Walton, K.M.: Cracked.
3Q * 4P * M * J * S
Walton, K.M. Cracked. Simon Pulse, 2012. 320p. $16.99. 978-1442429161.
Victor is invisible: ignored by other students at school, continually chastised by his parents, not loved by anyone. The only person who pays attention to Victor is Bull, who terrorizes him. Bull is angry: abused and neglected by his mother, beaten up regularly by his grandfather. Bull is feared by everyone else ... until the day that he decides to fight back, using a gun. When Victor and Bull end up in the same hospital, in the same psych ward, in the same room, things get worse. But in a place like that, getting worse is the necessary first step towards getting better.
First-person narration alternating between Victor and Bull draws the reader deeply into the story. The fast-moving timeline of recovery seems extremely unrealistic, but the emotional journey of both boys is completely engaging and convincing. Readers who enjoy stories of dysfunction, personal growth, and redemption will love this book.--Aarene Storms.