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3.95  ·  Rating details ·  375 ratings  ·  72 reviews
One decision will change both of their lives.

It’s not Oscar’s fault that he’s misunderstood. Ever since his mother died, he’s been disrespected by his father and bullied by his self-absorbed older brother, so he withdraws from his fractured family, seeking refuge in his art.

Vance wishes his younger brother would just loosen up and be cool. It was hard enough to deal with t
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 7th 2017 by Sourcebooks Fire
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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  375 ratings  ·  72 reviews

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C.G. Drews
SO I ADMIT...I'm kind of trash for brother stories. They always get me in the feels. And Vance and Oscar are pretty much horrible little buckets trying to lowkey glare each other to death the whole time, I STILL ENJOYED IT. It lacked a bit, just in terms of what it could have been? But like BROTHER BOOKS.

Also I still have 0% a clue what's going on with the covers. They don't play paper-scissors-rock and the cover mostly just looks like the designer fell asleep and put it together with their elbo
Sophie "Beware Of The Reader"
“We had an ultimatum, didn’t we? Go our separate ways, do our own thing…”

4 to 4,5 « complicated » stars

An ARC has been kindly provided by SOURCEBOOKS Fire, via, in exchange for an honest review.

First of all this story is not “all one thing”. It’s complicated and brutal in its honesty.
The author broaches many difficult topics (alcoholism, death, family ties…) and she does not sugarcoat it. Neither does she trade in pathos. She just writes it like it is with fairness and finesse. I d
amber [ cozynaturereads] ☁️🌞💗
This book was really heartbreaking. You have two brothers who are basically on the different side of the spectrum. Vance, popular lacrosse player and sort of selfish and then introverted Oscar. He loves drawing and classical music. Both boys have lost their mother and now they are both about to lose their father. This story focuses a lot on grief, alcoholism, regret and closure.

This book was really good. It was so emotional and deep. It was told in the perspective of the brothers. Oscar in the
Oct 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was EVERYTHING! <3 If you read Walton's CRACKED then you know she can write teen boys like few others can. This story of two very different brothers was emotional and gut-wrenching--yet also hopeful, sweet, funny, and plain beautiful. ...more
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
Wow. When I purchased ULTIMATUM on a Kindle Daily Deal, didn't expect it to grab my heart and squeeze.

Oscar, artistic and introverted and Vance, popular star lacrosse players couldn't be more different. Since their mother's death three years ago, they barely speak. Now their father lays unconscious in hospice, hours from death and the brothers must come to term with their father's alcoholism and each other.

Oscar tells ULTIMATUM's story from the present, Vance from the years between their mother'
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
3.5 stars

*I was provided with a copy of this novel by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

A raw, honest tale of two very different brothers dealing with the death of their father.

"Ultimatum" by K.M. Walton is a novel about two brothers named Vance and Oscar. Vance and Oscar are very different, and, as a result, they aren't close. They have to face this divide, though, after they discover that their father has only a few days left to live. It switches between the past in Vance's perspectiv
Mika Reyes
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Read full review + quotes on

If there’s one book that you both should and shouldn’t read at night, this would be it. I started reading this at such an unholy hour and I was reminded of so many things that are going on in my life that I have overlooked and taken for granted. A certain kind of pain I am not comfortable talking about and try so hard to conceal every single day keeps on resurfacing every time I return to read this book. It’s paralyzing. I gue
Latife Hasbani
May 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight
Holy emotional rollercoaster, friends. I really wasn't sure what to expect going in- just that it was about brothers, and was probably going to mess with my feels. And it was, and it did, but it was also so much more. The story alternates not only between the brothers' POVs, but between past and present. Oscar narrates what is currently happening in the hospice with their dad, while Vanc
Linda Crate
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I won this book as a part of a giveaway, and judging from the cover I wasn't sure if it'd be my type of book. However, when I read it, it grabbed my heart and squeezed. I even cried a couple of times. It is heartbreaking, raw, and wonderful! K.M. Walton definitely understands the dynamics of complicated family connections, and did a good job in fleshing out these characters. I really identified with Oscar who is the artistic "weirdo" of the family as I am the same way. It was well written and a ...more
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm crying so much! This was beautiful. It took a while but I started seeing Vance change and Oscar change. Vance and Oscar both realized how wrong they were about their parents and about each other. Such a beautifully written story. And how it all came together... K.M. Walton can write. ...more
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.

