Bruiser, Neal Shusterman

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2 Responses to “Bruiser, Neal Shusterman”

  1. bachbooks Says:

    Summary:
    When Bronte begins to date Brewster (a.k.a. “Bruiser”) her brother Tennyson tries to scare the mysterious loner away from his sister. His attempts to drive them apart end up connecting both brother and sister to Bruiser in ways they never could have imagined. As their parents’ marriage falls apart, the teens rely on their friendship to hold their families together. When tragedy strikes, the strength of their friendship is put to the ultimate test.

    Evaluation:
    I enjoyed how Shusterman presented various chapters from the perspectives of four main characters: Tennyson, Bronte, Bruiser, and Cody. Seeing the story through each of their eyes helped me understand a bit about each of their characters; at the same time, this narrative relay kept me from ever really connecting deeply with any one character enough to truly sympathize with them. The SAT vocabulary and literary references definitely appealed to the librarian in me, and I like that the author has teens wrestling with weighty issues of the potential value of pain and suffering in life. All in all I found Bruiser good but not a great book.

    Rating: 3 stars

    Recommendations: Twilight, Eleanor & Park, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

  2. Dante C. Says:

    Summary: Sixteen-year-old Tennyson gets mad when he finds out that his twin sister, Bronte, is going out with Bruiser, the boy voted Most Likely to Go to Jail, but Bronte keeps saying that nobody understands Bruiser. Tennyson finally is persuaded and becomes friends with Bruiser, and that’s when the twins experience something weird. Their wounds and scrapes go away throughout the night as Bruiser gains a serious amount of new scars; somehow he takes away the hurt, both physically and emotionally, from the friends and family that he loves.

    Evaluation: Bruiser is a really different story, and has an even weirder protagonist. Brewster possesses the power to take the hurt from the people he loves by taking it from both their physical and mental wounds. His care for the friends and family that he deals with gives him tons of scars, but still, he takes it and doesn’t even whine. Shusterman makes a really likeable protagonist in this book, and Brewster got me to feel bad for him from start to finish. But, there was a lot that I didn’t understand like how and why Brewster can take people’s cuts and the how he developed this. The plot created tons of confusion, most of them cleared up later, but there were still a couple ones left.

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