Bruiser

( 149 )

Overview

Tennyson:
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.

Brontë:
My brother has no right to talk about Brewster that way—no ...

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Bruiser

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Overview

Tennyson:
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.

Brontë:
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.

Award-winning author Neal Shusterman has crafted a chilling and unforgettable novel about the power of unconditional friendship, the complex gear workings of a family, and the sacrifices we endure for the people we love.

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Editorial Reviews

Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“Shusterman’s writing is wonderful and a joy to read. The subject matter makes this a great book discussion choice.”
Publishers Weekly
In this thought-provoking, low-key drama, Shusterman (Unwind) examines the bonds between family, friends, and community, and how the individual can affect the whole. Sixteen-year-old twins Tennyson and Brontë Sternberger aren't the closest of siblings, but Tennyson is concerned when his sister starts dating Brewster "Bruiser" Rawlins, an antisocial delinquent from a dubious family. But as the Sternbergers grow closer to Bruiser, they discover his secret: he takes on the pain and injuries of those he cares about, healing them at his own expense, whether he wants to or not. He can even soothe emotional wounds--his mere presence is enough to save the twins' parents' fragmenting marriage--but the cost to Bruiser may be unbearable. Tennyson and Brontë must face the unintended consequences of their actions when disaster strikes and a lifetime of healing others takes its toll on their new friend. Even as the narrative wrestles with philosophical and moral issues, it delves deep into the viewpoints of Tennyson, Brontë, Bruiser, and his younger brother, each segment told in a different, distinctive style, making for a memorable story. Ages 14-up. (July)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"This eloquent and thoughtful story will most certainly leave its mark."
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“This eloquent and thoughtful story will most certainly leave its mark.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“This eloquent and thoughtful story will most certainly leave its mark.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“This eloquent and thoughtful story will most certainly leave its mark.”
ALA Booklist
“The compelling issues and engaging premise make this a rewarding read.”
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Tennyson, 16, is a hulking loner who seems to possess the power to heal both physical and psychic hurts. When his twin sister, Brontë, befriends their shy and withdrawn classmate Brewster "Bruiser" Rawlins, he is concerned that her relationship with this boy from the wrong side of the tracks will prove somehow dangerous. After he spies Bruiser changing in the locker room and notices that his back is covered in scars and welts, he becomes even more certain that the teen and his family are bad news. In spite of her brother's warnings, Brontë continues her relationship with Bruiser, drawing him closer to her family—and Tennyson—in the process. The twins begin to notice Bruiser's unusual talent: not only can he assume the physical pain and wounds of those he cares about, but he can also absorb their anger, hurt, and grief. Told from the three characters' alternating perspectives, with Brewster's rendered in poetic form, Shusterman's novel reveals its secrets and their implications slowly, allowing readers to connect the dots before the characters do and encouraging them to weigh the price of Bruiser's "gift" against the freedom from pain that Tennyson and Brontë enjoy.—Amy S. Pattee, Simmons College, Boston
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061134104
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/4/2011
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 54,626
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Neal Shusterman
Neal Shusterman is the author of many critically acclaimed novels for young adults, including the Skinjacker trilogy, Unwind, and Downsiders. He also writes screenplays for motion pictures and television shows. The father of four children, Neal lives in southern California.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 149 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(98)

4 Star

(28)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(7)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 150 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Awesome Read!

    This book was a web of astonishment. A true! ...but not so true story. Throughout the book, you have the voice of four unique characters that tie things up with a great message. In my opinion, this story told a message in the most unique way I've ever read so far.

    In a nutshell, the story is about a girl, Bronte, who has been dating the Bruiser and soon finds out with her brother Tennyson that there's more to him them just the name "Bruiser".He has a special ability that I dare not mention because it's far more deserving than to just blab about.
    Neal Shusterman has written a well thought-out book so I recommend you read it.

    If that's not enough...the humor, action, science, and sheer wonder of the story will hopefully get you to read this book.

