Read Bruiser by Neal Shusterman Online


"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"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....

Title : Bruiser
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780061134104
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 328 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Bruiser Reviews

  • Neal Shusterman
    2019-02-22 19:53

    Again – not a book review, but a review of my writing process for BRUISER. The idea of telling a story about an empath who can take on people’s pain had been with me for a while – but it wasn’t until I started toying with the idea of a character who could take on psychological and emotional pain that I got really interested in telling this story. We THINK we want our hurts taken away from us, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that surrendering our emotional pain cripples us. We can become addicted to emotional pain-killers just as we can to physical pain killers. Being human means experiencing the full range of human emotions. I wanted to explore that concept. But how to do it? Well, I knew I wanted to tell the story from multiple points of view. The challenge was to find all the voices. Tennyson is in first person present. Brontë, who is more introspective, is first person, past tense, because that allows her to reflect on what happened. Cody is total stream of consciousness, which I always wanted to try. I remember in college reading Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury,” and my favorite part was the stream-of-consciousness segment from the mentally disabled character. It was really my first introduction to stream-of-consciousness writing. Cody’s voice was great fun to write. Then we come to Brewster. I knew right away that I wanted his voice to be in free verse. It was harder than I thought it would be. I threw away a lot of verse until I came up with material that I felt captured the character. The fact that my friend, Ellen Hopkins (who has made her career writing verse-novels ) really liked it, meant the world to me! As for the farm house in the middle of a suburban development, and the weird old bull that lived there, that came from my neighborhood in SoCal. Funny thing – I got an e-mail the other day from someone who lives in my neighborhood, and freaked out when they read that, because they knew the exact farm house, and the exact bull I was talking about! Hope you enjoy BRUISER.

  • Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads
    2019-03-18 20:18

    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. Secondly . . . this 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 never more than just gotten through them. I find his writing to be too . . . disheartening, 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. BRUISER . . . not 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. Secondly . . . this 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 never more than just gotten through them. I find his writing to be too . . . disheartening, 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. BRUISER . . . not 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.

  • Tatiana
    2019-03-22 18:12

    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 on more pain 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 it more personal, more urgent. As is, this novel is not bad, but neither is it great or unforgettable.

  • Brigid ✩ Cool Ninja Sharpshooter ✩
    2019-02-22 02:11

    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.

  • Allyson
    2019-03-03 20:07

    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 want more than 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 even more and 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.

  • Shayantani Das
    2019-02-22 19:13

    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 example: “Once 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 monologue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). Why 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 be...Umm…What was that word?Thinking…src=""Yes! Yes! Ditto KID!that precisely!

  • Karla
    2019-03-20 23:15

    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, so much! Brontë 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 only more people like her in this world. Brontë 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 outcome...for everyone...well, 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!

  • Arlene
    2019-03-10 17:49

    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 lot more convinced 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.

  • Giulia
    2019-03-01 23:54

    "Sometimes I feel things very deeply, y'know?""How deeply?" I asked."Bottomless, kinda."This is the last book I'm reading this year, and I cannot even begin to explain how I feel. This book is art. It's beautiful and meaningful, and I don't even want to shelve it as YA, because it's not a novel meant solely for teenagers or young people. It's the kind of book that hits something really deep inside you, and after I read the last page (this was a lovely edition by the way, with lots of extra content!) and I had to put the book back into my bag, I started staring into space and I felt everything and nothing at all. I think the book's title is strangely appropriate, because now it's like I've got a big purple bruise where it hit me, and I can't quite shake off this feeling, as if I'm still feeling the pain from the blow. Bruiser was my first book by Neal Shusterman, but it certainly won't be the last. The writing is so unbearably good that I ended up underlining a lot of it with my pencil, something I mostly do with poetry, and the whole book is original, surprising and amazingly touching. I love magical realism, but Bruiser felt like something new, like a yet unexplored land. The book is about two siblings, Tennyson and Brontë, their family - that is slowly and silently falling apart - and about a boy, just a boy; the local school's weirdo, an outsider, a freak. His skin is bruised with the pain of others. His mind his torn by the emotions of all the people he cares about. Brewster - or Bruiser, as some kids call him - does not have a gift: he bears the weight of a curse. He is forced to take away the pain from the ones he loves, even when he doesn't want to, and this is exactly why he cannot care about anyone too deeply, if he wants to survive. I expected Bruiser to be mean and vindictive, but I couldn't have been more wrong: there was something so undeniably good in his heart that it was disarming. He simply couldn't bring himself to hurt other people, not even the ones who hurt him - not even a monster like his uncle. The book is split into four POVs: the most important ones are Tennyson's and Bronte's (and, with my mother being a teacher and me being named after Julius Caesar, I can relate to all the literary strangeness), but there are also some chapters from Bruiser and Cody's (his little brother) point of view. The four narrating voices are very different from each other: Tennyson's was probably my favorite, and I loved that Bruiser's chapters were all written in (mostly) free verse. Only a great author can write poetry about a drunk uncle that wants to beat you. The first chapter from Cody's point of view was a little difficult to follow - a kid's mind is a really confusing place to be in - but after that first one I immediately got used to it.Bruiser is a powerful, poetic and sometimes even funny story. It's beautiful in an heartbreaking way, and even now I'm still not sure what's going to happen to all of them. I don't know if they can fix it. I don't even know if they've got anything left to fix. My mother and I had a serious talk."Guard your heart" she told me."That is your hero's sword".

