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BIBLIO: 2010, Harper Teen, Ages 12 to 18, $9.99.
FORMAT: Young Adult
How much pain would you be able to endure if you could heal and take on someone else’s pain and anguish? Brewster “Bruiser” Rawlings is an outsider at his school. He lives with his uncle and little brother. His mother passed away and he hasn’t seen his father in years. But his life is about to change when he encounters twins, Tennyson and Bronte. Tennyson has been told by his twin sister Bronte that he is a snob. His opinion of her new friend, Bruiser, is one that implies the guy is beneath her. Bruiser has a reputation of being a loser. The rumor is, Bruiser is the type that will more than likely end up on death row. But, Bronte does not see him in the same light. Tennyson takes it upon himself to follow Bruiser home to learn more about him, especially since he saw him in the locker room without his shirt. The bruises and scars are why he suspected the guy went from being Brewster, named after his grandfather, to Bruiser. When Tennyson got a peek inside the life of Bruiser he started to see him in a different light. He also noticed the next day the cuts on his knuckles were gone but Bruiser now had some. Bronte, on the other hand, is attracted to guys she referred to as strays, and felt, for the most part, they were harmless. In spite of Tennyson’s opinion and meddling she made every effort to see Bruiser as much as she could and kept it secret. She was drawn to Bruiser and felt he needed someone to take care of him. On one of their secret dates in the woods, Bronte slipped and hurt her ankle. Bruiser helped her by rubbing her ankle and foot. Soon, there was no more pain. Bronte noticed as they were leaving that Bruiser was limping. His excuse was that his shoes were too small and not made for hiking. Bronte realized how much she was drawn to Bruiser and as a result she invited him to dinner to meet the parents. But, troubles at home divided her family and her relationship with a guy who could take away pain, cuts and bruises from everyone he cared about. How could Bronte calm the storm that is Brewster Rawlings?
Author Neal Shusterman has created a very cool read for anyone who loves a story with lots of points of view and an interesting storyline. The characters are relatable and seemingly very human, meaning they are not exaggerated. At times the story is intense but sometimes life is too. Parents and teachers will approve of this read.
Courtesy of CLCD