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Bruised

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3.79  ·  Rating details ·  243 ratings  ·  84 reviews
Whip It meets We Are Okay in this vibrant coming-of-age story, about a teen girl navigates first love, identity, and grief when she immerses herself in the colorful, brutal, beautiful world of roller derby—from the acclaimed author of Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens.

To Daya Wijesinghe, a bruise is a mixture of comfort and control. Since her parents died in an accident she s
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Hardcover, 336 pages
Published March 23rd 2021 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Alex Baker This is a trickier question that it initially seems 'cause with the exception of an older lesbian couple, the book mostly avoids labelling anyone's se…moreThis is a trickier question that it initially seems 'cause with the exception of an older lesbian couple, the book mostly avoids labelling anyone's sexuality. For example, the protagonist talks about dating and/or hooking up with guys, but it's a little ambiguous if she felt any attraction to them or if it was because she was expected to, and her main love interest is female. Likewise, a major supporting character seems to flirt with girls, but at the same time is pretty closed off to her feelings so it could be harmless, while she's implied to have left a party with a guy, and has a steamy make-out dance in a F/M/M scenario. On top of all this, a number of characters use they/them pronouns, and members of a queer ball hockey team, but you don't get a sense of how they identify. TLDR Edition: Rather than labels, it's probably easier to just say there's F/F rep, NB/F rep, and some background M/M & the aforementioned F/M/M encounter.(less)
Althea It isn't, it's a novel! (Not sure why it's been shelved as such!)…moreIt isn't, it's a novel! (Not sure why it's been shelved as such!)(less)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  243 ratings  ·  84 reviews


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rachel ☾
Whip It meets We Are Okay in this vibrant coming-of-age story, about a teen girl navigates first love, identity, and grief when she immerses herself in the colorful, brutal, beautiful world of roller derby.


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laurel [the suspected bibliophile]
TW: Self-harm, emotional abuse, parental death, grief

Ever since her parents' deaths in a horrifying car accident, Daya has pushed the world away. She's repressed her feelings, choosing physical pain over grief, using bruises to push down her underlying guilt. Until she's introduced to the world of roller derby, and discovers that there are different ways to be strong, and different ways to express your hurt. And that sometimes, it's okay to go a different way.

This was fabulous. Highly, highly re
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sarah
Jan 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an eArc in exchange for an honest review!

I loved every single second of this book, and have literally no critiques. The characters were well rounded and fleshed out, the depiction of grief and self-blame felt genuine, the roller derby scenes were awesome, and the romance made my heart fill with joy. I loved EVERY character, and appreciated Boteju's ability to write a naturally diverse story without it feeling like boxes were being t
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birdie
it’s been scientifically proven that i can’t resist coming of age books that deal with grief and are sapphic. so, obviously, i was ready to get hurt by this book.

you could say i was quite disappointed when i left this book with an empty feeling instead of with full eyes. my expectations for bruised were quite high, but i just needed it to be more; more empowering, more emotional, more everything.

so yeah, despite the diversity being on point, i can’t rate this any higher than two stars. for a mor
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USOM
Mar 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Bruised continued my love of Boteju's books from Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens. It's a book about discovering roller derby, new communities, and pieces of ourselves. Daya is still reeling from the grief of losing her parents. As readers we get to know them through memories and snippets. The ways her dad pushed her to box and to be tough. All the times she didn't understand her mothe
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Alex
Nov 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 12-and-13
Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Bruised in exchange for an honest review.

I love stories about grief. I love sapphic stories. Bruised sounded perfect.

Boteju does a really good job of writing teenagers in a way that feels real and it made Daya's pain, grief, and unhealthy coping mechanisms pack that much harder of a punch. I loved her journey towards healing and while I did like the romance, I'm not a big fan of healing stories being intertwined this strongly with the beginning of
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Zizzy W
Jul 13, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
My HEART got bruised looking at this cover because it's AMAZINGGG ...more
Lisa Pineo
"Bruised" by Tanya Boteju, Simon & Schuster Canada
Category: YA LGBTQ romance
*I received this eARC from Simon & Schuster Canada via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
My rating: 5 stars
TW (trigger warnings): death, self-harm, bullying, mention of domestic abuse

Description from the publisher:
To Daya Wijesinghe, a bruise is a mixture of comfort and control. Since her parents died in an accident she survived, bruises have become a way to keep her pain on the surface of her skin so she doesn’
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Kristin
Feb 17, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is so much to love about this book. It deals with grief is a such an incredible way and I always appreciate a book that talks about the benefits of therapy.

I felt a connection to Daya, but it is the side characters who really shine in this and who help Daya through her grief even when she was resistant to it.

