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There s a small fraction of authors that have left a lasting impression on me with their literary talent that catapults my imagination into unchartered territories Shusterman is undeniably one of those authors in the top echelon of highly regarded and slightly feared where I m concerned at least I read his novel Unwind years ago, about the time it first came out, and I can still remember to this day how my imaginary safe place was rocked to its core by a simple and short chapter in that book There s a small fraction of authors that have left a lasting impression on me with their literary talent that catapults my imagination into unchartered territories Shusterman is undeniably one of those authors in the top echelon of highly regarded and slightly feared where I m concerned at least I read his novel Unwind years ago, about the time it first came out, and I can still remember to this day how my imaginary safe place was rocked to its core by a simple and short chapter in that book which left me speechless and shocked Mind you, it wasn t even his use of words, descriptors, narrative or dialog that drove me to one of my most profound cases of cognitive resistance He simply gave me a few sparse statements that led my imagination into overdrive.So even to this day, I approach Shusterman s books with caution Yes, he s capable of truly scaring the holy hale out of me, so when I saw Bruiser on the shelf the illogical side of my brain view spoiler Can you believe I have an entire section of my brain dedicated to illogical Well, let s not answer that hide spoiler led me to pick up this novel and approach it with extreme caution I think it s the Roland Chapter that to this day has branded my brain, so my skittishness is definitely warranted.Well I have to thank Bruiser for making me a little bit braver and a helluva lotconvinced that Shusterman is capable of unbounded twisted I mean, who in their right mind is capable of creating a character like Bruiser to be a receiver of pain, physical damage and emotional turmoil from those he has the unfortunate opportunity of coming to care about An evil genius, that s who This book is filled with a ton of Are you kidding me and Oh Come on Cut him a break material, and I m not even including the mental screaming going on in my head Fine Fine Call me mental.There were parts where I was shouting at the improbability of an eight year old not knowing the consequences of his ignorant decisions, but at the same time, I did like the kid despite is disregard for Bruiser s broken bones I guess this all leaves me wondering what does Shusterman have against kids I started wondering that in Unwind, but Bruiser definitely had me considering the fact that he might just like to torture them in a fictional sense mind you Well, I met the man and he appears to be grounded, maybe even a bit funny, witty, but underneath all of that, yes I m creeped to the core to know there s an element too twisted for words Holy crap the guy signed my book with Stay whole Who does that Overall, that same illogical side of my brain coupled with my morbid curiosity to find out what else Shusterman has up his sleeve, will lead me to grab the first copy of UnWholly when it hits the shelf I ll take his twisted and face the consequences thank you very much That man sure knows how to entertain his audience read for the second time on the 22th of December 2019This is one of the most heartfelt, heartbreaking, amazingly written and annoyingly perfect books of all time This is one of my favorite books of all times for sure read for the first time on the 19th of December 2018A favourite I love this book so much, though it was painful to read it was beautifully done and surprisingly I loved every second , I can safely say it s an all time favouriteSo is darkness betterread for the second time on the 22th of December 2019This is one of the most heartfelt, heartbreaking, amazingly written and annoyingly perfect books of all time This is one of my favorite books of all times for sure read for the first time on the 19th of December 2018A favourite I love this book so much, though it was painful to read it was beautifully done and surprisingly I loved every second , I can safely say it s an all time favouriteSo is darkness better than a heartfelt lie The story was so painful to read I knew it was realistic fiction fantasy but I didn t think fantasy could be realistic and I laughed about that before I read it and now, yes I believe it can beWhen you truly start to care about someone you become vulnerable to all sorts of things I was amazed by the writing , neal shusterman is a genius , this book was written from the point of view of 4 different characters, each unique , my favourite was Tennyson s then Brewster s btw, I have to admit that I liked the friendship bromancethan the romance in this story , I liked the characters development , and the over all messageBut now we ve finally