May 16, 2012

Review: Bruiser

By: Neal Shusterman
Published: June 2010 by HarperTeen
Format: Hardback, 328 pages
First Reviewed: March 2011
Buy: Barnes & Noble//Books-A-Million//Amazon//Book Depository
Add it on Goodreads

The impossible hurts.

Tennyson: Don’t get me started on the Bruiser. He was voted “Most Likely to Get the Death Penalty” by the entire school. He’s the kid no one knows, no one talks to, and everyone hears disturbing rumors about. So why is my sister, Brontë, dating him? One of these days she’s going to take in the wrong stray dog, and it’s not going to end well.

Bronte: My brother has no right to talk about Brewster that way — no right to threaten him. 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.

Rating: 3/5

I had this book for a while and wasn't really too excited to get into it until I read Unwind, also by Neal Shusterman. I really enjoyed that book and Shusterman's writing. But I'll admit, this book kind of threw me for a loop because I never expected this premise from the description.

Now that I've finished the book, I realize...we never really got much of the setting at all and maybe that's partially why I didn't like this book as much as I'd wanted to. It was more about the characters and story and we never got much of a setting.

The characters were just okay for me. They didn't feel completely real and their personalities were very hard to understand. Some of their reactions to things were unrealistic, especially one in particular, considering I've been through some of the things these characters were, they were awfully...calm about certain things. I don't really want to use the word "bland," because they weren't completely bland, but I can't think of another word at the moment. Forgive me. They just weren't real enough for me. I didn't feel enough emotion. They had distinct voices and I didn't dislike them, I just expected more from Shusterman with this characterization.

Shusterman's writing wasn't as good as it was in Unwind, in my opinion. However, it was good. This is told from four points of view, and each one had a distinct style and voice, which I liked. But there was just something about the narrative as a whole that just didn't sit well with me. I had a hard time getting comfortable with it in the beginning and by the time I did get comfortable, I was already halfway through the book. Shusterman is still a good writer, and very skilled with multiple narratives, but I don't think this writing was up to par with his writing in Unwind.

Again, I was going into this thinking I was going to read a complete contemporary novel (I don't know why, considering this is Shusterman, after all), and to avoid spoilers, I'll just say I was caught off guard. But, I still liked the premise, but not too much the plot. I felt as if nothing really happened. I mean, it does, but it just seemed like the story had no beginning, middle, and end. The ending felt rushed. The climax was oddly placed...if that even was the climax. I have to admit, I couldn't really tell with this one. There was a lot going on, but time was spent on things I felt didn't need chapters on. It was much more of "This is what happened/is happening in our story," rather than the telling of a story, if that makes sense. However, it was a decent read.

Random thought, but I couldn't stand the name Bronte. It drove me nuts. Don't ask me why. Personal issue, is all, although I did wonder why there was Tennyson, Bronte, Brewster...and then Cody. Tell me that's not a completely odd name out? Anyway, that's my personal issues with naming. :D

Overall, it was a decent read, but I was just a tad disappointed with it. I expected more out of the writing and characterization, and the plot should have been paced and outlined much better. Though, it was worth the read, and I'm still a fan of Shusterman.

No comments:

Post a Comment