    26 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 11, 2012

    A Quiet Book That Packs A Big Punch

    My first Neal Shusterman book was Unwind, which completely blew my mind, so much so that I still haven't been quite able to put my thoughts to paper and write a review. After experiencing Unwind (and after a little decompression period, because wow, that was an intense read) I wanted to check out more from the author. Lucky for me I found a copy of his latest, Bruiser, at my local library. The jacket description of the book seemed to indicate some kind of supernatural element in it, but I was unsure what that might be starting the book. But you know, I found that to be kind of refreshing. Most of the paranormal books I read these days let you know right from the start: "Hey,You! This book is about werewolves (or vampires, or zombie's, etc.)" There was no jarring reveal in Bruiser, the special talent that he possesses is gradually revealed to the reader. But what I love about Bruiser, is Shusterman's writing. The book is told from multiple view points: brother and sister Tennyson and Brontë, Brewster (aka Bruiser) and his younger brother Cody. Sometimes this works in a book, and sometimes it doesn't. I, however, liked these alternating POV's, they gave real insight into the characters. Brewster's narration is written in verse, which I LOVED because it is a total play on irony. Brewster, the kid, who according to his classmates is most likely to die by lethal injection, thinks in poetic verse. Reading his passages you realize this misunderstood boy has the heart of a poet with the tragic life story to match.

    Bruiser is a classic fairy tale in many ways, seemingly light and magical but really dark and tragic. Like Unwind, there is an underlying tension early on in the story that never really releases its grip. And like Unwind, many parts of Bruiser moved me to tears, especially the parts where Brew tells the story of his growing up, the loss of his mother, and his reasons for shutting himself off from the world. It's truly heartbreaking to read. The passages with Brew's Uncle Hoyt are intense, terrifying, and engrossing. Yet there is also a love story between Brew and Brontë , and Bruiser, at it's core, is a book about love and friendship, loyalty and sacrifice.

    In Bruiser, Shusterman writes a story that is at one moment terrifying, the next touching and tender, and I love that. To say I am anxious to read more of his work is probably an understatement. Some reviews I have read had issues with the ending, but I walked away from the book feeling pretty satisfied, if not a little emotionally spent. While this book has a supernatural/ paranormal aspect to it, it's written so realistically that it was not hard at all for me to suspend my disbelief and feel these events could really take place. To me, that is the mark of a great read. And it would appear that Bruiser is a stand alone book. In this YA world of sequels and prequels, Bruiser wraps up nicely with no big cliffhanger’s. Bruiser is a quiet book that packs a powerful punch.

    15 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2012

    Bruiser

    I absolutely love this book! It is awesome!!

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2011

    Omg

    Soo good i loved and still love.this book is great for everyone im 12

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2012

    Such a deep book!

    It has a lot of meaning to it, both in the story and the affects of it afterwards. Such a good book! Id recommend it!!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2012

    Best book for 2012!

    Loved it i read it in sixth grade amazing book!!!!!

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2012

    Great book!

    This book is a year above my grade level but i still love to read it. Its perfectly plotted and i love the turning points. The author did a great job writing this and how he connected the four characters together. I recomend this book!

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 24, 2011

    Interesting

    The authers writing here is very unique in style ...... and so is the topic! Its told from 4 different perspectives so its hard to really hate tenny, brew,cody,or bronte cause you understand them. The book is neutral gender written for anyone to injoy.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2011

    AWESOME

    Omg yew have got to ead this if your a 7th grade or 8th grade teacher you need to reccomend this book also read Full Tilt...

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2011

    Amazing

    I loved this book but it made me cry!! The end ia so sad! But then on the last page it gets happy but i was still crying

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Deep, passionate, memora YEAR

    In my lifetime, I've given very few books five stars.
    The Harry Potters, John Grisham, Jodi Picoult, Markus Zusak, the occasional one hit wonder....
    But I certainly haven't give a book five stars in quite a while.
    Bruiser by Neal Shusterman however, deserves that rating completely and utterly.

    A while ago, I read Everlost and Unwind by Neal Shusterman. They are both considered children fantasy (and pretty much earning that title) so I was happy when I heard about Neal Shusterman's Young Adult debut.

