Brutal Youth
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Brutal Youth

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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  589 ratings  ·  183 reviews
Three freshmen must join forces to survive at a troubled, working-class Catholic high school with a student body full of bullies and zealots, and a faculty that's even worse in Anthony Breznican's Brutal Youth

With a plunging reputation and enrollment rate, Saint Michael’s has become a crumbling dumping ground for expelled delinquents and a haven for thestridently religious...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published June 10th 2014 by Thomas Dunne Books
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  • Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican
    Brutal Youth
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    "If you thought high school was hell, has Anthony Breznican got a story for you…" - Stephen King

    GIVEAWAY: Three *signed, first edition* copies of BRUT…more
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    Ashley I had my library order a copy for me. Most library systems will allow you to request books for the library's collection. You can probably do it…moreI had my library order a copy for me. Most library systems will allow you to request books for the library's collection. You can probably do it online. Definitely worth checking out!(less)
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    Community Reviews

    (showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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    Delee

    Now there's a tragic waste of brutal youth
    Strip and polish this unvarnished truth
    The tricky door that gapes beneath the ragged noose
    The crippled verdict begs again for the lamest excuse...

    Elvis Costello- Favourite Hour

    I am really surprised there wasn't more buzz around BRUTAL YOUTH- maybe there was and I missed it somehow, but by the time I happened across this fabulous discovery- the release was just days away. Alluring cover, appealing title, and gripping plot description....everything about...more
    karen
    Everybody is somebody's bully

    i liked so very many things about this book

    1) that first chapter. jesus, what a stunner. probably the best opening chapter i have read since This is Not a Test

    2) that cover.

    3) hannah ♥ a truly memorable character

    4) the secret behind the allure of the east staircase.

    however, there were some missteps.

    i'll save my complaints for the end, because overall, i thought this was fantastic, and a really strong debut.

    it takes place at st. michael's - a private catholic high s...more
    James Dashner
    I was very lucky to read this book early. It's just amazing! So powerful in so many ways. Here's an official "blurb" I wrote up for Anthony and his publisher, and I can't say it any better:

    Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican is one of the best, most thought-provoking, troubling, captivating stories I've read in a long time. My heart still hurts when I think of what those characters went through. Breznican does a fantastic job of creating characters you fall in love with, making you experience thei...more
    Shelby *wants some flying monkeys*
    This review will contain some cusswords..probably a whole lot of cusswords.



    St. Michael's is a private school that has a history of hazing. The frigging teachers, principals and parents turn a blind eye to it. It's all harmless fun. Fucking bullies.
    In the prologue we get a glimpse of this innocent fun as a student has had enough and is tossing off statues and embalmed creatures at fellow students from the roof of the school.
    Then school begins. The story mainly focuses on three freshman students...more
    Melki
    "...this whole system has only one rule: You can't hurt anyone who can hurt you back."

    There's a bell tower vengeance scenario, a punctured cheek, severed digits, student/teacher hanky panky and a daring rescue...and that's just the prologue! BAM! Welcome to high school, kiddies!

    St. Michael's offers a well-rounded program of reading, writing and hazing. It's a vicious circle of torment as seniors who were made miserable when they were freshmen unleash a world of suffering on the newcomers to thei...more
    Becky
    I met Anthony Breznican while at BookCon last month. My friend and I had just left the Friday afternoon "This Is Where I Leave You" opening panel, which he moderated, had our $8 undrinkably strong Happy Hour drinks, won nothing in the raffle, and were kind of aimlessly trying to decide what to do when Stephen King's name caught my eye. (This happens kind of a lot. It's like I have Kingdar or something. Really.) I wandered over, saw that it was a blurb praising this book, made a mental note to ch...more
    Ryan Dejonghe
    The problem I have with BRUTAL YOUTH is its incongruous nature. At times, it reads like Young Adult, but its size and dark content pushes it into literary or adult fiction. Worse, those guest author blurbs. If you haven’t already, don’t read them! In the recent book THE STORIED LIFE OF A.J. FIKRY, they called these blurbs “the blood diamonds of the book industry.” Here, I can see why.


    Stephen King said this book had teachers that terrify; Gillian Flynn said it would be as “sharp as a well-carved...more
    Maciek
    Brutal Youth delivers exactly what it promises with its title and in spades, but little beyond it. Set in a catholic high school which is literally crumbling to pieces, it covers the freshmen year of three different new students and all the hazing that the seniors can throw at them. And at a institution where the faculty not turns a blind eye to bullying but actively encourages it as "team-building", this means a lot of deviously creative cruelty.

    Perhaps I read this book too soon after the excel...more
    Nemo
    For a full and edited review go to Blame it on the Books

    5 Brutally Emotional Stars


    Brutal Youth was full of extraordinary characters with stories I’ll never forget. We had 6 main characters, 3 were adults (Sister Maria, Father Mercedes, and Mr.Zimmer) and 3 students (Stein, Davidek, and Loreli)

    St.Mike’s was once a normal catholic school that upheld all the moral values stated in the bible, but all that changed as life got difficult for the seniors, they took it out on the freshmens.

