Bruiser is a mix of realistic fiction and fantasy about the sacrifices one makes for the people they love. In high school, Brewster “Bruiser” Rawlins is voted "Most Likely to Get the Death Penalty." Nobody understands him. Nobody can be friends with him, and he cannot afford to care about anyone. When he takes a chance and starts dating Brontë, she and her twin brother Tennyson start noticing strange things.
Any injury that they have instantly disappears, and Brewster is hurt in exactly the same way. It does not take long for them to realize the truth- whoever he cares about, their injures always become his. Things take a turn for the worse when they realize that he can take emotional pain away, too, and he is saving Brontë's family from the burn of divorce. While the twins give him the love and friendship that he wants, he is forced to take on more pain than he can possibly handle.
When I first picked up the book, my initial thought was that Brewster had healing powers, and it would just be an interesting book to read. Wow- it was way better than I thought! I did not expect the story to be so deep, and it was a wave of emotion. This story showcases the difficulties and struggles that come with not having any pain, as well as having too much. It shows the black and white, and gives readers a lot to think about. Usually you don't want to see someone you love hurting, and sometimes you wish you could take their pain away- but what if you could?
Bruiser is inspirational. There are major themes of family and protection. They all wanted so desperately to help and protect each other. Brontë really wanted to protect Brewster, and Tennyson wanted to protect Brontë. They fought all the time before, and having Brewster around brought them together. I loved how they put aside their differences to help Brewster. They did this even when he was not around to take their pain.
Brewster is basically an empath that also feels physical pain as well as mental and emotional. I loved that all of his passages were written in free verse! It helped to capture all of his emotions. What's crazier is that the emotions are not all his. The pain is not all his. Bruiser was a very depressing book. Not like a depressing concept, more like a depressing and painful tone. The variety of characters helped to make up for some of the sadness. Cody is young. He is Brewster's younger brother, and some of the things he says and does sounds like a little toddler, and other things he did and said were adult like. He really wanted to protect him.
I loved this emotional, inquisitive book, and I highly recommend that you read it!
Author: Neal Shusterman
Pages: 328 Pages
Rating: 5 Stars