Saturday, January 24, 2015

CRACKED by K.M. Walton

CrackedImagine having to share a room with your own personal bully 24/7 for five days.  That's what has happened to Victor.  Can he survive?  Will the strange pairing turn into friendship?

Victor keeps mostly to himself.  He is an exceptional student, especially in math.  He's so good he got a perfect score on the math portion of the SAT.  Unfortunately, his uber-demanding parents are less than satisfied with his slightly lower scores on the rest of the test.  They've decided to take their European vacation without him, leaving him home to study under the watchful eye of his grandmother.

Victor has other plans.  Feeling that his life has been made miserable by a classmate who torments him relentlessly and parents who think only of themselves, he makes the decision to end it all by swallowing the contents of one of his mother's pill bottles.  As he drifts off, he regrets that his grandmother will no doubt be the one to discover his body, but he believes is doing what he has to do.

Grandmother arrives in time to call 911, and Victor awakens in the psych ward of the hospital.  Just his luck, he learns that his roommate is Bull Mastrick, the one person who would love to help end his life for him. 

Bull has landed in the psych ward after attempting to shoot his grandfather.  Having a grandfather who uses you as a punching bag seems like justification enough for Bull to take matters into his own hands and use the gun he finds hidden in a crumpled paper bag.  What takes Bull totally by surprise is the fact that his grandfather tells the cops who arrive after the gunshot, that his stupid grandson was trying to commit suicide.  The lie spares Bull a stint in juvie, but five days in the booby hatch with a bunch of losers will be challenging.  Is he up for the challenge?  Will his outlook change when he learns there are others with problems just as daunting as his own?

Author K.M. Walton takes readers into the minds of two teens ready to take drastic action to end the pain and torture of their lives.  Though their solutions are different, they end up together as they search for meaning and a reason to carry on.  Her characters are captivating and their stories are sure to resonate with teens.

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