  • Katie Grace
    2019-03-14 20:17

    this book is just a giant bundle of pain and I love it.

  • Cait (Paper Fury)
    2019-03-19 21:12

    Wow. Just WOW. This was one of those books were I thought I might like it because I'd previously enjoyed (erm, well I read Unwind and it tore out my soul, but I suppose "enjoyed" is a word I can still use) books written by this author, so I thought, "YES I'LL TRY BRUISER." It also came recommended by a friend. SO WHAT WAS TO LOSE?Least to say I liked it a heeeeeck of a lot more than I thought I would.It's a contemporary with a bit of magic thrown in. Brewster (Bruiser) is a great hulk of a guy and people are quite scared of him, but he has this poooower. NO WAIT. It's actually more like this:Brewster heals people he cares about! HE CAN'T HELP IT. He basically steals all their pain. Which, you konw, sounds really simple at first glance, but then you start considering that he steal psychological and emotional pain as well and if he even cares about a person a teeny bit he takes their pain. And if he cares about A LOT OF PEOPLE...pain starts to add up. This dude has problems. the book's narrated by 4 people. Usually I balk at multiple narrations (especially more than 2!) but this was perfect. We start the story by the twins, Tennyson and Bronte's perspectives, and then get Brew's and also his little brother Cody. Everyone has a really unique voice and Brew's is in verse! (I really enjoyed that.) Cody's is full of slang and little kid phrases because he's only little. Tennyson and Bronte's POV's are full of ginormous complicated words in the middle of them being regular teens. They're only 15-years-old so I actually felt (despite the heavy topic) the book did have a slightly lighter feel. Like not much swearing and the romance wasn't deep at all. Which surprised me just because how intense Unwind was. (Seriously they shouldn't be compared, they're totally different.)I LOVED THIS BOOK A LOT, OKAY?! IT MADE ME FEEL AAAAALL THE THINGS. I totally was onboard with Bronte being an adopter (she likes to adopt strays...which was the hulking, moody, scary Brewster). And I totally enjoyed Tennyson's perspective because he was a bully. BUT A BULLY WITH BRAINS. And it's perfect to see from a bully's perspective once and a while.The only things I didn't really get were...the amount of empathy. But I'm not an empathetic person. (Hey, you're talking to an INTJ here, folks. I just...usually don't care about people.) So the fact that Brewster took on pain from his abusive uncle and the fact that he took on pain from kids he'd just met and kind of thought were I didn't feel that. I JUST DIDN'T. His uncle punched up Cody! And yet Brewster still cared about the uncle?! I know there's Stockholme syndrome and all that, and just sometimes kids who are abused can't help but still care about their parent/guardian/abuser. It's sad, but it's realistic. Just for me personally, it was really hard to get. Basically the characters can be described like this:Tennyson: He was so totally like Liam out of Teen Wolf Season 4. Like even down to the Lacrosse and know-it-all-attitude and anger issues. Bronte: She's absolutely kind but still able to punch her annoying twin when he's interferes with her love life. She rescues people (or pets) and fixes them up.Brewster: HE'S SO SWEET BUT BROODY. He reminds me 100% Michael (Big Mike) out of the Blind Side movie. (But also Rapunzel. Brew is Rapunzel.)Cody: He's the brainless little squirt who climbs things and falls off but is utterly loveable and adorable. I completely recommend this book!! It got me out of a reading slump and I didn't want to put it down. I could see so much potential disasters and ermagerd IT HAS ONE OF THOSE NO NO NO ENDINGS. Least to say, brilliant, and I want to read more by Neal Shusterman.

