Cecilia's Reviews > Bruiser

Bruiser by Neal Shusterman
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May 08, 2012

really liked it


The Bruiser, by Neal Shusterman is an extremely intriguing and innovative book that allows readers to enjoy a different way of feeling. The author brings you through a variety of emotions as well as inner conflicts. In the book, Brewster Rawlins, involuntarily nicknamed the Bruiser is a misunderstood teenager with a special power to absorb the pain of anyone he cares about. He befriends a pair of teenage twins dealing with everyday problems and as he begins to care for them, everything begins to spiral out of control. Dealing not only with trying to understand Brewster’s mysterious power, the siblings are also dealing with a family crisis at home.
One of the most incredible features of this book is the author’s great job of integrating a supernatural power into a realistic, teenage situation. Written from the POVs of Tennyson, his naive twin sister Bronte, Bruiser’s kid brother Cody and of course, our protagonist Bruiser, Shusterman explains the story in a smooth manner, successfully guiding the reader from one chapter to another. Not only is the reader able to understand and feel the situation more clearly through the minds of different characters, the reader will feel as if they are truly understanding the individual characters and developing a 1-on-1 relationship with the characters, themselves. For example, Brewster’s chapters of the stories are written in a poetic structure. Throughout the stanzas, as a reader you are able to feel the Bruiser’s gentle emotions through his poetic style as well as his take on the situation. The book is written in a way where the reader may feel as if they are a fly on the character’s bedroom wall, observing the characters in their natural habitat.
Although it is evident the protagonist is the Brusier, Shusterman is able to explore the growth of one of the main characters, Tennyson as equally. Tennyson begins as a self-centered, impulsive brother. As the book progresses, the reader is able to relate to Tennyson as he begins to change and show his caring and loving side, making Tennyson a lovable character by the end of the book. Overall, this book’s great use of language and tone completed the booking, making every page more satisfying than the last. The novel’s variety of tones and language is a clean read. The author’s precise language depicts the perfect mood for each narrator. Although the book did not leave me in tears, it is definitely a novel I will always remember. With the diverse characters and twisted plot, this is definitely a book I would recommend to any teenager as it is a great unconventional read filled with love, insight and problem solving.
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