taken full possession of what is rightfully ours, because everyone must feel their own pain and as awful as that is, it s also wonderful @Free Kindle ⚠ Bruiser ô 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 Bront 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 Bront s scrapes heal unnaturally fast, and cuts disappear before their eyes What at first seems like their good fortune turns out to be than they bargained for much Brewster or Bruiser , a 15 year old troubled, withdrawn kid, is in a possession of a special gift curse he absorbs physical pain from people he cares about He can t control this ability, he just takes away the hurts of his friends and family, whenever he is close to them, and experiences it, regardless of if he wants it or not Bruiser has always tried to not get attached to people, to spare himself unnecessary suffering His social circle is limited to his abusive uncle and younger brother Brewster or Bruiser , a 15 year old troubled, withdrawn kid, is in a possession of a special gift curse he absorbs physical pain from people he cares about He can t control this ability, he just takes away the hurts of his friends and family, whenever he is close to them, and experiences it, regardless of if he wants it or not Bruiser has always tried to not get attached to people, to spare himself unnecessary suffering His social circle is limited to his abusive uncle and younger brother Cody Things change when he becomes an object of interest of 2 twins Bronte and Tennyson These two give Brewster friendship and love that he craves, but as he gets involved with the siblings and their uneasy family life, he is forced to take onpain than he can possibly handle.It is a premise with a lot of room for thought, even though the idea itself is not necessarily an original one think Stephen King s The Green Mile What if there is someone in your life that can take away your hurts Would you want to live pain free How would that alter your experience of life Will it make your life easier Or will absence of pain devalue your appreciation of the rare moments of happiness Will you ever learn of the dangers of the world if someone always takes your falls Would you be comfortable knowing that someone suffers for you Would you want that person by you at all times Will you become dependent on this stolen sense of safety Bruiser raises and answers these questions quite well, but never lives up to its full potential This story is handicapped by too many perspectives IMO Granted, all 4 Brewster, Tennyson, Bronte and Cody s are unique, but splitting the plot 4 ways dilutes it Writing Brewster s story from one perspective would have focused it better, would have made itpersonal,urgent As is, this novel is not bad, but neither is it great or unforgettable That kid is not kidding I really am confused about what I feel for this novel I should have loved it But I didn t Do I loathe it No, not really Ughhhhhhh Why I picked up this book Bruiser is written by Neal Shusterman Neal Shusterman wrote Unwind No further motivation was needed It is as simple as that Bruiser also has a very interesting concept It s basically a story about Bruiser, the misunderstood, socially inept, troubled hero He uncle is abusive, and SURPRISE he fee That kid is not kidding I really am confused about what I feel for this novel I should have loved it But I didn t Do I loathe it No, not really Ughhhhhhh Why I picked up this book Bruiser is written by Neal Shusterman Neal Shusterman wrote Unwind No further motivation was needed It is as simple as that Bruiser also has a very interesting concept It s basically a story about Bruiser, the misunderstood, socially inept, troubled hero He uncle is abusive, and SURPRISE he feels lonely That is, until Bronte and Tennyson come along They befriend him and they start communicating, and blah blah, they bond and all that Through this newly form friendship, Bronte and Tenny mend Brewster s broken heart and Brewster, on his part, takes away their pain No really As in Brewster literally takes away their pain, he is a super empath FOR EXAMPLE When that happens to TennysonIt is Brewster who goesHe carries the scars of the people who he loves That is why he is nicknamed Bruiser yawns and Oh yeah, I forgot, this book also makes you think about the importance of pain And there was something about..about..about something Hell The details are already leaving my mind and I just can t make myself sound enthusiastic about the events Bruiser got hurt and then you know he resisted and voohhoo pain is necessary and yawn something along those lines The book was fantastic till the first 20 something pages Those would be the pages written in Tennyson s POV He is a smart ass and a bit of a jerk His observation about things around him is a pleasure to read For exampleOnce in a while our school has half days, and the teachers spend the afternoon in service, which I think must be a group therapy for having to deal with us After the