Bitter Betrayal

Young Adult - General
310 Pages
Reviewed on 04/15/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Multiple award-winning Author Amanda M. Thrasher was born in England, moved to Texas and resides there still. Author of several children’s books including picture books, middle-grade chapter books, YA and a reader’s theater titled What If… A Story of Shattered Lives written for the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center as part of the Driving on the Right Side of the Road program (DRSR). She’s a multiple Gold recipient of the Mom’s Choice Awards for The Greenlee Project, YA and General Fiction, and for an early reader chapter book, Spider Web Scramble. The Greenlee Project also won first place for YA and General Fiction at the NTBF. Amanda conducts workshops, speaks with kids and teens of all ages, writes a blog, and contributes to an online magazine. As Chief Executive Officer at Progressive Rising Phoenix Press, she assists authors and shares her writing process and what she has learned as a publisher with people of all ages.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ankita Shukla for Readers' Favorite

Bitter Betrayal by Amanda M. Thrasher is a book with a purpose. She aims at educating teenagers about how their idea of "just having fun" can actually spoil their future. Payton, a sixteen-year-old teenager, is head-over-heels in love with Reece, a senior at a different school. In her head, she can see herself marrying Reece and spending rest of her life with him. As romantic as it sounds, their teenage love -- like any other love -- has its own share of problems. Although Reece keeps trying to go all the way with Payton, she respectfully declines him every time. She is not ready to go down that road, just yet. She second guesses her decision every now and then, but is determined to wait until she is ready. Trouble knocks on their door when the coach's daughter, Stacie, enters their lives. The green eyed monster is blinding Payton with jealousy and this is affecting her romantic life with Reece.

The author, Amanda M. Thrasher, has highlighted one very important problem that follows when teenagers consume alcohol. Being a teenager is difficult enough as it is, but adding alcohol doesn't make it any easier. The book is not just about the aftereffects of consuming alcohol; it also focuses on how it might impact the teenagers and their families. With the social media boom, can any secret remain buried for long? Bitter Betrayal is written in a very impressive style. Payton's conflicting thoughts and inner struggles would seem relatable to every teenage girl who is in love. There are so many emotions to deal with that Payton finds herself mostly overwhelmed. Reece, like any other teenage boy, finds his girlfriend's emotions annoying and irrational. He is, however, not a negative character. He respects Payton's decision to wait until she is ready. He doesn't push her to give in to his desires. There is a lot to learn from this book. I wish that parents would encourage their teenagers to read Bitter Betrayal and learn from it. An impressive plot, excellent story-telling, and smooth development of the story make this very readable.

Kim Anisi

Payton, the main character of the teen novel Bitter Betrayal by Amanda M. Thrasher, has a handsome boyfriend, great friends, and no serious problems - until Stacie, the daughter of the new coach, turns up. Suddenly, emotions like jealousy and bitterness find entry into Payton's life. It becomes even harder when her boyfriend, Reece, goes to a different school and Stacie goes there, too! Stacie, however, is well liked by everyone else, has her own boyfriend, and has done nothing wrong to Payton. It is only natural that Stacie invites her and Reece to a secret party, hidden in the woods, and everyone can take their own drinks and tents. This is when things start to go seriously wrong and, thanks to social media, compromising photos and videos soon find their way into the public eye.

It was a very well written story and I went through the chapters in almost no time. I am no longer a teenager or even a young adult, but I enjoyed reading about Payton, Reece, and the other teens - though I have to admit that I was really glad the author gave the full meaning of certain text message abbreviations. I would otherwise not have understood some of them (shows my age). The story is quite authentic and I can easily imagine these kind of things happening for real. I think this novel is great for young readers to teach them about what kinds of consequences certain behavior could have, e.g. drinking too much and being in the wrong place at the wrong time under the wrong circumstances. A book like this would be great for English literature lessons in schools - it could be used to start discussions and teach kids the importance of honesty and taking responsibility for your own actions. There are many lessons to be learned from Payton and I feel that kids these days often do not get these lessons from anybody, and then have to learn these things the hard and painful way.

Danita Dyess

In Bitter Betrayal by Amanda M. Thrasher, you quickly learn that Payton Phillips is a 16-year-old girl who knows one thing for sure: She loves Reece Townsend, her handsome, intelligent and athletic boyfriend of two years. But that may be her only truth. Before yesterday, she was happy and attending the local high school. She loved hanging out with Aubrey, her BFF, and Doug, Shane, Tristan and Maddie. But then, Stacie Wiggins, the new girl and Coach Wiggins's daughter, joins their group and everything changes in one night during an "epic" party. Could she have drunk so much that she did something she will regret for the rest of her life, or is someone else at fault?

I liked the cover of Bitter Betrayal and the pensive girl that aptly depicted the plot. The characters were colorful and complex and the dialogue was very genuine. The pace was fast for this 310-page work of fiction. As expected, this story dealt with some serious ethical issues and therefore served as a coming-of-age story. I identified with Payton and her love for Reece clouded by confusion. The significance of texting, the use of slang and the socialization of teens added to the authenticity. The complexity of relationships between the sexes will resonate with readers and keep them turning the page. Stacie's and Sophie's cunning and conspiratorial strategies created the right amount of tension and kept me guessing. Bitter Betrayal is highly recommended.