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Bitter End

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  7,490 ratings  ·  795 reviews
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 loves and understands her.

At first, Alex is blissfully happy. Sure, Cole seems a little jealous of her relationship with her close friend Zack, but what guy would want his girlfriend spendin
Hardcover, 359 pages
Published May 10th 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  7,490 ratings  ·  795 reviews

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Mar 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
I’m usually one to stay well away from books that deal with sensitive subjective matters such as abuse, so what made me pick up this book? I don’t really know, I thought to myself a new year, so maybe I should try something different. Different it definitely was, but did I enjoy it as much? Not really.

Being in an abusive relationship is a difficult situation people can find themselves in, many for whatever reason feel they can’t ever end the relationship or leave their partner. Many are convin
Cortney LaScola - The Bookworm Myrtle Beach
Serious subject, but bad writing and terrible characters.
Jan 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
I'm still reeling from this one.

I don't like how Bethany and Zack were portrayed later on in the book. That ruined it all for me. If it were my friend being abused (and Alex admitted it to Bethany), I would help her. I don't care if she hates me for doing so, I don't care if she never talks to me again, I WILL help her. I would do anything that I can to reach out to her. I won't look at her with sadness and disappointment and slowly remove her from my life. I wouldn't treat her formally and stop
Hari ~Brekker-Maresh~
why i like these books? i have no idea.... it was scary and depressing and let me just say cole is psychotic
Feb 16, 2011 rated it liked it
I wanted so much to love this book the way I loved The Hate List but, well... it's so much about the message that it just gets lost there. What I mean is, there are other books (like Cut or Wintergirls) where I felt that the author had a character who, as she developed, had a problem, but in this one I felt that the author had a problem she tried to fit characters around.

Alex's relationship with Zach and Bethany is so close that they're the Terrible Three, in and out of each other's homes all th
Kelly Costa
This book was amazing and tragic. I still can't stop crying. Every girl should read this book. Scratch that everyone should read this book. It's easier than you think to fall into a abusive relationship. ...more
Aug 13, 2011 rated it really liked it

I think anyone who has been in any sort of abusive relationship will read this and see some form of themself in Alex. It's hard to read about what she goes through and see how many chances she has to get out.

I will say that my first boyfriend was a bit abusive. Not in a physical way, but emotionally. And the worse he made me feel about myself, the more power I gave to him and the deeper I fell into what felt like a neverending hole. I think most girls will go through an abusive relationship in t
Melissa (i swim for oceans)
Alex has found the guy of her dreams. He's everything - a star athlete, good looking and absolutely adores her. She can't imagine her life without him, and she has no intention of ever having to do so. There's something else taking hold of her relationship though, too. It's a kind of possessiveness that's foreign to Alex but very familiar to Cole. He doesn't want to have to share her, and he'll do anything to ensure he doesn't have to. Alex doesn't want to lose him, but it's more than that. She' ...more
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten!

Jennifer Brown’s novels have made me sob and left me cold. The quality of them is pretty unpredictable, really. When they’re good, they’re great, but when they’re bad, they’re paint-by-numbers Social Issue kind of books: not necessarily bad but trying too hard to be current. I’ve eyed Bitter End for years and hoped it would work for me, but it’s probably my least favorite of Brown’s YA novels so far.

The characters themselves play their roles in this morali
Apr 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012, social-issues
I almost gave this book three stars, but after finishing my review the first time, I decided my initial two-star rating was more accurate. Yes, this is Jo’s Review 2.0. Yes, the book addresses an important issue that needs discussion. Yes, the author wrote a book that I read in two days.

However… I have several issues, which I shall now discuss in a convenient list format, ‘cause that’s just how I roll.

1. The plot is predictable. (view spoiler)
Jan 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This was a scary read.

The hardest and scariest part about Bitter End was Cole and not because he was the bad guy, it was because in the beginning and half way through the violence I liked him. I kept thinking ok hes a good guy, he wont really hit her….and then later angry because the Cole I liked disappeared.

I began to despise him slowly, but at the same time I felt really bad for him and how he became who he was, Cole needed help desperately, but no one could help because he was already too f
Alex has great friends, but feels lonely in her own home. Her mother's sudden death and her father's inability to cope with three active daughters has made her easy prey for Cole...Cole, new kid - handsome, mysterious, athletic. Cole seems to appreciate her like no one else does, not Bethany or Zach, her best friends.

So what if Cole is sometimes controlling, or grabs her wrist too hard, or says hateful things. He loves her. He always says sorry and gives her roses. He loves her. He understands
Oct 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Bitter End is a book about a girl falling in love with a handsome young man, who held her, who loved her who made her feel special. Feelings she had never felt before. She was in love! Then he gets a bit jealous, and then he says he is sorry, he loves her. Then he hits her, calls her names, and says he sorry ...holds her loves her. Nothing she can do because she loves him so much. She loves him...... he loves her, he holds her touches her loves her. Then he hits her calls her names. She loves hi ...more
Krisanne Stewart
Jun 13, 2011 rated it liked it
This book scared the be-Jesus out of me. My good friend Kasey Kamenicky introduced me to Hate List by Jennifer Brown, which is a fabulous piece of work. I couldn't wait to read this book, as I am a fan of the way Brown deals with tough subjects. Having said that, I found myself arguing in my head that Alex really wouldn't put up with that kind of crap from Cole. After having convinced myself that Brown got it all wrong, she would remind us that no one in the book loves Alex like she truly wishes ...more
Oct 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
As much as I hate sucker-punch sob stories, this book really is something..