    “Those wh...more
    Lisbeth Avery {Domus Libri}
    Brutal Youth tells the inspiring story of three teenagers, each with their own troubles. While, technically, Brutal Youth was written as an anti-bullying book, it doesn't feel like the average one. Most of the books I've read have extremely heavy messages that bog down the actual story and taint the overall experience. Often the characters are weak and flimsy as well. At the end of the day, the message fails to make a lasting impact with the reader.

    However, Brutal Youth doesn't seem to want to g...more
    Anna Janelle
    Yinz like Pittsburgh, n'at?

    Oh my gosh! Geez louise. I do. I live here, and I LOVE it. How's abaht this book is in SET IN PITTSBURGH - and I didn't even know it until I started reading?! Tons of local references - complete with shout outs to Eat 'n Park and Edgar Snyder commercials. Plus, it was good. Actually, GREAT. I loved this book almost as much as I love Pittsburgh, and, that, my friends, is saying something.

    At the root of this book is an ugly story about the cruelties of high-school hazi...more
    Ashley
    After reading the prologue of this book, I was 100% sure I was going to love it. That is not exactly what ended up happening.

    Let me tell you what happens in the prologue, as a sort of illustration: The book opens with this kid on the roof. He’s pretty much an outcast, and he’s been chased up there by his schoolmates. He’s wearing a uniform, so this is a private school, and there are statues of Saints decorating the roof, so it’s Catholic. This kid is a junior, but he’s desperate. The other kids...more
    Andrew Campbell
    Ugh. There are too many good books to waste time with tripe like this.

    Lather, rinse, repeat. A lot of hand-wringing over garden-variety hazing. Yep, I'll say it: none of the treatment the freshmen suffer is particularly imaginative or offensive. There's just a lot of it.

    And that's the only note Mr. Breznican plays: abuse at the hands of betters. I didn't encounter a moment of levity or a glimpse of respite, didn't find present any indication of the ebbing innocence that is the indulgence- if onl...more
    Larry Hoffer
    Some say that the high school years are the best years of your life. Those who say that never attended St. Michael's school. Anthony Breznican's novel, Brutal Youth, essentially chronicles one year—1991—at this Catholic high school, which would make the principal from Lean On Me, the teacher from Dangerous Minds, and the students from Heathers or Mean Girls transfer as quickly as possible.

    Peter Davidek has always lived in the shadow of his older brother, Charlie, which isn't a good thing, since...more
    Denise
    "Catholic school - as vicious as Roman Rule." (Death Cab for Cutie)

    I really liked this book though it was very disturbing and dark. As a teacher, librarian and nurse at a Catholic high school, I have heard that phrase a million times since the song with those lyrics came out ~2005. There seems to be no end to the inventive ways that students find to torment each other. Though this book was set in the 1990s, many of the behaviors and problems described exist in school settings today. Students in...more
    Debra
    Stephen King Recommended.

    “If you thought high school was hell, has Anthony Breznican got a story for you. Every bully who stalked you, every sadistic teacher who ever terrified you, every stupid prank, every hopeless crush and false friend: they’re all here, along with a few kids who hang together and try to do the right thing in a brutal environment. By turns funny and terrifying, BRUTAL YOUTH is an unputdownable tour-de-force, a REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE for the 21st century.” ~ Stephen King

    9/16/1...more
    Tessa
    This was brutal all right. Recommended to all the people who are in a really bad place right now: so you can see that it can be worse and that life isn't fair. Or maybe not.... If you are suicidal this book could convince you to make that final step.

    I've boosted the rating for this book to 2 stars. 1 star for being entertaining (it did not bore me) and 1 extra star for the awesome character development.

    After I finished this book I originally didn't wanted to write a review for it. I really liked...more
    LAPL Reads
    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. This quote from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities has been used to describe many and various situations and circumstances. One place for which this quote can be particularly apt is high school. For some people, the time they spent in grades 9-12 will come to be the happiest in their lives, their “glory days,” and will represent the lifelong pinnacle of their personal achievements. Others will experience the opposite: four years of seemin...more
    Ashlea
    The books I enjoy the most never leave me feeling empty. I experience a maelstrom of emotions while I'm reading (anguish and hurt over the pain of the characters, laughter at a good bit of dialogue and anger at the crap the characters have to deal with) and then after I'm done, I just want to sit and absorb what I've read. Brutal Youth was one of those books for me. Not only was it my favorite book I've ever reviewed for NetGalley, it's one of the best I've read this year.

    In the prologue, we are...more
    Gabby
    I received an ARC from NetGalley.com of Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican in exchange for an honest review.