The romance is also really sweet and the roller derby element was compelling. I loved that the author included a breakdown of the history of the sport at the end.

I am excited for it
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The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
Full Review on The Candid Cover

Bruised by Tanya Boteju is a heavier read than I would normally gravitate to, but I enjoyed every page. This one is a great introduction to roller derby, and I loved being immersed in this fast-paced world. The main character is tough, but as the book progresses, she learns to embrace different forms of strength. I would recommend this one to those looking for a more serious coming-of-age story.

As a way of coping with the loss of her parents, Daya joins a roller de
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Mia
Mar 27, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
CW: self-harm, bullying, parental death

Bruised is self-exemination, emotional and enthralling read. Daya has such well built character arc and all her friends and her uncle and aunt are amazing. Romance between her Shanti was really sweet and roller derby part was fun to read.
Ruei (Ruei's Reading Corner)
Mar 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, read-in-2021
Full Review: https://rueisreadingcorner.blogspot.c...

After surviving an accident that takes away her parents, Daya's life is turned upside down. Every day seems to be a nightmare and living with her aunt and uncle doesn't make things better. To help herself cope with loss, she gives herself bruises to fight against the internal pain.

Daya keeps to herself and the only time she socializes is at the skatepark. After seeing a roller derby bout in action, she decides to try it because it looks like a
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Manon the Malicious
*4.5 Stars*

I was provided an ARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

TW: death of a parent, self harm, car crash, grief.

Daya Wijesinghe just lost her parents in a horrible car crash she feels guilty for. She's not living with her uncle she barely knew and his wife which also means she goes to a new school but doesn't socialize there or anywhere really except for the skate-park. She loves skating cause it gets her out of her head and she can fully focus on her body and she also likes t
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artemis
Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada and NetGalley for providing me with an excerpt in exchange of a honest review.

The book itself I actually didn't mind, I love me some sports books despite me being the least sporty person ever (aside from me being into hockey/figure skating and loving dance) so this was another great addition! I can't say much about it as I don't have any overly strong opinions. The main character, Daya is fleshed out and the author did a good job of her struggles of dealing w
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Michelle
ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

Bruised by Tanya Boteju really packs a punch and almost leaves your heart bruised as you read through Daya's story of navigating the ever-bumpy path of grief, fear, and keeping guards up. After her parents' death, Daya stays locked within herself, never really allowing others or herself to grow close for fear of losing them and getting hurt in the process. But she's already hurt, already bruised, and she tur
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Kristin
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bruised comes out March 23rd and I was sent an eARC thanks to Simon and Schuster Canada! There is so much to love about this book. It deals with grief is a such an incredible way and I always appreciate a book that talks about the benefits of therapy. I felt a connection to Daya, but it is the side characters who really shine in this and who help Daya through her grief even when she was resistant to it. The romance is also really sweet and the roller derby element was compelling. I loved that th ...more
Althea
DNF @ 50%

So far this book is one of my biggest disappointments of 2021, and I'm so sad that I had to DNF it. Bruised follows Daya Wijesinghe who, after her parents' deaths uses bruises as a form of self harm in order to keep her pain more 'manageable' and on the surface. When her friend brings her along to a roller derby bout, Daya is immediately enthralled by the sport. So, she tries out for the local team as it's the perfect way to find more bruises, but she soon realises that there's much mor
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Steve Dunk
Minor spoilers...

Bruised, a new book from Tanya Boteju, doesn’t look to solve any of the bigger world issues that plague our daily lives, it’s more concerned with the six inches in front of your face. Or more specifically, how the day-to-day act of being a part of society while at the same time immune to its whims, can cause someone who’s experienced trauma to be a “walking dead” type of character.

Sorry for the dramatics, but that’s what Daya is doing, she’s existing in our world, but not livi
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Jilli | THE LONG LOST TARGARYEN
❝Cement walls don’t fall so easily.❞

I was extremely excited for Tanya Boteju’s next book so I took the disappointment pretty badly and was ready to ‘dnf’ but if you want to dnf then simply, DON'T. Don't dnf it. I'm glad I kept pushing off till chapter 34 where I finally understood where Daya, the protagonist, was coming from. It took me quite some time to begin to understand her but now ❛Bruised❜ is a definite 8 out of 10.

❁ Representation: Queer and questioning character of unspecified sexual or
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Alex Baker
Apr 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
TW: This book deals with Self Harm & Death. Actual rating 4.5

Sapphic love and roller derby, what's not to love?!

This was really, really good. I brought it home from my store a week or two ago intending to read it right away, and then I didn't. I found other things that jumped out at my initially, but yesterday morning I woke up early before my alarm went off and started it, and could barely put the things down from then on!

