Book Blog-- CRACKED by K.M. Walton

Katherine Longshore 2 Monday, March 19, 2012
I'm taking over for Donna today -- she's on her way home from a mini-retreat working on her follow-up to SKINNY.

This week, we’re focusing on boys.  Specifically, books written from a boy’s point of view.  Some people say these are hard to find.  That boys stop reading, so the books stop selling.  But there are some true gems out there and  K.M. Walton’s CRACKED is one of them.  It is told through the voice of not just one boy, but two.

Victor comes from privilege.  His parents are wealthy and drive new cars.  He wears clean clothes and name brands.  He’s a loner at school, brilliant with numbers and gets a perfect score on the math portion of his SAT.  For which his cold, class-conscious parents punish him because he didn’t get a perfect score on the rest.

Bull is his nemesis.  A bully who has tormented and embarrassed Victor for years.  A boy who wears second-hand clothes and lives with his drunken mother and abusive grandfather.  A boy who escapes into books and work and mindlessness until he can escape for real, chafed by the rich and class-conscious society that treats him like a hoodlum.

A series of startlingly tragic events push these two boys into the same place at the same time, where they must learn to cope with the hopelessness they both feel while learning how to cope with the hopelessness of others.  And through that, perhaps, find hope.

I love that CRACKED isn’t an easy story.  And it isn’t a fairy tale.  Both the characters and the paths they follow are real and unenviable – even painfully misguided at times. Separate and sharply individual, and both necessary to tell the whole story.

The strength of Walton’s writing lies in her ability to create two radically different voices and perceptions.  To take two profoundly different stories and entwine them to form a single, masterful novel.  And to show the humanity and humility on both sides of that story.


I so wish I could scream from the highest mountain that boys do read and that maybe there's just too much stigma out there to battle.


This story sounds very intriguing, the cover, with the pills, is telling of something wicked going on, something hard, something struggled against, something painful.

This is one on my mental reading list, but I have neglected to pick it up anywhere. I really want to read this one. I read a lot of mental health issue books, but this one doesn't really sound like that so much as a bullying story. Or maybe it's both. And I'm so glad it's told from both points of view. I'm going to put it on my to buy list right now.


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