Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Bro” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.92  ·  Rating details ·  125 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Romeo knows the rules.
Stick with your own kind. Don’t dob on your mates, or even your enemies.
But even unwritten rules are made for breaking.
Fight Clubs, first loves and family ties are pushed to their limit in Helen Chebatte’s explosive debut novel.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 1st 2016 by Hardie Grant Egmont
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  125 ratings  ·  43 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
4.5 Stars
In the nineties when I was a teen, the Northern suburbs of Melbourne were a diverse and cultural blend, where your street may have resembled members of the United Nations. I attended a same sex school, much as the same as the connecting school of Saint Adele College and Christian Boys where the storyline takes place. Bro could have been my teen experience. It could have been the same stereotypical cultural groups that continued the trend of segregation. If you were an Aussie meaning Cau
Rob De
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Written in a language teens will relate to Bro delves into Australian identity and what that means to many different people.
Attending a generic Christian boys high school, our main character Romeo finds himself having to fight to defend his Lebanese heritage in a school divided into four distinct groups: Fobs - fresh off the boat mainly islanders, Lebs -Lebanese, Rez - Asians and Ozzies.
But what makes you a Leb when if you, as in Romeo's case, had an Australian mother and was born and live in Au
Nov 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
A straightforward, contemporary novel of different racial groups colliding in the school yard, resulting in a fight club and unexpected tragedies. Chebatte nails the jargon associated with South European/Middle Eastern males - if in Melbourne, 'muzzas' might be a good word to use. Bro speaks at a level intended for easy consumption.
Jul 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nbhs, read-2016
A gritty read, with themes as diverse as identity, loss and the power of peer pressure. This is a fairly slim volume, with lots of dialogue, and a familiar setting so I'll be recommending this to reluctant readers who require a text suitable for NCEA.
really enjoyed this one and it made me cry. Romeo was a good character and i jumped on board with his story from the beginning.
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ozya
A very important take on the racial hostilities between high school boys in Australia, Bro looks into the life of Romeo, a half-Australian half-Lebanese year 10 boy who just wants to get through school and get the girl.

But gossip is a nasty part of the high school experience, and before he knows it, Romeo is in the spotlight, caught in a war against the Aussie kids. There's a choice to make, and Romeo isn't making any of the right ones.

Chebatte makes a poignant point about how in the end, we a
Libby Armstrong
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
I hope we don't have to wait long for Helen Chebatte's next novel. To echo Trisha, she's fresh OZ YA talent to watch. Her use of a school boy fight club as her underlying plot enables her to skilfully interweave a number of themes - friendship, racial rivalry and peer pressure - into a modern day morality tale, without exactly clubbing you over the head with it. Chebatte's easy style will appeal to a broad readership, and should be a particular hit with reluctant readers. It's a book that made m ...more
Jan 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Easy read with issues relevant to teenage boys. Would teach to Year 9 boys.
Bro is Helen Chebatte's debut novel. Set in Western Sydney, the story revolves around Romeo Makhlouf, a sixteen year old boy attending a Christian boys high school. He lives with his dad and grandmother. His mother died of cancer five years ago and since then his father's moods have been up and down, creating a tense relationship between them. When he's challenged by an Aussie boy at school, their fight sets off a train of events that leads to disaster.

The main focus of Bro is identity and w
Debra Tidball
Feb 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
From a YA novel called 'Bro' about a fight club and racial tensions with fists punching out the title on the cover, I was expecting ugly brutality: I was surprised with vulnerability and sensitivity. I thoroughly enjoyed Helen Chebatte's debut novel with its West Side Story feel, set in Western Sydney, with appealing and engaging main characters.

Using first person narration, Chebatte takes the reader behind the bravado of the main character, Lebanese Australian teenager Romeo, to expose his vuln
Feb 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm not so much into writing reviews for books but its been a pretty god damn long time since I've been moved by a book...

I cried reading this book (something I've never done before). The book has a pretty powerful message and I was shocked when I realised the author is a woman, she has a very strong male voice.

My brother was involved in a fight club when he was in school so I've passed this one on to him and so far he's enjoying it.

The message is powerful in this novel, something definitely wor
Rania T
Apr 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
I finished this book in just under two hours, and its pace will appeal to Young Adult readers wholeheartedly. Helen Chebatte offers a slice of Aussie school life that those of us who grew up here, or have worked as teachers can relate to, and gives a glimpse into the rivalries that exist among ethnic groups in an all boys' high school. I also got to learn a few new slangs that I wasn't aware of, like the expression "dice" which is used to describe a gesture when greeting friends (fist to fist bu ...more
Apr 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm 12 and I read this book when I was 11. I was just starting Goodreads then and didn't really write reviews. This isn't really going to be a review of sorts more just a comment. I cried at the end of this book like full on tears. It was so sad. It had an amazing message and I am getting sad inside just thinking about it. Def recommend this book to *coughs* everyone. I finished it pretty quickly though so my only complaints would be to make it longer.
Michele Barnes
Jun 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: p-mccleod
Have been thinking about this book for a few days. I liked the beginning but just didn't like the 'convenience' of the ending. I can understand the author wanting a positive outcome but for me it didn't seem real and it happened too quickly but it's what you would want to happen after such tragedy.
Amy (Lost in a Good Book)
I wasn't sure I was going to like Bro but Chebatte definitely surprised me. It isn't a long book but it one that is important as it talks about trying to fit in when people class you as different on both sides, and the pressure of being loyal to your family roots, all with a delightfully Australian feel.