    It is a small miracle that any student at Saint Michael's actually has the time to take classes much less pass any of them given the whole dysfunctional nature of the school. The school charges a tuition which doesn't begin to cover the serious list of repairs that need to be done to the dilapidated building,yet parents still send their children to the place rather than to the public school...more
    Sandie
    This powerful, mesmerizing novel transports the reader to that time in all our lives that most of us remember as our most unsettling and frightening experience - our freshmen year in high school. With BRUTAL YOUTH Anthony Breznican sweeps us back to those turbulent days of uncertainty and insecurity when we treaded the halls with trepidation and didn't know who to count as friends and who as foes. At St. Michael the Archangel high school the pastor, principle, guidance counselor and teachers, li...more
    Nick Ivey
    I have been an an avid reader for years and this book is one of those rare pieces, in this age of trilogies, that you actually want for a sequel when you get to the end of the story. Mr. Breznican does a wonderful job of building characters that you cheer for one second and against the next. This being his first outing he does a great job weaving a storyteller like feel to this novel, you almost feel as your reading it that your sitting with a friend or family member who is recalling a set of me...more
    JoAnn
    5 Red Clip-On Tie Stars

    This book had my emotions going all over the place from anger to empathy, sadness to disgust, but also with a smidge of laughter thrown in once in awhile. The author made the characters real in his vivid descriptions, their thoughts and actions. As dark and tragic as this book is from prologue to epilogue, I thought the writing was spectacular.

    ..."You have to face the worst things in your life, or maybe you become one of those things."
    Lisa
    Everyone comes away from high school with some scars – some with scars as deep, brutal and lasting as Noah Stein’s, and others with scars that are topical and that will fade with time. However, one is lying if one says that they escaped high school unscathed, for high school is probably one of the most trying times of one’s life; one is expected to “act like an adult” (and really, what does that even mean??), yet one is also faced with situations that make even the steeliest person want to cry i...more
    April Gress
    This book begins much like a the beginnings of a horse race. Bang! And they’re off! Welcome to high school hell. We’re greeted by Colin on the roof of St. Michael the Archangel High School in a situation that is boiling over like a pressure cooker left simmering far too long. The prologue of Brutal Youth gripped me so thoroughly that by page seven I knew I wouldn’t be able to put this book down and walk away from it. I had to know how it ended.

    I don’t want to give away too much but the situation...more
    Merril Anil
    Pretty Intense and a very well put together book

    “The things we surrender to when we're young, we keep surrendering to the rest of our lives.”


    Brutal Youth is a glaring example of the fact that none of us are born evil but its the circumstances that makes us evil. Sometimes we do things that seems right and justified at the moment but only to be felt as wrong and evil when looked back.

    Brutal Youth is a story that tells the story of youth, friendships, debauchery,heartbreak, survival instincts a...more
    Natalie Harnett
    Anthony Breznican's debut novel, BRUTAL YOUTH, is not only a page-turner but it will surprise you at every turn. As the title tells, this is a story about the brutalities of youth, but it is also a story about the brutalities of the human heart and how our insecurities motivate us in ways we often don't understand. Breznican, however, understands his characters and in two sentences is able to sum up the life of a particularly bitter, once-pretty woman. As the woman eyes a teenage boy, she recall...more
    Dani
    You know its going to be a good book when the story starts off with a psycho kid completely losing it on his school.

    The images that the author portrays in his story are stark, gritty and so very, deliciously graphic. I love the writing style; how its all about describing the experience, and how the characters see their world rather then just telling what happened. That’s a major difference between good authors and bad ones. This book is something to be experienced and thought about, not just a...more
    Aurora Dimitre
    As soon as I heard about this book, I wanted it. Partly because of the blurb on the front by Stephen King, mostly because when I heard "horrible things happening at Catholic school", I thought Chocolate War, which is one of my favorites.

    And it is kind of like The Chocolate War. If The Chocolate War was two hundred pages longer and ten times sadder.

    The book follows three freshman at St. Michael's - Peter Davidek, who you could call the main character of the main characters, Noah Stein, the 'reb...more
    Lou Davanzo
    I received an ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway, and I'm glad I did. Life and high school are not always fair. Brutal Youth illustrates this starkly and poignantly. This is not an easy book to enjoy, but if you make the effort you will be richly rewarded. The characters are fully formed and worth rooting for, although as Peter, the protagonist, points out, the good guys don't always win. If you need happy endings all tied up in a red ribbon, look elsewhere, as Brutal Youth stops somewhere...more
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    Anthony Breznican is a reporter who has worked for The Arizona Republic, the Associated Press, USA Today, and is currently on staff at Entertainment Weekly.

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    “The things we surrender to when we're young, we keep surrendering to the rest of our lives.” 9 likes
    “So now she was trying her best to make conversation, but a parent can't leave a child alone for so long and expect the occasional nicety to count for much. Those bonds break away much more quickly and permanently than most people would like to believe.” 6 likes
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