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Cracked Hardcover – January 3, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“In this powerful debut novel, K.M. Walton takes an unrelenting look at the corrosive effects of bullying, sometimes coming from where one would least expect it. CRACKED crackles with emotional intensity from beginning to end.”

--James Howe, bestselling author of THE MISFITS

"Readers who enjoy stories of dysfunction, personal growth, and redemption will love this book."
VOYA, February 2012

"[Bull's and Victor's] stories offer a strong message of hope to the bullied and abused."
--The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, April 2012

About the Author

K. M. Walton is a former middle-school language arts teacher and Cracked is her fiction debut. She lives in Pennsylvania with her family.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (January 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144242916X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442429161
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,206,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a book about bullying, family, friends, and the importance of feeling like there's someone that loves you enough to care about you, protect you, and give you what you need. Both Bull and Victor are looking for that someone, but they have VERY different lives. Victor is the quiet, hide in a corner to be invisible guy. Bull is the bully, always causing trouble with fights and humiliating Victor.

The most amazing thing with this book to me was that I didn't connect with the character I thought I would. It's a book about bullying, so I thought I'd connect with Victor more than Bull. Boy was I wrong. From almost the first time we met Bull he's the one my heart went out to. K.M. Walton did such a fantastic job at showing the other side of bullying. She demonstrated the behind-the-scenes of a bully.

When it came to Bull I wanted to reach out and hug him and never let go. Because I want you to read this book I'm not going to tell you much about what happens with Bull at home or once he gets to the hospital. I will tell you that things are both expected and unexpected in good ways.

Another aspect of this book that I loved was the realism to the story. So many times in fiction with a story like this the acceptance and turn around is quick. Really quick. We all want a happy or hopeful ending, and you'll get that in this book. But you won't read about how in the first day of being in the psych hospital that these two boys reconcile and become best friends. In fact, as I read I wondered if they would ever reconcile. K.M. Walton definitely took the truthful, not so pretty, approach to playing out the story and I love that.

In the end these boys find the love they were looking for.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I first heard of this novel, I honestly didn't know what to expect. So when I ordered it on Amazon and started it, my breath was taken away at how beautiful and great the book was!

This book was incredible.

First, the writing style. I loved K. M. Walton's voice in these two boys. I felt for them (even Bull), and whenever something horrible would happen (something like abuse), it really pulled at my heart. I loved that this story was about bullying and basically trying to overcome a bully, and I appreciate K. M. for crafting the story like she did.

Next, the characters. Like I said before, Victor and Bull made me feel sad and happy. I felt bad for Victor right from the get-go, and I finally came to understand Bull's mean ways. And the way that K. M. put them in the situations they got into really made me breathless. She's a very talented writer!

Then, there's just the actual story. I hate bullying, and when Bull would do something to Victor, I wanted to jump into the pages of Cracked and force Bull to stop being a horrible and wicked person. This book kept me up all night, and I finished it in just a day. This book was such a great book.

One more thing before I wrap this all up: the pacing. K. M. Walton paced this novel perfectly, and I always wanted to keep reading the story just to find out what exactly would happen. The story and characters always intrigued me, and I loved this story! And... it had short chapters! I love short chapters in a book. I have no idea why, but I do!

Overall, I highly recommend you go get this novel!
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By Kristina on February 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book broke my heart from the very beginning. On one side there is Victor. He is bullied at school by Bull and there is no love for him at home. His parents are horrible. They might be rich and provide for him, but he is completely alone. Then there is Bull. Bull's dad isn't in the picture, his mom is an alcoholic who literally made her child eat mouse crap when he was seven, and his grandfather beats the crap out of him all the time. On the same day, Victor tries to kill himself and Bull tries to kill his grandfather, landing them both in the suicidal psych ward in the hospital. Both boys are in so much pain and are so broken, each in their on way.

My main issue I had with Cracked was that from the description, I really thought that both Victor and Bull were going to bond. I thought that they were going to spill their hearts out to each other, but that did not happen. Bull didn't even talk about his life with the other teenagers in group therapy, and I was really hoping that he would.

The ending was very moving and filled with hope. Overall, I really enjoyed Cracked. It was a very quick read which flowed nicely.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Grade: C-

One Word: Cheesy

William aka "Bull" and the victim of his torment, Victor, end up roommates in a psych ward after suicide attempts. One rich, the other poor. One the victim of physical abuse, the other the victim of emotional abuse and neglect. They're committed for five days with other troubled teens and must learn to support themselves and each other.

Five days inpatient psychiatric treatment after a suicide attempt can barely scratch the surface, but most insurances won't pay for more than that, some cover fewer days. Gone is the era where patients had the "luxury" of thirty days or more to stabilize before integrating back into their families. Aside from length of stay being accurate, the atmosphere and rapid pace of recovery felt too sunny and optimistic. Granted, some patients can make great strides, but before being released, after plans for continued treatment would be in place. In the case of suicide attempts in minors, some states have mandated reporting to child welfare. Hospital workers are mandated reporters, and Bull's should have been reported in every state. Psychiatric hospitals also wouldn't allow kissing and other romantic touch. I don't like when writers make love as a cure for mental illness.

Victor and Bull alternated narrating chapters, but their voices were written exactly the same. KM Walton has an enjoyable, easy paced writing style. I love that she told the stories of the boys having parallel stories of extremely difficult home lives. I wish she had given the parents some redeeming qualities. I'm much more likely to buy characters who are not 100% terrible. I prefer Walton's EMPTY, about an overweight, bullied girl.

THEMES: family, parents, substance abuse, mental illness, suicide, depression, verbal abuse, physical abuse, recovery

CRACKED is a subpar venture into bullying and suicide attempts.
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