My Rating: ★★★
“There’s a reason why Brewster can’t have friends – why he can’t care about too many people. Because when he cares about you, things start to happen. Impossible things that can’t be explained. I know, because they’re happening to me.”
When Brontë starts dating Brewster “Bruiser” Rawlins – the guy voted “Most Likely to Get the Death Penalty” her twin brother, Tennyson, isn’t surprised. But then strange things begin to occur. Tennyson and Brontë’s scrapes heal unnaturally fast, and cuts disappear before their eyes. What at first seems like their good fortune turns out to be more than they bargained for…much more.
The moment that I have dreaded for a long time has arrived. Oh my gosh, I’m writing a book review… again. I don’t remember when I’d reviewed one the last time, lol. And I may have forgotten how to do it. This review may feel like it’s all over the place… uh, I mean, let’s just see how it turns out.
So, yeah, I just finished reading Bruiser by Neal Shusterman. Bruiser is about a guy called Brewster who literally takes away the pain of people he cares about and how the lives of people around him changes because of his weird ability. When we say people, we usually mean the lives of two teenagers – Tennyson and Brönte – and also the lives of Brewster and his brother and his uncle. Interested? Heck yes!
Going in, I really had super high expectations from this book because the theme intrigued me. Not to mention the fact that Neal Shusterman is a very adored writer in the book blogging community. I’ve heard a lot about his other books, especially about the Arc of a Scythe series. Everyone and their mother seems to love his books… so I was pretty pumped! But did this book live up to my expectations? Um, nope.
Let me tell you what happened. Not much happened in this story. It just didn’t go anywhere but I didn’t hate it. It felt like no substantial action took place and it was just… meh.
Also, not gonna lie, the story was a bit too sad for my taste. I could feel myself slipping into sorrow while reading this book. I mean, I know it’s not a bad thing if a book is sad… and I admit I was probably not in the right headspace to read it but it really is super depressing. It didn’t make me cry… I, instead, had a hard time getting to the end of it because it was just so gloomy. In fact, I didn’t want to read the ending at night in case it was even more depressing. It wasn’t though… it was a mediocre ending imo, which was another bummer. I probably would’ve been okay with it if the ending had been better. This book kind of felt like a perfect example of wasted potential. That doesn’t mean it was horrible or anything… but yeah, the author could’ve done a lot, lot better in my opinion.
I did enjoy reading the characters, though. I liked that all of the characters were very different people and had a very distinct voice. The book is told in the first person POV of four characters – Tennyson, Brönte, Cody, and Brew. I enjoyed Tennyson’s POV the most, I think, but he wasn’t very likable, so it was a tad difficult being in his head. Brönte was also a difficult character to sympathize with. I just felt angry and wanted to shake both of these characters sometimes but I really enjoyed these characters… they were different. But they actually pulled some risky shit on Brew and were kind of selfish a lot of times. But it doesn’t matter. It’s fiction.
I really, really enjoyed the writing in this book. It’s told in the first-person point of view and all characters have a distinct voice as I’ve already mentioned. It’s skillfully written – I even enjoyed the Brew’s perspective which is told in verse, and Cody’s, which is full of slang. It was really interesting reading that.
All in all, this book could’ve been a lot better in terms of plot, but I did find the idea intriguing and the writing excellent. A lot of people have loved it more than me, so it would be better if you checked out more reviews and ratings before deciding for yourself if you want to read it.
What about you? Have you guys read this book? What did you think? Let’s talk about it!