  • Crystal
    2019-03-01 00:09

    Rating 4.5This would have been a complete 5 star for me, but there were a couple of places that bothered me and I can believe it ended the way it did. Having said that let me just say WOW!!! I read Unwind a while ago and I never thought that anything could ever top that book, but Shusterman has proved me wrong, even with a few bothersome things. I can't and won't say too much about the plot as I think that every reader needs to explore this and read it in the way the author has so skillfully written out or you won't grasp the full impact of Brewster. This book is moving, heartbreaking, and so many more emotions that I can't even think straight. I loved the characters names as well. Being a complete reading booknerd *waves flag* how could I not love Bronte and Tennyson. These two are twins and their lives take a drastic turn (for better or for worse you will have to find out) when Bronte starts dating Brewster aka Bruiser. I never knew exactly what this book was about and I am glad that I went into it not knowing as I really enjoyed seeing and feeling all the emotions that these characters felt. Okay my two bothers were one Bronte. I think she started out great, but I wanted her to feel more towards Brewster. She looked at him as a project one too many times for me and I think he deserved more. Tennyson was more true to character imo. I can totally see why the author chose to have him go through what he did and all the consequences that came with it. I just wish that Bronte could have owned up to hers a little bit more. The second was the ending! I am so angry that Shusterman ended it that way. I wanted to know how things worked out it was so open ended that I am left craving for at least one more chapter or shoot I would read another book without batting an eye. So for those who will read this just be where the ending, but don't let that stop you because this book is a MUST read!A few quotes that stood out for me..." I rarely feel true hatred toward anyone, but right then I despised the author of those wounds, glaringly written across his body like blunt hieroglyphics ""People thought Brewster Rawlins was a dark unknown, a black hole best kept away from. Well, maybe he was, but what people don't realize is that black holes generate an amazing amount of light. The problem is, their gravity is so great, the light can't escape-it just gets pulled in along with everything else.

  • Maria (Big City Bookworm)
    2019-03-17 23:59

    4.5 Stars Rated UpBruiser is one of those books that just completely blindsides you. I didn’t do a lot of research before I started reading it. Hell, I didn’t do a lot of research before I even decided to buy it. I found it at a thrift store quite a while ago and recognized it as a book that a few booktubers had mentioned previously. It sat on my shelf for a while before I came across it again as a “Daily Deal” audiobook through Audible.Bruiser tells the story of a misunderstood teenaged boy named Brewster Rawlins, nicknamed Bruiser due to his above average size. His classmates constantly tease him while also being slightly afraid of him. When Brewster begins an unlikely relationship with Brontë, her twin brother Tennyson doesn’t necessarily approve. Soon, strange things start to occur and any scrapes or bruises or physical harm that Brontë or Tennyson endure, disappear without any trace or explanation.Bruiser started out one way and completely transformed as the story unfolded. Because I didn’t do much research beforehand, this book turned into something completely unexpected. I didn’t realize that there was a magical realism/sci-fi element to it until it presented itself. At first I was unsure about how much I was going to enjoy that element. I thought the story was going one way and I really wasn’t sure how I felt about the magical realism aspect.Let me tell you right now that Bruiser was one of the best unexpected surprises I have ever read. I didn’t ever want to stop listening to it. I had it going while I got ready in the morning, while I took the bus home from work and every moment in between. I absolutely needed to know what was going to happen next immediately. I don’t think I have ever been this engrossed in an audiobook since I listened to The Martian.Bruiser is told in four different character’s voices: Brewster, Tennyson, Brontë and Cody (Brewster’s younger brother). When I first began listening to the audiobook I just assumed that the entire novel was going to be told from Tennyson’s point of view as that was the way that it started out. I had no idea that the story was going to jump from character to character, but I’m really glad that it did. This provided the reader with multiple reactions to the same events. It showed us how the different characters were effected by different scenarios.I absolutely loved all four of these main characters. When the novel first begins, we are viewing the story from Tennyson’s point of view. At first, Tennyson was a bit of a jerk and I really didn’t know how I felt about him, but as the story progressed and his attitude changed, he became one of the best characters. Brewster, however, instantly became my favourite. I loved the different ways in which Tennyson and Brontë came to befriend Brewster and I loved seeing their relationships grow. Brewster is the gentle giant type. Everyone assumes he’s mean and awful simply because of his large size, but in reality he is quite possibly the most innocent and pure character I have ever read. The relationships between him and Brontë, Tennyson and his brother Cody were all so different from one another, yet he loves them all equally.The ending of this novel had me on the edge of my seat…quite literally, I was on the bus as I listened to the ending and I was just so anxious the entire time! I wanted everything to be okay and I wanted everything to be perfect, but like I said, Bruiser is one of those books that completely blindsides you. The ending was unexpected and it was left open rather than having a solid and conclusive ending. It’s hard to talk about without giving too much away. While there is room for a potential sequel, I truly believe that the open ending was the way to go for this novel.As you can clearly tell, I absolutely loved Bruiser. I didn’t necessarily expect to enjoy it as much as I did, but I am really glad that I found it. Bruiser is a beautifully written novel that deals with heavy themes while adding a magical realism twist to the story. I thought that this novel was brilliant and I’m extremely eager to read more of Neal Schusterman’s work in the near future!--Quick initial post reading thoughts:Wow. I loved this. It was completely unexpected. It went in directions that I did not see coming. It was heartfelt and beautifully written and not enough people talk about this book.