Ultimatum by K.M. Walton is a poignant young adult novel about two very different brothers who are undergoing a life-altering event. Will this tragedy help them bridge the gap between them? Or will it pull them even farther apart?

Ten months apart in age, Vance and Oscar Irving are not at all close and in fact, they are complete opposites. Older brother Vance may look like the boys' now deceased mom, but he has much more in common with his hard partying, boisterous father. Vance is the
See more like this review at The Regal Critiques

"It's what we're programmed to do. We don't know how to find common ground, Vance."
He rests his forehead on the glass. "Maybe we should start trying sometime soon."

Ultimatum was both a lovely surprise and a terrible disappointment - one of those books that I can't exactly find a fault in, but it failed to resonate with me on a serious level even though I was super-duper excited for this grand, heartbreaking journey.

My most important - and maybe o
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, contemporary, 2017
This book tore me up all into all kinds of sharp jagged pieces. By the end I think I lost track of how much I cried and my boyfriend was contemplating my mental health. Ultimatum is a dual POV but done incredibly well. Oscar's POV is set in the present. Vance's takes place from the earliest memory leading all the way up to the present. The mix of timelines really draws the differences in these brothers and how their minds work. Vance is so brash and angry while Oscar is a introvert and quiet sou ...more
Sep 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Rated this 5 stars purely because there was one 1-star rating on this book. It doesn't even come out until next year people. Don't be that person. ...more
Chris N
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oscar has his fathers looks but that's about all they have in common. He is artistic, loves classical music and plays the violin. He takes after his mother in personality. He has nothing in common with his brother, who torments him, and feels that both his father and brother don't know or like him.

Vance has his mothers looks and is jealous of his brother for looking like his father, who he idolises. Both he and his father love Reggae music, parties and having a good time. Both are selfish when i
Julia Tomiak
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
For starters, Walton does a fabulous job of describing emotion in raw, fresh language. When Oscar’s brother yells at him for sketching their dying father, Oscar thinks “If I respond, I may crack and leak and puddle. If I don’t respond, he may lose his mind. My hands sweat. The walls suddenly crowd me. I want to run away.”

Walton uses wonderful metaphors to convey feeling. For example, as Oscar realizes he may never get to talk with his dad again, he thinks “I’ll never be able to ask him these que
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Ultimatum" is a heart-wrenching story of two brothers who have always seen themselves as opposites and impossible, learning that they are all they have left. Oscar and Vance are about a year apart and while Oscar likes art, classical music and privacy/quiet, Vance likes sports (lacrosse), reggae, and partying. Their mother died three years ago and their dad is currently in hospice, but he's been less than ideal for a long time, as a severe alcoholic. Oscar took after their mother and Vance took ...more
Moon Silver
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ultimatum - In the end

This book had been an incredible journey. During this journey, I witnessed Vance's anger, felt Oscar's loneliness, and wept with joy when these complications were resolved by two brothers instead of two enemies.

I understand that this book may not be as interesting for everyone as it had been for me. To finish it, I had collected pieces of my time and finally placed the entire story together. Using short times such as when I was waiting in line, or a 15 minute break between
Shelly Hammond
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really had no clue what I was getting myself into when I began to read this book. I was so surprised by how gripping this book was.
This book is basically about two brothers who don't get along, polar opposites, who are facing their fathers death together. It's no spoiler to say that he's in a hospice when the book opens and, according to the staff at the hospice, there isn't a whole lot of time left. It's cleverly written in that it's told in the past and the present. One brother tells the pas
Two brothers with nothing in common except for their mutual disdain for one another keep vigil at their dying dad's bedside. Told from both of their POVs, readers see how both of them struggle with their grief over their mother's death 3 years earlier, their dysfunctional relationships with their dickish dad and their dislike for each other. Their shared experience of watching their dad's last days will either drive them farther apart or heal their relationship. This was both heartbreaking and h ...more
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
Thank you so much to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book!