This is Boys 'R' Us meets Hate is Such a Strong Word in all the best ways. It is, I'll admit, very Australian. One could say too Australian, but I have heard teenage boys speak to one another and
Brydie Wright
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those novels that had me from the 'get go'. It's real and its engaging. It was great to read a YA fiction told from a male protagonist's perspective, devoid of the neuroses that often characterises books written for this age group. I warmed to Romeo and I loved that he was an incredibly relatable kid, telling his story from the POV of an Aussie teen of partial Lebanese origin. I've never read a book told from the perspective of a Lebanese Australian boy and I guess this is the poi ...more
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Quick, easy read with some weighty themes, but did feel uncomfortable about the slang terms for each of the groups of races. However, can see that they are used as I have heard them used at my daughter's multicultural school. Liked the exploration of violence begets violence and of course the name of the main character, Romeo.
I may be biased because of how Lebanese the protagonist was, but I really enjoyed this one. Not to mention the narrator of the audiobook was brilliant .

Although I am mad at the ending because it hurt my heart so much, I can't deny that this wasn't a great and realistic book showcasing the racism in Australia. I don't know if this book is for everyone, though.
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was ok
Firstly, thanks to Hardie Grant Egmont for this review copy.

Review originally posted at Fiction in Fiction in Fiction

2.5 stars

I’m a bit conflicted on how I feel about Bro. On one hand I thought it could be an accurate depiction of teenage high school life and the racial issues we are STILL dealing with in Australia. On the other hand I felt it was really stupid to be so largely centred on a fight club.

At first glance, main character Romeo “Romes” Makhlouf has no trouble with cultural identity.
Feb 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I found this book in the school library
Catherine Baker
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Really good book for teenagers. Written in a way they can connect with the characters. However, the book is Romeo and Juliet, set in a high school in the modern world. It is a copy.
Claude's Bookzone
May 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
2.5 Stars
What happens when you mix teenage boys, a fight club and ethnic rivalries? You get war. Romeo Makhlouf knows the rules. Stick with your own kind. Don’t dob on your mates or even on your enemies. Respect the family. But even unwritten rules are made for breaking. Fight clubs, first loves and family ties are pushed to the limit in Helen Chebatte’s explosive debut novel.

But despite Bro ticking a lot of “this book should be awesome” boxes…it ultimately wasn’t my kind of book. (Teenage boys, peoples,
Clare Snow
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teenage boys
Recommended to Clare by: the library
Such a powerful story about boys behaving badly and the tragic consequences.
"Anger doesn't serve anyone, Romeo. It never has, it never will. It's born of fear."

Julian Maroun's narration is exceptional and the fight scenes are very cleverly written.
Melly Franklin
I discovered this book through my local library's eBook collection. The main character, Romeo, gets into a fight with another boy at school over a girl. Then he is attacked by the boy and his friends after school one day, and then a final fight is organised between the two. But things get out of control, and end in tragedy.

I really felt for Romeo when reading this book. I found that I could easily empathise with him - I have a similar character to Romeo, in that I really don't like fighting or c
Rae Eather
Feb 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
So much of this story should not interest me - I'm a white female Australian and I finished school years ago. But I loved it. There aren't enough YA stories that cover the topic of racial tension in Australia, particularly with the main character from an immigrant background. (For the most part, anyone other than the First People are immigrants, but you know what I mean). There's an insight, not only into modern teenage males, but males across time that females just don't understand yet Helen Ch ...more
Andee K
Apr 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
To read about the home, social and school lives of different ethnicities to mine was so riveting and eye opening. Race rivalries, the strong division between groups, and the sense of loyalty to one race but not another because of your appearance. I’m a white Australian girl. I’ve grown up in a prominently white area and went to a prominently white school. Although my ancestors invaded this country, I’ve never really had to question my place in it. There are things I’ll never be confronted with s ...more
I am must just say at the outset that I listened to this on audio read by Julian Maroun, who did a brilliant job. This is a gripping read. The tension builds and builds. There are familiar young people in this story, and the stars of this show are the main characters - the Lebs of Christian Boys School. An exploration of identity, gangs, mob mentality, relationships, growth and change, the characters will move you. As an adult reader of many books for young people I can often see how the story w ...more
Kelli Bradicich
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Five reasons to read this book:
1) The characters - Romeo and Diz and Steph. They were real, full, with strengths and faults. I could relate to their stuff
2) The friendship and romance - Romeo always had someone on his side ....
3) Full of hooks I wanted to know what came next, would he get the girl? would he work it out? Crucibles, crucibles, crucibles
4) It forced me to get my head out of my life and stick it in someone else's, their culture, a world so different to mine
5) Short chapters, easy t
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »