I’ve never rated a book five stars before, but Cracked deserves it. You won’t find humor, adventure, or a lot of what feels like fiction inside K.M. Walton’s debut novel. Rather, you’ll find an intricate and realistic look into bullying.
Everyone has dealt with bullying in their lives in some respect. Cracked takes an honest, unbiased view of bullying, looking at the issue from the first-person perspective of both a victim and a bully. When Victor and Bull (the victim and bully respectively) end up as roommates in a psych ward, they learn things about one another that’ll rock both of their worlds.
The focus of Cracked is the development of main characters. The setting changes only a couple pf times, and the plot undergoes no big twists. In fact, the entire novel covers just over a week. Victor and Bull both have terrible home lives, and deal with them in very different ways. Both characters evolve in a natural way that readers can understand and connect with.
As mentioned, the emphasis isn’t on action or humor–Cracked is one of the most realistic novels I’ve ever read. This situation could, and probably has, happened before. Reading Cracked without tears flowing down your face is nearly impossible. It’s so touching, realistic, truthful, and gripping that I couldn’t set it down.
The conclusion, while predictable, is thoroughly satisfying. Walton brings to life a very serious subject in an engrossing way with Cracked and has created a book with which we can all connect. Walton does not disappoint and I guarantee Cracked will have you hooked from page one.
Caleb is 15, and currently resides in Portland, Oregon. He’s the former author of a sports blog that has been featured by several major outlets. He also writes short stories and develops novel ideas whenever possible, and, obviously, loves to read. Follow him on twitter @CalMM15.