  • Milly
    2019-02-23 01:03

    Neal Shusterman came highly recommended by a fellow goodreads-er and now I know why. He is just brillant!!! Bruiser was authentic and inventive in its plot! I was riveted and in awe of Neal Shusterman's writing style. Bruiser keeps you guessing as mysteries are revealed throughout the story, making it quite difficult to put this book down. The lines are witty, funny, and insightful! I went through a full spectrum of emotions: from laughing out loud to crying quietly! The characters are smart and entertaining! Neal had me at Bronte and Tennyson! (I love English lit!)When I first read the book jacket, I was so sure it was another werewolf story when it made mention about one of the main characters healing quickly. But, this book is so much more! Brewster Rawlins or AKA 'the Bruiser',the social outcast and unpopular sophomore and voted most likely to receive the Death Penalty, possesses unnatural abilities, abilities that appear to be both a curse and a gift to Brewster. There's a reason why Brewster is a loner and keeps to himself at school. He could not afford to become close to anyone and begin to care for them for there are consequences, grave consequences if he did. Eventually, Brewster can't continue to be reclusive as he encounters Bronte, one of the Sternberger's twin. Bronte finds out that there's more to Brewster than his ill-ridden reputation and couldn't stay away from getting to know him more. But, Tennyson, the other Sternberger twin is not too happy that his twin sister starts dating Brewster. Soon enough Tennyson finds out the reason why Bronte could not stay away from Brewster and sees what she sees, and befriends him as well.Bruiser is narrated in four perspectives, 3 of which are written in prose (Tennyson - being the main protagonist, Bronte, and Cody - Brewster's little brother) and Brewster's POV is in free verse. Brewster's POV is pained and angry but the most touching and thought-provoking! To read and feel what he feels brought tears to my eyes. He was so torn and tortured. To live or to love, which is it? Gotta love a selfless man! And I do love Brewster! He has a gorgeous heart and soul!Neal Shusterman is definitely a new favorite author of mine! Bruiser is one fantastic book and one that I'll remember for a long time! I highly recommend!

  • Andrea
    2019-03-03 00:13

    Told from four points of view, BRUISER was quite the twist on reality, even though it was told so well that it didn't even seem like it should be impossible. After Bronte starts dating the Bruiser, she and her twin brother Tennyson find out there really IS a reason Brewster's had stand-offish and weird down perfectly – odd things happen when he cares about people. Like UNWIND being more than just a futuristic world, BRUISER was more than a story featuring a boy with an infeasible ability. Definitely thought-provoking.

  • ❤Marie Gentilcore
    2019-03-05 01:53

    This was more than 3 stars but not quite 4 stars but I think the story was original enough that I'm going to round up. It is a story about Brewster who is a loner who the high school kids call Bruiser. He lives with his uncle and little brother. It is also the story of twins Bronte and Tennyson. Bronte befriends Brewster. Brewster has a secret that I can't reveal without spoiling the story so I will just say that Brewster's friendship with Bronte brings out his secret which was good and bad.