This book was just okay for me. I liked the story, and how it was formatted with flashbacks. It's not uncommon for siblings to be total opposites, so it was very believable that way. The tragedies that the boys endured were heartbreaking, and the portrayal of the alcoholic father was authentic. My concern is that a lot of the teen readers at my library are probably not going to stick with this book until the end of the stor
Nishaath L.
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
it was nice.
I really like siblings stories and family love stories :D
Vance and Oscar, how they moved from watching each other behind misunderstandings to learning each of them loved the other more than they thought, was amazing.
I liked how Oscar realized his dad must've loved him too, but his dad just didn't know how to express it.
I just really liked how Vance and Oscar came together, even though the circumstances had to become very drastic before they did,
and how even when they decided to give
Molly Dettmann
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
After their father goes into hospice for liver failure, two brothers must face their tumultuous relationship with their father and each other.

This was such a compelling, but hard-to-read story. All of the relationships in the story between the brothers and their father felt very realistic and would make it a relatable read for teen readers. The relationship between Oscar and Vance, and each boy's inner demons had me completely engrossed throughout the entire book. With some language and dark th
Judy Mann
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
This K.M Walton is a good writer.Now the reason that I know that is because I thoroughly dislike the brother that I'm supposed to like.I think Oscar is a controlling and manipulating wimp.And he uses his wimpishness to control every situation in the book.Now if this author was not a good writer I wouldn't have any opinion of either of the brothers or of the alcoholic father.They would all just leave me cold.That said I think Oscar is the real bully in this story and apart from that- this is a go ...more
Dani Iglesia
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Got my copy via Netgalley for an exchange of honest review! Thank you Sourcebooks FIRE!

Oscar and Vance have been a different world even though they’re brothers. Once their father got in a coma, the struggles for Oscar and Vance is really hard when it comes to communicating and understanding each other. They are strangers but they’re father who lives for only in hours. Will they can overcome the guilt in their hearts?

Oscar’s story make me feel bad for him, since he’s thinking that he’s alone in t
Megan ♡
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received a free ebook copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

This was a raw, emotional and heart-breaking novel about grief, mourning, alcoholism, and family relationships. It tells the story of two brothers - popular and sporty Vance, and quiet, different Oscar - who lost their mother and are about to lose their father. I love how the chapters switch between Oscar telling the present story, and Vance telling their story from 2 years ago. I can't recommend it enough.
Pages For Thoughts
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
It showcases how tragedy can bring people closer together, and it can teach siblings strategies to get along. The contrast of the two brothers are crystal clear and provide huge character development. The past and the present chapters provide a background and context for their emotions and enhance the growth of the brothers. Ultimatum is very emotional and full of pain. There are more than a few tears shed in this book, and the boys' bravery and struggle will touch the hearts of all readers. Rea ...more
Genesis Santos
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If I could give to this book 6 stars of 5 I could do it. After all the books that I read this year this is the best I never read.

The way in that all started in a hospice our two protagonists' dad dying slowly. How the character narrated the story and the way in that two protagonists, a couple of brother can be so different. Sometimes I wanted hit one of the character, but while I get reading more chapter I can saw the evolution of this character and the love, and responsability it develop with t
Kaizen Zuño
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-contemporary
4 Stars

A quick read. This was a really interesting take on sibling dynamics, and one of the things that I liked was how it explores the aftermath of losing a parent, and how the two main characters handled their grief. Admittedly, I wanted the two to reconcile and actually act brothers, but I understand why things had to go that way and I was happy with how realistic their actions was. There were times where I was frustrated with both Oscar and Vance, which is a good thing because it showed that
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K.M. Walton is the author of the contemporary young adult novels, CRACKED (2012), EMPTY (2013), ULTIMATUM (2017), and her BEHIND THE SONG anthology (2017). She is represented by Jim McCarthy from Dystel, Goderich & Bourret 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

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