first 20 pages, things start getting bad Bronte , then they turn worse Cody and, finally, disaster strikes Brewster and his poetic monologueWhy not stick with one perspective Especially when there are characters like Tennyson By the middle of this book, it just dragged on and on and on and I totally lost interest I can t hate this book becauseI suppose it was decent The premise sure was interesting The writing wasn t bad either So the only way to describe this book would beUmm What was that word Thinking src Yes Yes Ditto KID that precisely I won t pretend I thought Shusterman, the Tim Burton of YA literature, was worth my time before this book I won t even say that I was so intrigued by the synopsis or the title or the cover art that I paid for it with my own hard earned dollars All I will say is that my mom told me I would like it and practically put her copy of Bruiser in my hands, and the next day at work I was so incredibly bored I decided to read a few pages.I got little work done that night.Bruiser is one of those punch yo I won t pretend I thought Shusterman, the Tim Burton of YA literature, was worth my time before this book I won t even say that I was so intrigued by the synopsis or the title or the cover art that I paid for it with my own hard earned dollars All I will say is that my mom told me I would like it and practically put her copy of Bruiser in my hands, and the next day at work I was so incredibly bored I decided to read a few pages.I got little work done that night.Bruiser is one of those punch you in the gut, stab you in the heart kind of books that you run across only once in a long while Does it have a bit of supernatural Sure A little bit of romance Maybe a sliver Action Just a taste What it is rich in is humanity Shusterman s character study isn t for the faint of heart and this book isn t for those seeking a quick and easy read He puts a price on happiness and asks the terrifying question, what would you do if you had a chance to live without pain Narrated by four strikingly different characters, Shusterman delves into the timeless theory that happiness is merely the contrast to sorrow And you can t have one without the other What s a life devoid of pain Is it full of pure happiness No It s completely neutral which is no life at all.Brewster Bruiser Rawlins is the embodiment of all the pain in the world, at least in the world of the other narrators, Bronte his girlfriend , Cody his kid brother , and Tennyson Bronte s brother and the would be voice of the novel The thing about these kids is that they are just your average, everyday, normal kids And the plot of the novel is driven by their average, everyday, normal situations Think classmate rivalry Think sibling quarrels Think parent divorce Think about your own adolescence and you ll probably come pretty close.The seeming super power of Bruiser to absorb the pain both external and internal of those he cares about is very much played down It s never explained why he has this ability, and unlike most YA novels involving supernatural elements, the kids don t go all Nancy Drew and try to unravel the mystery surrounding Bruiser s ability Instead, they accept that it can t be explained and go on with their very real lives Bronte is the rational one The one who sees the big picture and may be a little slow to notice things outside her teenage girl bubble, but once she does she makes very deep, very reflective assumptions about life, love, and happiness Her voice is fast and forward and a little annoying at times but her narrations tend to be short so it s okay.Cody is about ten and his narration is very convincingly naive His voice is fun and entertaining You just can t help but love him, yet it s hard to read as the events and consequences of his innocent reasoning unfold But you can t look away from the car wreck, especially when it s as irresistible as this unstoppable kid.Tennyson seems to be the real voice of the novel and as a reader you are inclined to take his point of view even when other characters are taking their turn in the narration You don t always agree with his decisions but you relate to him and ultimately understand what he is feeling He is the character that feels the most His pain is raw and real and his happiness is sky high When Tennyson chooses to live without pain by keeping Brewster close, you can t help but wonder, would you do the same Such is this book Don t think you can sit back, detached, and come out clean Shusterman puts a spotlight on flaws in humanity such as abuse, addiction, divorce, bullying, and assault, but counters it with true heroics such as self sacrifice and accountability for one s actions Be prepared to witness realistic brutality and decide for yourself what could be right in a world so full of pain What is it we wantthan anything To be happy Peace Serenity Shusterman is known for delivering the bizarre, the creepy, the unsettling But maybe Peace is just around the corner after all Maybe