  • Erin
    2019-03-02 02:04

    This book bummed me out. Not because it was a downer, necessarily, but because I could see all this room for excellence in it that never was fully realized. I think Shusterman is good at developing a likable and mildly amusing voice for his characters, but man if they don't all sound the same. And the poetry sections? Horrifying. Bruiser is the story of twins Tennyson and Bronte, and the changes that Bronte's new boyfriend (Brewster, commonly known as the Bruiser) makes in their lives. I'm about to reveal something that is a spoiler in the sense that knowing Edward is a vampire is a spoiler, so prepare thyselves. (view spoiler)[Brewster feels empathy in the truest sense of the word. When people he cares about get physically hurt, he takes away their pain. Aka, I fall and break my leg? Within three seconds my leg is fine but Brewster is screaming as his femur pokes out of the skin. (hide spoiler)] A lovely picture, I know.So, at first I was convinced this book and I would have a love relatioship of epic proportions. It starts out in Tennyson's perspective, and he is great. Kind of a jerk, but in a way that I can really see a high school boy acting, not like the suave billionaire type of jerk. And even though he did things that I knew would make me dislike him in real life, the peek into his mind that the first person perspective gave me caused me to really, REALLY love him. The problem? Shusterman made the (bad) decision to alternate perspectives like crazy, switching between Bronte, Tennyson, Brewster, and Cody, Brewster's brother. Seriously bad move, dude! Espesh for the Bruiser's sections. Emo poetry is SO not my thing. I can't be the judge as to the poetry's actual merit, because I avoid poetry as a rule, but I'm guessing it wasn't exactly good as far as poetry goes.Another negative was that the message came across as heavy-handed. Literally all you have to do is read the first hundred pages to understand what the moral will be. This would have been so good if the whole thing had just crossed back and forth between Tennyson and Bronte, though! I still really adore Tennyson. And I don't even know what the point was of including Cody's perspective. Blahhh.So, do I recommend this? Yes, to Shusterman fans, or anyone who's looking for a quick read (probably two days and you'll be done). It's humorous and feels "light" even though it has an important message to convey. But if poetry makes you want to barf, consider finding another book.Seriously. Brewster's sections. The worst.

  • Maree
    2019-02-24 18:57

    Oh. So who thought this was going to be a normal fiction book? *raises hand* I actually like it when books are different from my general expectation. Especially YA books, since they're normally so easy to predict.So, I like what he did there with Brew and Howl, but seriously, how many teens are going to get that the reference to the poem and his actual thought process are related? I don't want to be giving kids a lack of credit, but it seems like these characters are very literary where the majority of the world isn't. It's a happening trend in the YA world, methinks, just because writers are so literary. I just don't know that it transfers.The characters are decent, the back and forth keeps the book confusing but hopping. It's a pretty easy read, nothing too serious.I have to say, I feel like the author totally gave up with the ending. He'd built up all this great possibility, with Ten becoming like the uncle and Brew handling their parents divorce as well as all the other kids he was starting to like in making friends, and then kind of wimped out and took the easy path. I was really hoping for a harder ending.There seemed to be some contradictions with the use of Brew's ability, especially at the end there with the pool, but since nothing is ever really explained just makes the story that much weaker.

  • Miss Nuding C8B
    2019-03-07 01:50

    This was definitely one of those "this is impossible to put down" books. The perspective switches along with the constant suspense make the reader constantly reflect on their own emotional and physical hardships. The question of "What would YOU do?" is constantly running through your mind as a reader..especially at the end!

  • Kandice
    2019-03-20 01:01

    Bruiser is narrated in turn by Tennyson, Bronte, Cody, and Brewster. Each voice is distinct and believable, particularly Brewster's which is written in poetry form. Not only is this unexpected, but it makes his entries so much more haunting. The book is really about sacrifice and love: Would you sacrifice your own happiness if it meant that those you love would feel no pain? Is Brewster's power to take away the pain from those he loves a gift or a curse? How can a person be happy knowing that someone he or she loves must feel so much pain? By taking pain away from those you love because you can't bear to see them suffer, are you causing them to in turn suffer over your pain? It's a vicious circle in the way love so often is.Bruiser is an intense, almost violently emotional experience. I can't remember a time where I cared so deeply about such an initially distant, almost unlikable, character. The last chapters are at once torturous and touching, anguished and hopeful. It literally hurt to read them. This book will stay with you long after you've read the final page.