Daya is a very interesting, and at times frustrating, protagonist. I don'
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Lex Kent
4.25 Stars. This was a good read. I have wanted a queer roller derby book for a couple of years now. I’ve always been fascinated by the sport and thought the fast paced feel and excitement would translate well into a book. When I heard about Bruised, I knew it was a must read 2021 book for me. I’m happy to say that I was not disappointed and this was the enjoyable book I was hoping for.

The title of this book Bruised, actually comes from the main character, Daya, self-harming. She can’t deal with
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Andy
I loved this book so freaking much. Easily a fave of 2021, I'm calling it.

Daya Wijesinghe is trying to deal with her parents death. She finds that bruising herself gives her a level of control and comfort from her trauma. When her friend Fee takes her to a roller derby match, Daya is instantly intrigued and knows she needs to get on the team. She knows the level of contact and strength is what she's craving. But she'll also come to find that there's different types of strengths and that being p
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Jamie
I really like Derby. Like many people who like the sport I found out about it thanks to Elliot Page and Whip it. In college I attended several of my friends' games when she played and was super into it. Then after I transitioned, I thought about trying out myself, but unfortunately I am not particularly gifted when it comes to hand-eye coordination. But I still like the sport and was excited for a book covering it!

And I thought this was a really cool book! It had all the action scenes you would
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Angelina
Rating: 4/5

I'm in love with this cover!!!

Okay so besides this cover being one of the best things to grace my eyeballs, this was one of my most anticipated books of 2021 and well, it wasn't a new all-time favorite but I still really enjoyed it!

One of my favorite aspects of this book is all of the representation! There are so many queer characters, a nonbinary character, a hard-of-hearing character, and so many beautiful sapphic relationships, as well as a Sri Lankan main character and Asian side
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Maddie
Apr 29, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I haven't been on goodreads since 2012 but I felt the need to come back and write a review specifically for this book. I was super excited to read this, I mean, who doesn't love roller derby and f/f? Really doesn't get better than that. But it was a major disappointment.

Now, don't get me wrong, loved the diversity and the loads of lgbtq+ representation. Fee and their deaf girlfriend were probably my favorite part of this, it's awesome to see some deaf rep completely normalized and casual inste
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Heather
Mar 09, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
*I received a copy of this via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

After surviving a car accident that killed her parents, Daya has spent every moment seeking pain as a way to feel something other than emptiness. Whether it's throwing herself into skateboarding or bashing her hand into her headboard, she uses her bruises as a way to feel alive but soon she finds that's not enough. When she discovers roller derby, Daya believes she's finally found something to keep her emotional turmoil at
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Liralen
Mar 25, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, lgbtq, reviewed, fiction, 2021
Three and a half stars and also, hurray roller derby. I love the aggressive push for intersectionality in Boteju's books, and (this might seem like a little thing, but it's not) that the nonbinary characters are casually introduced as 'they' and 'them' rather than giving their full backstories and assigned genders and all of that. I look forward to the day when books with heavy roller derby elements don't have to spend a lot of time explaining roller derby to the characters/readers, but that's n ...more
Megan
Mar 22, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021-books
[ARC provided by NetGalley for an honest review]

Full disclosure to start: I’ve been quad skating since for about a year and a half now, so I went into this with an extra level of intrigue and excitement.

In this novel, our main character Daya is dealing with (by aggressively *not* dealing with) the death of her parents. She has taken to bruising herself and skateboarding to try and distract herself from feeling any sort of way about her life. Then, she stumbles upon the world of roller derby whi
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Angela
Mar 24, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*I was provided with an ARC copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Roller derby? Queer? POC? Hard-hitting contemporary? This book has it all!

Daya's parents died in a car accident but to avoid feeling all the emotions that come with grief, Daya seeks out ways to inflict pain and form bruises on her skin. Bruises hurt but they numb the pain of grief. Typically Daya skateboards as a way to get the bruises but lately it has not been having the effect that Daya is looking for. When her
...more
Jill Jemmett
Apr 03, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Since Daya’s parents died in a crash that she survived, she has given herself bruises. She keeps bruising herself so she can physically feel the emotional pain from losing her parents. Daya learns about roller derby teams, and she realizes that’s an activity that will give her lots of bruises. The sport is more physically grueling and painful than she expected. She idolizes the star of the team, Kat, and she befriends Kat’s sister, Shani. Roller derby opens up Daya to exploring her own feelings ...more
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Tanya Boteju is an English teacher and writer living on unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations (Vancouver, Canada). She believes feminism, diversity, committed educators, sassy students, and hot mugs of tea will save the day. She is also grateful for her patient wife who builds her many bookshelves! Tanya may have been a drag king in her well-spent youth an ...more

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