if it hadn t been for that unsettling stuff, you wouldn t have recognized Peace when it arrived Brewster gets a few pages of narration, but not until Shusterman paints a vivid image of him through the other characters His voice is written in verse which sets him apart evenand breathes some fresh air into book that is so deep at times its almost stifling Although the novel revolves around Brewster in a way, and how the other character s lives are changed when they get to know him, he is really just the emblem of what life would be like if someone could take all your pain away Tennyson and Bronte are the true heroes of the story who ultimately decide that you must accept the pain with the happiness because true happiness is a flee from pain Without the pain, then you are just standing still And if you stand still for too long, you will forget what happiness is altogether.Shusterman dissects the human heart beautifully Emotional pain is something that psychologists are still trying to understand It plagues the human race, but it s still shrouded in mystery One thing is certain it can be as hurtful as physical pain it can lead to depression, isolation, violence, illness, and suicide But as Shusterman points out, happiness is always on the horizon A divorce may break your heart today, but tomorrow something else will come along to mend it 4.5 Stars A deeply touching emotional story In a nutshell, this story centers around how much of yourself your willing to give to protect, shelter, and save those you love Brewster Bruiser , the main male protagonist, has a unique ability, or rather abilities, which I won t touch on so I don t ruin the story for potential readers Keep in mind, nothing, nothing at all is at it seems The paranormal element worked, it was different, a little strange at first, but once you understand what 4.5 Stars A deeply touching emotional story In a nutshell, this story centers around how much of yourself your willing to give to protect, shelter, and save those you love Brewster Bruiser , the main male protagonist, has a unique ability, or rather abilities, which I won t touch on so I don t ruin the story for potential readers Keep in mind, nothing, nothing at all is at it seems The paranormal element worked, it was different, a little strange at first, but once you understand what s happening, it all makes sense At times it s painful to read about, and my heart hurt for Brewsterso, so much Bront was lovely character, she was kind, compassionate and non judgmental She was also strong, determined and I adored her She didn t let rumors and misconceptions sway her feelings, she saw past what everyone else thought they knew to be true, and was able to see the awesomeness that was a boy named Brewster If there were onlypeople like her in this world Bront and Brewster s siblings, Tennyson and Cody learn a valuable lesson, they were initially quite selfish, but both of them come around when they realize how much Brewster is giving of himself I had no idea how much this story would affect me, and I was praying for a good outcomefor everyonewell, almost everyone Sometimes when you give of yourself there are those willing to give back, even if it means they won t be the same, but it will make you whole again A poignant message in this beautiful book, and I think about these characters and this story quite often It definitely left its mark on me I was relieved and satisfied with the ending, but an epilogue would put my heart in a little better place I d love to get back into the lives of these characters someday About the audiobook Brilliantly narrated by a collective group of talented voices Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd, Luke Daniels and Laura Hamilton There is no doubt the author, Neal Shusterman, wrote a beautiful story, but the combined efforts of these individuals brought it to another level I m not always a fan of multiple narrators for one book, but this flowed incredibly well and each of them captured the essence of the characters they voiced 2.5 starsI enjoyed the audiobook, but I found the story too depressing It has an interesting concept and I felt for Brewster, but listening to what he was going through was exhausting, to be honest Especially since we learn about him early on and the whole thing just dragged for me By the time the story finished I ended up disliking all the other characters I found Tennyson and Bronte very annoying and I think they behaved very selfishly throughout most of the book Their parents weren t any 2.5 starsI enjoyed the audiobook, but I found the story too depressing It has an interesting concept and I felt for Brewster, but listening to what he was going through was exhausting, to be honest Especially since we learn about him early on and the whole thing just dragged for me By the time the story finished I ended up disliking all the other characters I found Tennyson and Bronte very annoying and I think they behaved very selfishly throughout