  • Thomas
    2019-03-04 01:55

    This book was exceptional in terms of characterization and its ability to make me mull over a moral dilemma. Think about it - if a person existed who was able to remove all of your pain, your anxiety, and every ailment you would ever suffer from, how great would that be? But there's a catch: this magical person must suffer from all the hurt you would have received. Would you go on and live with your pain, or would you give it up and live a carefree existence, knowing every little thing that harms you harms another person instead?This problem (or, for some, a relief) is presented in Bruiser, the story of Brewster Rawlins, and how he comes to date Bronte - and consequently affect everyone he begins to care about.

  • MightyA
    2019-03-22 00:00

    The story evokes multiple feelings, and I love it! Even though it is teenagers story, it is very well written and the plot is precisely constructed. It is even better with great narrations from some of my favorite elites: Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd, Luke Daniels and Laura Hamilton.

  • Amanda
    2019-03-21 20:02

    Oh my goodness, this was great.

  • Sesana
    2019-03-15 02:04

    An interesting take on psychic powers. Brewster, called Bruiser because... well, he just is, has the ability to transfer any pain, physical or emotional, from the person feeling it to himself. In full. This means that when his brother falls from the roof, it's Brew who breaks his leg. Naturally, this leads to him isolating himself from everyone, until he starts seeing a girl named Bronte, and eventually becomes friends with her twin brother, Tennyson.It is, as far as I know, unique. Unfortunately, the rules are a little ill-defined. It seems that Brew's Super Absorbing Powers kick in when he's fairly close to somebody he likes. How close? And how much does he have to like them? That's never exactly defined, nor even taken a stab at. Apparently, just being friends with the guy can cause him to start taking on your pain, all of your pain. It sounds great at first, but it does have a very creepy and disturbing other side, which is only barely touched on. For example, when he's described as being like a painkiller that another character is addicted to. It's also only slightly touched on what happens to a person who never has to fear pain. I'm not sure if Bronte is meant to be stupid, selfish, or unbelievably insensitive, but she's at least one of the three, if not all of the above. I put myself in her shoes and wondered what I would do if I found out that my boyfriend, that I cared about deeply, would suffer the pain of anybody they cared about. Would I try to help him insulate himself from others? Or would I try to widen the circle of people he cares about as much as possible? Remarkably, Bronte does the latter, even after discovering his abilities. Why on earth would you do that to somebody you cared about? It's a little like throwing your boyfriend into a pool of hungry piranhas, after bathing him in cow blood. I don't think I'm being harsh, because she literally could have killed him. It made it very difficult for me to believe her self-described compassionate nature. I get the feeling she wouldn't be nearly so compassionate if the left hand didn't know what the right was doing, if you take my meaning. Tennyson's reaction is actually pretty realistic considering the character. He's a jerk, and he knows it, so I can cut him a break for acting like one.The book alternates between four POVs: Bronte's, Tennyson's, Brewster's, and that of his little brother Cody. I know the book is about him, but Brewster's POV is unnecessary and even detracts sometimes from the overall narrative, especially being written in verse in the midst of a book of prose. Cody's POV comes essentially out of nowhere and isn't even slightly needed. The whole thing would have been a lot tighter if it were only from Bronte and Tennyson's viewpoints. Now, as for Cody... I don't think he was that realistic. Sure, if you never really felt pain you might be a bit of a daredevil. But if you knew that somebody you loved would feel it instead? It would take somebody pretty cold to jump off a roof (something Cody actually does) knowing that any damage you take will be felt by your brother. And Cody knows exactly how his brother's abilities work, and he takes some incredibly bizarre risks, while still being portrayed as a loving and caring brother. I don't think the two go together. (There is, incidentally, at least one real-world illness that will turn of a person's pain response. Reading about how an infant reacts in that scenario is absolutely wrenching and not at all for the faint of heart or stomach.) If I knew that my sister or mother or even good friend would be taking all of my pain and injuries for me, I'd be pretty darn careful about what I did.All the complaints aside, it's an interesting, unusual, original, and well-plotted book. I'm glad that I read it, even if I did have some issues with the execution. The ending was a little too cheap and neat for my tastes, though.

