Erin's Reviews > Bruiser

Bruiser by Neal Shusterman
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Aug 30, 11

bookshelves: reading-challenge, little-romance, morals-themes-and-lessons, paranormal, multiple-narrators
Read from August 27 to 30, 2011

This book bummed me out. Not because it was a downer, necessarily, but because I could see all this room for excellence in it that never was fully realized. I think Shusterman is good at developing a likable and mildly amusing voice for his characters, but man if they don't all sound the same. And the poetry sections? Horrifying.

Bruiser is the story of twins Tennyson and Bronte, and the changes that Bronte's new boyfriend (Brewster, commonly known as the Bruiser) makes in their lives. I'm about to reveal something that is a spoiler in the sense that knowing Edward is a vampire is a spoiler, so prepare thyselves. (view spoiler) A lovely picture, I know.

So, at first I was convinced this book and I would have a love relatioship of epic proportions. It starts out in Tennyson's perspective, and he is great. Kind of a jerk, but in a way that I can really see a high school boy acting, not like the suave billionaire type of jerk. And even though he did things that I knew would make me dislike him in real life, the peek into his mind that the first person perspective gave me caused me to really, REALLY love him. The problem? Shusterman made the (bad) decision to alternate perspectives like crazy, switching between Bronte, Tennyson, Brewster, and Cody, Brewster's brother. Seriously bad move, dude! Espesh for the Bruiser's sections. Emo poetry is SO not my thing. I can't be the judge as to the poetry's actual merit, because I avoid poetry as a rule, but I'm guessing it wasn't exactly good as far as poetry goes.

Another negative was that the message came across as heavy-handed. Literally all you have to do is read the first hundred pages to understand what the moral will be.

This would have been so good if the whole thing had just crossed back and forth between Tennyson and Bronte, though! I still really adore Tennyson. And I don't even know what the point was of including Cody's perspective. Blahhh.

So, do I recommend this? Yes, to Shusterman fans, or anyone who's looking for a quick read (probably two days and you'll be done). It's humorous and feels "light" even though it has an important message to convey. But if poetry makes you want to barf, consider finding another book.

Seriously. Brewster's sections. The worst.

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Reading Progress

08/28/2011 page 78
22.0%
08/29/2011 page 249
71.0% "potential = squandered"

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