most of the book Their parents weren t any better either 2 7 18 ON SALE for 3.99 by Rabid Reads3.5 starsFirst of all, this book might just have the best first chapter I ve ever read in my life Secondlythis book is weird I m talking The Talented Mr Ripley weird And like THE TALENTED MR RIPLEY, it s better that you go into reading BRUISER knowing as little as possible That being said, one of the main characters is the victim of child abuse, so if that s one of your triggers, you have been warned T 2 7 18 ON SALE for 3.99 by Rabid Reads3.5 starsFirst of all, this book might just have the best first chapter I ve ever read in my life Secondlythis book is weird I m talking The Talented Mr Ripley weird And like THE TALENTED MR RIPLEY, it s better that you go into reading BRUISER knowing as little as possible That being said, one of the main characters is the victim of child abuse, so if that s one of your triggers, you have been warned The abuse isn t pointless, it s a catalyst, so while, yes, it was painful such subjects should always be painful it was tolerable.Moving on.I ve read several other Shusterman books, and I ve neverthan just gotten through them I find his writing to be toodisheartening, maybe They ve all had an overwhelming sense of melancholy that dragged me down into the doldrums And I avoid books like that, b c for me, the doldrums don t end just b c the book does don t misunderstand, I don t only like light and fluffy books But there s a difference between telling a story with painful elements, and telling a story in which the entire tone is pain and suffering Shusterman s other books have been the latter Too depressing BRUISERnot as much While Brewster is a wretchedly unfortunate individual, Tennyson is snarkily hilarious enough to counter it, and Cody s child like exuberance also tips the balance So while the story plays out, spiraling further and further toward the inevitable conclusion life cannot continue in the previous manner there has to be change the characters are fantastic enough to stave off the gloom, and wonder of wonders, the books ends with hope I love books that end with hope Recommended Ish.First of all, this book might just have the best first chapter I ve ever read in my life Secondlythis book is weird I m talking The Talented Mr Ripley weird And like THE TALENTED MR RIPLEY, it s better that you go into reading BRUISER knowing as little as possible That being said, one of the main characters is the victim of child abuse, so if that s one of your triggers, you have been warned The abuse isn t pointless, it s a catalyst, so while, yes, it was painful such subjects should always be painful it was tolerable.Moving on.I ve read several other Shusterman books, and I ve neverthan just gotten through them I find his writing to be toodisheartening, maybe They ve all had an overwhelming sense of melancholy that dragged me down into the doldrums And I avoid books like that, b c for me, the doldrums don t end just b c the book does don t misunderstand, I don t only like light and fluffy books But there s a difference between telling a story with painful elements, and telling a story in which the entire tone is pain and suffering Shusterman s other books have been the latter Too depressing BRUISERnot as much While Brewster is a wretchedly unfortunate individual, Tennyson is snarkily hilarious enough to counter it, and Cody s child like exuberance also tips the balance So while the story plays out, spiraling further and further toward the inevitable conclusion life cannot continue in the previous manner there has to be change the characters are fantastic enough to stave off the gloom, and wonder of wonders, the books ends with hope I love books that end with hope Recommended Ish GAHHH GAHH THIS BOOK IS GORGEOUSSS I WANT TO EAT IT I LOVE IT TO SHREDS Seriously, I don t think Neal Shusterman s genius will ever fail to amaze me He is too awesome for words It s not fair Well, okay Unwind is still my favorite Everlost and Everwild are pretty hard to beat, too But Bruiser is also very very amazing.I don t really want to say what it s about, since part of its magic is in finding out Bruiser s secret on your own But I can tell ya, this book like all of Shusterman s GAHHH GAHH THIS BOOK IS GORGEOUSSS I WANT TO EAT IT I LOVE IT TO SHREDS Seriously, I don t think Neal Shusterman s genius will ever fail to amaze me He is too awesome for words It s not fair Well, okay Unwind is still my favorite Everlost and Everwild are pretty hard to beat, too But Bruiser is also very very amazing.I don t really want to say what it s about, since part of its magic is in finding out Bruiser s secret on your own But I can tell ya, this book like all of Shusterman s books is highly original I absolutely adore the premise, and Shusterman executes it perfectly His writing is amazing, his characters are realistic and likable Basically, this is the kind of book that will keep you thinking for days afterward.LOVE IT READ IT NOW