  • Isamlq
    2019-03-04 22:54

    A big hulk of a guy… that’s Brewster. The others characters are just as… unique. There are Tennyson and Bronte, so named given their parents’ professions as literature professors. I found all of them, as I said, unique… and their story engaging. Neal Shusterman can do no wrong in my eyes, so, yes, you could say that I am a fan. Unwind got me hooked and I am so glad to have found this. OK, Enough of the gushing. The plot itself was quite different from the things I had been reading. I was in dire need of decent YA read and Bruiser delivered. HOWEVER, I did find myself having flashbacks of Stephen King’s Green Mile. Not just for the big hulk of a protagonist in that one, but also because of what made said big hulk of a guy special. So, while Brewster is not the first of his kind, I still found myself drawn into his story. Why? Well, first there were all the other characters. Tennyson did not start out as sympathetic. In fact, he started out as an ass. Bronte, was starting to sound too good to be true… until the Bruiser entered their lives. Then there’s Brewster/Bruiser himself… One cannot help but like him. A good majority of the characters were not as developed as I had hoped them to be, and I could imagine Mr. Shusterman taking all of them a whole deeper level… but as it is Bruiser, was OK. And then there’s the hook. What made Bruiser so special, so different anyway? When you do find out, you find yourself asking the same questions that Bronte was throwing him.I could throw in the alternating POVs of Brewster, Tennyson and Bronte, and sometimes Cody as well… but I’d be repetitive. Suffice to say, the story telling was seamless. From one point to another, we jump… and thankfully, each jump was not jarring. Now the negatives. There's free verse in it. I do not like free verse. Why, oh why was there free verse in this one? And I would have loved to see more of Cody’s POV.

  • K
    2019-03-23 00:03

    The Sternberger twins live fairly charmed lives. Tennyson is popular, athletic, and confident-bordering-on-cocky. Brontë is popular enough, quietly self-assured, and sensitive to others. The Bruiser, on the other hand, is a hulking loner in too-small clothes who was unofficially voted Most Likely to Get the Death Penalty. He and his little brother, Cody, live with Uncle Hoyt and keep well away from everyone else. Brontë befriends Brewster and draws a very misunderstood and reluctant Bruiser into her confidence, family, and social circle. That’s when it gets weird.Brewster has an ability to help those he cares for, but it’s an ability he can’t control. That shouldn’t be a bad thing, but it takes its toll on Brew. The people he’s closest to are unaware of the benefits but quickly come to rely on it. The story unfolds and we see how Tennyson, Brontë, Cody, Uncle Hoyt, and even Mr. and Mrs. Sternberger (to an extent) deal with this truth. Tennyson rationalizes and Brontë struggles. Cody—believably childish Cody—runs headlong into life’s scrapes but lacks the benefit of lessons learned. And horrible, drunk, sadistic Uncle Hoyt may be the only one with the ability to be compassionate. It makes him the worst of all.There’s a lot swirling around about too much of a good thing and how far would you go for/what shameful things are you willing to do to the people you love? It’s an interesting book, but the story lagged in the middle. It irked that Tennyson and Brontë so quickly worked out one side of Brewster’s abilities, but remained ignorant of the other until the very end. I liked the multiple perspectives but while I enjoyed these characters, none of them really endeared themselves to me. I’m glad to have read it, Bruiser gave me a few things to think about.

  • McNeil Inksmudge
    2019-03-15 23:55

    SNNNKKKKTTKTKKKRRRRRNNNNKNGGG! How do I accurately tell how much I enjoyed this book? It was fantastic! The characters were people I cared about, and the events were realistic and not too much of a stretch at all, and the take-away was great! Man, I loved this book! I could not put it down! Often times I read and think, "Wow, that was great. I need a moment to take that in." Nein! I had to get to the next part - the author so cleverly divided the book up into small episodes with his chapters, and switches narrators, giving insight that you so often want from other works!Okay, so logically, I'll try to explain that again. Bruiser is great title for the book because it has significance that you don't recognize until four or five chapters in. The main character (who I won't specify) is compassionate and admirable, and has a love that you commend and wish more people had. Each of the characters in the broken family are believable, as are the events that take place outside of it, at school, or in the Bruiser's home. People are selfish, unrestrained, callous, and don't think - but not in a burdening way like in "The Grapes of Wrath." It satisfies and brings the story home. My favorite tales are when believable people do (nearly) unbelievable things that are just out of their normal reach, as this book does. I would explain more, but because I didn't know anything about where the plot would go or what genre it was, I appreciated it that much more. As I've rioted so much for the take-away, I'll explain it: responsibility and compassion. THAT is something I all young-adults can appreciate and use more of.WARNINGS:Sex - chaste as a church house.Language - less than four farmer's cursewords or LNiV (Lord's Name In Vain)Violence - the title threatens the book will be more graphic than it is. One drunken beating of a child. It's bad, I'll give it that.

