Bruiser by Neal Shusterman

Brewster nicknamed the Bruiser because of his bulky appearance, his mysterious life, and of course his name pretty much begs to be nicknamed the Bruiser is the star of this book. Tennyson named after the Tennyson is pissed. His sister is dating this hulking mass of loser. I mean he lives on an acre of dirt in a shack. He was voted Most Likely to get the Death Penalty. He won't touch his sister! He will make sure he knows to stay away from her. He is known for being this athletic and intelligent guy as well as a bit of a bully. But he knows he's doing the right thing. His sister just sees him as a stray. She has a thing for strays. And at first Bronte named after the Bronte Sisters (Their parents are literature professors) does see Brewster that way but then it forms into something else. She genuinely likes and cares about him so she's not going to let her brother tell him or her what to do. This is her decision, her life. But there is something about the Brewster that they both don't know. Something that will change them for the better but before that they will discover the worst sides of themselves. Well Tennyson mostly.

So what's the big secret you may be asking? Brewster cares a little too much. He stays away from people for a reason. They need to hate him because it's easier to hate them back. But if he does care about you, even a little then he will take on your pain. So his name does make sense but not for the reason you may initially think. His whole body is a bruise. You get a cut and he cares about you and he'll take it away from you. He doesn't do it on purpose. He can't control his power. He takes all this pain and he's just a big teddy bear because he doesn't hit anyone. It's against his nature. He has to be careful who he cares about because they might take advantage and if anyone were to know who knows what could happen to him. He needs to take care of his rambunctious half-brother Cody. He doesn't need to be taken away. What would happen if he left him with his Uncle, this stereotypical Southern older man who drinks all the time. Way too much drinking... And then he met Bronte and he likes her weird character. He's just scared what might happen if he has another person he cares about too much.

Shusterman, Shusterman, Shusterman. Look at you. You are completely different than what I'm used to. You're more of a dueling sides, humorous, and past times type of person. Well I'm sure Downsiders isn't like that but I haven't read it so yeah... Bruiser has me all super aware of him. I mean they kept on thinking of themselves. All Brewster thought was of others well also a little bit of himself because he didn't want someone close to him to seriously injure or kill themselves because that means he would be in a world of pain. He was also just trying to protect his heart. I got really mad at Tennyson even though I liked his smug remarks to a bully bothering Brewster and his whole attitude really. He stopped being a bully pretty fast which I find unrealistic but he did do some things towards the end... Then there was Bronte who has a very weird and quirky personality which I loved. I just didn't see the relationship most of the time. She just wanted to fix everything and she also had some of her own transgressions.

All the while their parents are going through a problem... which is putting it lightly. Lots of issues in the family. This was a very enjoyable book. It'll get you feeling like you want to go help this guy out. He's pretty perfect but the other people didn't really convince me of being either good people or I don't know... There were just some things that irked me about them. I like that Shusterman is doing this YA book that will get more readers to him. I mean he does the Skinjacker Series but I like that he's doing more books that a lot of people will love. And I've read most of books so it's nice to read anything by him really.


  1. This sounds like a great book with a lot going on in it. Awesome review! The cover is also interesting.


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