The story starts off with Alex, a senior in high school, who lives with her absent-minded dad, and younger sister Celia. Alex's mother died in a tragic accident years ago. Alex finds all of her support in her two best friends, Bethany and Zach. Then one day Alex meets Cole. Alex believes its love at first sight, and everything is good. At least for a little while. Eventually, Cole starts getting violent. He begins ab
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another book from the Teen Dating Violence Awareness display at my library. While this book was really difficult to read because of the subject matter, (perhaps one of the most difficult on this display so far,) it was also really hard to put down.

Alex's story shows how easily the victim can go straight to believing they deserve what's happening to them. How they rationalize in their minds that if they would stop making their partner so angry, this wouldn't be happening. Alex was already of the
Bitter End is a book that should be thrust into the hands of every teenage girl. Like it should be handed out at 9th grade registration. Bitter End is a book that every teenage boy should be forced to read. As a lesson. Like, "don't do this to your girlfriend. ever." kind of lesson. Bitter End is a book that should be required reading for every parent of a teenage girl. Side note, Daddies, hug your daughters and tell them you love them. Bitter End is a book that explores dating violence without ...more
Oct 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Dreamland by Sarah Dessen - this is practically the same thing. Care for a reboot?
This is a 2.5-stars read for me. I may not review this book, since I feel like I'm becoming redundant in reviews - how many times can I talk about the same thing? Go over the same character flaws and lack of emotion? Discuss the common DPS and TSTL best friends? Talk about choppy writing and dry poems? - but just know that this book isn't necessarily bad. It just isn't anything special. ...more
Feb 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
2.5 Stars
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Such a moving and eye opening portrayal of abuse. Yes. There were tears.
Nicole aka FromReading2Dreaming

If you or anyone you know is being abused please talk to someone. Here are some hotlines, if you need to talk:

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline: 1-866-331-9474; Live Chat:

This book is unlike any other YA book I have ever read. It's raw, and tells a story you will never forget. I must candid though, this book is very emotional and I had to set it down a couple of times because I was ready to burs
A BITTER END to a bitter year. Haha, get it?

But seriously though, I'm glad 2016 is over—not that I feel all that optimistic for 2017, but still, I'm glad. I do apologise for this review being eight days late, since I finished Bitter End on Dec. 28 and we're already five days into 2017. Lately I haven't been feeling up to writing book reviews—either I'm too lazy or just don't have anything to say. But still, I don't want to let myself be too lazy in coming up with book reviews or there's really n
May 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Bitter End
Alex. Smart. Intelligent. In love. Until… This book is called “Bitter End” by Jennifer Brown. It is a realistic romance and is in first point of view. NO SERIES! Alex was in love with an amazing guy, but when he hurt her for the first time, she still loved him. She let it happen until she ended up in a hospital and he went to jail. I loved this book, and I recommend it. If you don’t like abuse, romance, foul language, or off page sexual interaction, then DON’T READ IT!

Alex is very s
Jun 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
"Bitter End" is such an honest, raw, and heartwrenching novel that once I started, I could not put it down. From the very first chapter, I was pulled into Alex's story. Judging by the cover, I had initially thought there was no way I would like the book. I'm not into romance stories or books about relationships, but this book far exceeded by expectations. It's not a sappy romance novel or typical teen book about first boyfriends. It is a very real account of a young girl who becomes wrapped up i ...more
Oct 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Jennifer Brown nails it again. This woman has crazy-good insight into the teen mind. Her years studying psychology have definitely paid off, but she's written yet another amazing book that takes the idea of a "problem" novel and turns it into a multi-faceted exploration of some very difficult topics. This, her newest novel, is an anti-love story of sorts. Our protagonist, Alex, is a teen who has lost her mother and has been dealing with that for most of her young life. She's convinced that her m ...more
Emily (Obsessed Reader)
Sep 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
4.8 stars.
This book is the first I have read by Jennifer Brown, and it won't be the last. Parts of it were hard to read and if your looking for a book that is jolly and has a happy ending then this isn't for you.
But I must say It was so powerful and moving, and I still highly recommend it. Abuse is such a terrible thing for any person to go through, and this book really helps you understand how an abused victim would feel. Those of us who say "I'd never let someone abuse me." it isn't that easy
J. Dominique
My main problem with this was Alex, our protagonist. I'm not holding the fact that she fell into an abusive relationship against her — no, she was just plain unlikeable to me, and sometimes a really awful friend.
But honestly, the author is a great one, and I love how she writes about REAL things and portrays it well.
Maxine Livingstone
Again another book I read many years ago. This book deals with teen dating violence.

I have written reviews on this subject on other books so I'm not going to waste time in repeating myself. I enjoyed the book I loved how it ended. I'm just glad it didn't end horribly (since most DV can end in someone being killed).
shady boots
This book was intense. Scary at times.

But overall, it was fantastic.
Trigger warnings: domestic violence, physical abuse, verbal abuse, slut shaming, car accident (in the past), death of a parent (in the past).

Well. That was...not the most cheerful of reads. I mean, I knew it wasn't going to be. It's about a teenage girl who ends up in an abusive relationship. But I think I'd convinced myself it was going to be more along the lines of The Girl Who Fell, which is more along the lines of psychological abuse than physical abuse.

Anyway. To sum up the plot of this b
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Two-time winner of the Erma Bombeck Global Humor Award (2005 & 2006), Jennifer's weekly humor column appeared in The Kansas City Star for over four years, until she gave it up to be a full-time young adult novelist.

Jennifer's debut novel, HATE LIST (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009) received three starred reviews and was selected as an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a VOYA "Perfect Te

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