  • Beth
    2019-02-24 18:00

    Neal Shusterman is amazing and only accidentally getting carburetor fluid sprayed in my eyes this evening could have made me put it down. And it was more of a "throw it down while screaming" kind of move. But my eyes are feeling better, so I'm about to put the kids to bed so I can get back to the book. I hope I don't go blind.Not blind! My eyes aren't even damaged! So I finished the book, and it got more and more amazing right up until it was over, and I had to read all the author interview at the end so I wouldn't go into immediate withdrawal, and that was super interesting, too. This isn't really a paranormal, exactly, but supernatural things happen. Maybe I need a supernatural shelf. Because poor Brewster (i.e. Bruiser) has this...condition...that requires him to keep a strong emotional distance between himself and others. But then Bronte and Tennyson - twins whose parents are English Professors - befriend him, and discover his...condition. That's when things really start falling apart. It's a very complex situation.There were a couple of points where I thought it was on the verge of getting preachy, but because the characters' voices were so strong, the message came across loud and clear without that feeling that someone else just took over and tried to tell you something while you were enjoying a decent story.This is my favorite of the 2013 Sequoyah list so far. I hope Oklahoma teens recognize its brilliance and vote for it! They voted for Unwind, which was also brilliant, so maybe they'll get this one right, too.

  • Lo
    2019-03-23 19:54

    I am a huge fan of "UNWIND" by Neal Shusterman. That was the first book I've read by him and "BRUISER" only my second. I think its safe to say that the author knows how to tell a compelling, unique, well-written story. WHAT I LIKED: 4 POV's: Tennyson, Brontë, Brew, and Cody. The author allows each character to have their own "voice" and shows how their actions affect others. If you've read the summary, and without being too "spoilery", Brew has an unusual "gift" of healing. He leads an odd life with his uncle and half-brother. When he gets close w/ Brontë and she shows him that its okay to let others into his life, things are set in motion. When circumstances force Brew and Cody into her family's life... things get very tricky. Finally, the story is a tear-jerker. It's a book that really makes you think. What would you do if you didn't have phyiscal or mental pain? If you didnt have to worry about being cautious of hurting yourself? How long could you be happy? What if you couldn't cry even if you knew it could help you heal? What if you couldn't yell or be angry when you were frustrated? And the story doesn't even really feel impossible. I think I have grasped that even when life doesn't seem fair, emotions are what can help us heal. Own your own pain. There was nothing to dislike. I'm only sorry I pushed it back on my tbr list for so long. It felt like a super fast read, but it is of normal length. RECOMMEND.

  • Vicki
    2019-03-17 20:18

    Amazing! Absolutely amazing! I have to run to the library to return this before it closes and will update my review ASAP.I wanted to do a better review for this book because I thought it was amazing. There were several characters in this book, and all of them had POV's. Normally if you have four or so POV's it can get confusing, but not with this novel.There was Bronte, Brewster, Tennyson, and Cody. Brewster or Brusier is the main character who I thought based on the title was going to get beat up, thus the bruising. But I was pleasantly surprised that wasn't the case. He did get beat up, but not in the way one would think. Not only were the POV's clear and each voice recognizable, but even the form of the writing for the different POV's was easy to tell. For example, Bruiser's (Brewster) pages were poetic and had the form of poetry. His POV was my favorite by far.This book also taught several lessons about life that can't be told too many times in novels: do bit bully, do not listen to rumors or make assumptions, you can learn to like someone and be friends if you give them and yourself a chance, family doesn't have to be blood, and more.Recommendations: I think this is an excellent book that especially teens should read. I loved it!