Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Apocalypsies Love! Book Review: Cracked by KM Walton

Apocalypsies Love is all about me telling you what I loved about a 2012 debut book written by one of the amazing Apocalypsies. I also chat with the author to gain insight into their very favorite parts of their creation.

Today, I'm featuring CRACKED, a contemporary YA about a bullied boy and his bully who end up in the same hospital room in the psych ward.

I cannot rave enough about this novel. 

Victor had my sympathy from page 1. He's fighting an uphill battle in life - no friends, parents who consider him an inconvenience, and the terror of being relentlessly bullied.  The fact that his teacup poodle is the only reason he feels he has to live? Super heartbreaking!!

And then Bull.  You want to hate him, even when you see how sucky his own life is.  But he grows so much within these pages.

In fact, I was so completely emotionally invested in these characters that I cried at least four times - and I hardly ever am moved to tears by books (maybe only around 10 in the whole history of my reading life post childhood).  Yes, it was that good.

And now, let's hear from KM! 

What is your favorite scene in the book? 
My favorite scene is when Victor confronts Bull in one of the group sessions. It was satisfying to write, and I also love how the reader experiences Victor’s blowup…through Bull’s perspective.

That scene was so cathartic and empowering. What is your favorite line in the book? 
Here’s a favorite from both Victor and Bull.

Victor: Then I’d run to the closest bathroom and regurgitate perfectly formed chunks of shame and disgrace.

Bull: But I’m a moron with a gun now.

Those lines encapsulate so much about those two.  Pitch perfect. What setting was most fun to write? 
The psych ward. During the editing process my editor pushed me to make the ward come alive more with sounds and smells. Her brilliant suggestion pushed me to make that wing of the hospital live and breathe.

It really comes across, too.  I felt like I was there! Who is your favorite supporting character - one you could see getting a spin-off book - and why? 
I found Kell to be deeply intriguing—she is so dark and full of justified anger. Delving into her life would make an interesting book.

What has been your favorite part of your publishing journey so far? 
My favorite part was getting the offer of representation from my agent, Sarah LaPolla. It took me 2.4 years to get that offer, so it was mindblowingly surreal and incredible and every other crazyawesome adjective you can come up with.

Thank you, Kate!


Intrigued by CRACKED? It came out yesterday in hardcover. Find out more about it at the author's website and add it to Goodreads.

In the interest of full disclosure, you should know that I met KM briefly at SCBWI NY 2011 and she introduced me to the Apocalypsies!

FTC disclosure: Review copy as part of author-sponsored ARC tour


Bidisha said...

This is right up my alley! Cannot wait.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I love K.M. already, but I don't know how anyone could NOT read CRACKED after a review like this one. :-)

bermudaonion said...

Oh, wow! I love the premise of that book! I'm glad to see it's well done.

Zibilee said...

I just finished a book that dealt with severe bullying, and have to say that it was heartbreaking on so many levels. Maybe it's just that there was less documentation of this kind of stuff when I was growing up, but it seems like things now can just be untenable for kids.

You've really made me want to check this book out soon. The setting, and the fact that the characters are so realistically portrayed really interests me. Great review and interview, Lenore!

Unknown said...

Yeesh - I got a little depressed just reading about this one. As a school teacher and new mama, I have zero tolerance for bullies - even imaginary ones. I have to say though, Bull as an awesome name for that character!