    I like it when I can actually grow up with an author. You see, if I read a book made for children by one of my favorite authors as a child, than have them write young adult books while am a young adult, then finally write adult books as I become grown up, the cycle would be perfect.

    Ah, if only J.K Rowling would follow this cycle.

    Anyway, I picked up Bruiser from the library not knowing quite what to expect. Neal Shusterman's fantasy is usually of...epic proportions, so how it be?

    Let's find out, shall we?

    Bruiser is a novel about three teens, and narrated by then. Brewster, Bronte, and Tennyson. One day, while in the library, Bronte bumps into Brewster. He is generally a social outcast, with the rumor mill revolving around him. He tells Bronte he's looking for a book of poetry (Sorry I can't remember the name) and she thinks he's just trying to impress a girl.

    Bronte learns that he's a lot deeper than that, and soon, begins to date him.

    Tennyson, however, is looking to protect his sister. He believes that Tennyson is just a no-good thug, so one day, he confronts him and tells him to stay away from his sister.

    Deciding he needs to learn a little bit more about Tennyson, he follows him home. He sees a younger brother, and a potentially psychotic uncle. Bruiser spots him and invites him in, to shows him he doesn't live in a trash can. The house is normal. Tennyson apologizes, and they become friends.

    Bronte continues to date Brewster, and soon, she and Tennyson learn a secret about him. Anytime he starts to care about someone, and if that person gets hurt, the pain (and the scar) is transferred to his body.

    This is why he can't get close to anyone.

    And why he can't leave his uncle.

    In a string of events (and a 1/3 narration from Brewster in the form of poetry) we face humor, hurt, sadness, and suspense. It's a nagging, annoying (but ultimately satisfying) feeling that Brewster, as hard as he may try, can't take away from the reader.

    This book was AWESOME. I finished it in give or take three hours, which now angers me because I should've been smart and paced myself.

    This book is very deep, touching, and (unintentionally) dramatic. It's very suspenseful at times, especially at the part when Uncle Hoyt gets drunk and Brewster is not there to save little Cody....

    The book also has a few moments of hilarity, and I'm only noting that because it takes a while to stop laughing after each bittersweet joke.

    Brewster's narration was probably the best [1/3 mind you] part of the book. He wrote in the form of free verse poetry, which made parts slightly incoherent, but appropriate.

    Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone. It has a message lying between the words, and you'll be a better person for seeing what it is.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2012

    Amazing

    I read this book a couple of weeks ago. In the beginning its slow but it picks up and is a MUST READ!! I 100% recommand it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2012

    Fantastic!

    This book gets very intense at times. There were times when i wanted to throw the nook through a wall, thats a great sign of a good book. I recomend this to anybody in middle school and up. READ THIS BOOK!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2013

    AWESOME

    I absolutely LOVE this book. It is sad but good and has an AMAZING story line. This book is great for anybody of any age!!! Just buy it!! I can promise you are gonna love it!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2012

    Loved it

    What an awesome touching story.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2012

    Heart touching!!!

    This book absolutly touched my heart and made me want to cry and cheer for ther characters at the same time:) its totally worth your time to read, and this book, Bruiser definetly taught me to think twice before making fun of social outcasts.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2012

    Wonderful

    Alot of kids and teachers at my school recommned this book. At first i was busy reading other books then when i read all the books i wanted to, i thought of this book. Brew is such a true man who would do anything for anyone that he cared about. This was a great read and i read with hours of without getting up. This is apporiate for school and parents would approve. Loved it

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2012

    Hi

    Im still reading this book. I started yesterday and im all most done. This book is one of the best books ive ever read. Even though its summer vaca, i still love reading and im defgenetilly gonna read this book again!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2012

    LOVED

    This book was so great i loved it and i usually dont pick up these types of books!!! Very great book!!! Sad and well written!!! Recommend to anyone

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2012

    Great book!!

    This book is AMAZING! I recomend it to anybody looking for a really good read. It was so great there are not enough stars to put on here

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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