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't stop Bull's grandfather from getting drunk and hitting him. So Bull tries to defend himself with a loaded gun.
When Victor and Bull end up as roommates in the same psych ward, there's no way to escape each other or their problems. Which means things are going to get worse—much worse—before they get better.
Why I Read This:
I love this idea of two people kind of at odds with each other. It can be very intense and work really well.
I've been looking forward to reading Cracked ever since I watched all the entries to her book trailer contest back in the fall. Book trailers don't normally get to me but in this case they made me fall in love with the idea. I finally gave myself the chance to pick it up at the library and it was a very fast, intense read for me.
The story follows two different teens, Victor and Bull, who have very different, very tough home lives. On top of that Bull has bullied Victor his whole life, shattering any chance at confidence he ever had, and Victor's priveledged life makes Bull more depressed and angry the more he sees of Victor's life.
Cracked is written in alternating viewpoints between the two boys and we see them both spiral out of control until eventually they both end up in the psych ward of a hospital for attempted suicide - both in the same hospital room.
I really liked K.M. Walton's writing. It was fast paced, and kept me flipping pages. The characters seemed real and the "moral" was pretty obvious yet didn't feel shoved in your face obvious. I felt a few things were a little too coincidental (like Bull and Victor ending up in the same hospital room), that the build-up to their suicide attempts could have been a little longer (to get to know the two better first) and that maybe the author didn't take quite enough risks with some of the plot points.
Overall, it was a great read. Cracked was one of those books I did not want to put down and so also one of the fastest reads I've had so far. But the above had me wondering if I should give it a higher rating or not.
I recently saw this on Simon & Schuster's summer reading list for people who want a bit of substance. I would have to agree. It was perfect for summer because the writing style was that perfect blend between comfort food intensity, important issues, and fast paced writing.
A wonderful start to what could be a very successful writing career for K.M. Walton.
I read a library copy.