the lives of Victor and Bull was just absolutely heartbreaking but once I started reading it, I could not put it down even for a second.

There was nothing I didn't like about this book. I honestly don't think I could say a single bad thing. It is a beautifully written story told from the point of view of two males, Victor and Bull who have two completely different lives but are ultimately longing for the same thing: someone who actually cares about them.

At first I definitely could f
Victor is the victim of a bully. His parents don't care about him, they have unrealistically high expectations of him (which he will never meet), and it seems like the only one who cares about him is Jazzer - the teacup poodle.

Bull is a bully with a bad home life. His pops beats him, his mother watches as it happens, and they both put drinking before him. They could care less about him or if there is food in the fridge.

I felt for both of these characters. Both abused in different ways and with
I have had Cracked by KM Walton in my TBR pile for an obnoxious amount of time, at least two years which is totally unreasonable as it is so short and the type of book I love to read. You see, Cracked is a contemporary young adult book that takes on a pretty serious subject matter. It’s one of those books that is painful and layered. It could feel like an after school special, but it turns out that to me, the book never felt like it was giving me a giant speech about issues and teenagers. Reader ...more
I really, really enjoyed this book. I liked the look it gave of bullying and mental illness. I read somewhere that most bullies have issues themselves and I definitely saw that with Bull's character. I liked seeing the characters grow and I thought the ending was very realistic for their relationship.
Haley Mcdougall
I really loved this book, and I loved how the author wrote it from the two points of view; the bully and the person getting bullied. I recommend this book to anyone who likes realistic fiction, its definitely a great read. Also the ending was written very well, and wrapped everything up the way I hoped.
2.5 stars
Okay, so at first I really liked this book. It was pretty good! But, the thing that annoyed the shit out of me was, I feel K.M. Walton spent a perfect amount of time telling us everything that happened before they when to the psychiatric ward. BUT, the time she spent talking about what happened in the psych ward was way to short. I mean really a 5 day program and at the end when Nikole is leaving Victor says how "he's going to miss her so much even after he dies." If someone said that t
I don't think I would have picked up this book on my own, but once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down.
It was heartbreaking to read about Victor and Bull's homes and parents. You could feel their pain and loneliness and just wanted to tell them it would be ok. Their lives were incredibly parallel and often mirror images of each other.
I found Bull to be more sympathetic and I was seriously rooting for him.
The names of the characters were incredibly symbolic, notably Paul Blessing. And i
Jimmie Natee
Cracked by K.M. Walton is a novel about two kids named Victor and Bull who hates their life. Victor thinks he is weak because he always getting bullied at school by Bull and his parents really don't show that much affection to him. Bull thinks that is life is worth living because his grand-pops blames him for the death of his grandmother and often beats him out of a drunken rages. All both Victor and Bull want is to feel like someone actually love and cares about them.
There are several things
Destiny Ojigoh
Cracked by K.M. Walton is a book about a teen that takes a bottle of pills and lands in the psych ward with the bully who drove him to attempt suicide in this gripping novel. Victor hates his life. He has no friends, gets beaten up at school, and his parents are always criticizing him. Tired of feeling miserable, Victor takes a bottle of his mother’s sleeping pills—only to wake up in the hospital. Bull on the other hand is angry, and takes all of his rage out on Victor. That makes him feel bett ...more
Caroline H
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I believe K.M. Walton is a pen name for Captain Obvious. How else to explain the painfully spelled out writing of everything and everyone in this eye rolling novel that is nothing but a series of extremes strung together?
Cracked is about a scrawny nerd, Victor, who is the victim of Bull (the bully - cute)'s menacing violence. The novel is told in alternating view points between the two, which could be good but is likelier, and was the case here, not. Bull, not surprisingly, is POOR, and has abus
Victor is a high school boy who deals with life problems everyday. When he enters the school hallways he gets bullied by a boy named Bull. Its a never ending cycle for him. On the other hand besides school, he also has a really rough time with his family. When Victor comes home from school his parents are cruel to him, they make him feel like he was never wanted in their family. Every birthday his parents tell him that he was never wanted and that he was an accident. To Victor he feels like ther ...more
This book is about two boys, one named Victor and one named Bull. Bull and Victor have known each other since kindergarten, but they are not friends. Bull is Victors bully. Bull does not have a good home life, he lives with his Mother and his Grandfather, Pop. His Pop and Mother are both alcoholics and he gets beat up by his Pop. Victor's family has a lot of money, but that does not mean that he has a good life. Victors parents do not ever seem to be happy with him. Victor decides to end his lif ...more
Elisa Ludwig
Get out the Kleenex! This powerful story of a victim and a bully who by chance find themselves in the same psychiatric ward of their town's hospital will move you to tears (possibly repeatedly). In an even, direct prose style, Walton nails the voices of her heroes and doesn't sugar coat their difficult circumstances. And while Walton has conjured a compelling supporting cast of characters, it's Cracked's two vulnerable yet tenacious protagonists that will win your heart.
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K.M. Walton is the author of the contemporary young adult novels, CRACKED (2012) and EMPTY (2013). She is represented by Jim McCarthy from Dystel & Goderich Literary Management.

K. M. had a gazillion dreams when she was a little girl. Her biggest dream was to be a teacher. Teaching became a reality for K. M. and she taught for twelve glorious years – some of it in Osteen, Florida and most of it
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