June 24, 2010

Bruiser - Neal Shusterman

Middle Grade
Pages: 336
BruiserPublisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: June 29, 2010

Don't get me started on the Bruiser. He was voted "Most Likely to Get the Death Penalty" by the entire school. He's the kid no one knows, no one talks to, and everyone hears disturbing rumors about. So why is my sister, Brontë, dating him? One of these days she's going to take in the wrong stray dog, and it's not going to end well.
My brother has no right to talk about Brewster that way—no right to threaten him. There's a reason why Brewster can't have friends—why he can't care about too many people. Because when he cares about you, things start to happen. Impossible things that can't be explained. I know, because they're happening to me.

As much as I loved this book, I still found it a little too depressing for my taste, yet still absolutely unforgettable. Wonderful writing, of course, because it is Neal Shusterman after all.

The story is told from 4 different points of view, which I normally love, except this time I felt it was somehow frustrating. One of them is Cody, Bruiser's 8 year-old brother. So, um, I was really reluctant when I read his name on the beginning of the chapter. After reading it, I still found it unnecessary. On the other hand, Bruiser's (Brewster) voice was incredibly amazing. In his point of view the writing becomes very poetic (he likes poetry) and is told in verse. His parts and Tennyson's were my favorites. And then there's Brontë (such a cool name btw) with her dull voice. She falls into the all-too-nice almost-stupid category again. She's the typical character that always realizes things a bit too late. You know, like that friend that laughs at a joke five minutes after its told. Except her stuff is serious stuff so it's that much worse that she kind of lives in Limbo land.

The premise was completely creative and hard to process. It's one of those books that you keep wondering how it will end because you see no way around it. The plot was very intense and intriguing. But overall this is one of those books so so different that you don't want to miss it.


  1. Sounds intense. I don't know about the 4 alternating voices, but I've been meaning to read some Schusterman for a while now.

  2. We're glad you recommend Bruiser even if it was a difficult read for you. Just so you know, if anyone wants to read the first few chapters online for free, you can do that here: http://bit.ly/a6Wg5E

  3. I really like the sound of this, and I love Neal Shusterman's other books. Thanks for a great review!


Say something...