Monday, March 7, 2011


by Neal Shusterman
Harper Teen, 2010
328 pages

Bruiser is the best Neal Shusterman novel! He just keeps getting better. This is a must-read and will have the reader racing to the ending.

Twins Tennyson and Bronte, named after American writers by their college professor parents, have an on-again, off-again love/hate relationship. When Bronte starts to date an oversize hulk of a boy nicknamed Bruiser, brother/twin Tenny decides to break it up. He warns Bruiser to stay away from his sister and then decides to spy on the boy. When he sees the home life that Bruiser and his kid brother are subjected to, Tenny feels empathy for the other boy and decides to call a truce.

Bruiser likes to be a loner. He is happy with his lot in life even though it means helping to raise younger sibling Cody and putting up with his uncle's drunken rages. In fact, Bruiser has to stay away from people. When he gets too close to Bronte, he starts to feel her pain.

Can Bruiser continue to see Bronte and befriend her whole family without endangering himself? How much longer can Bruiser save Cody from their uncle's wrath? What if Cody is alone when he gets hurt? Will Bruiser be able to save him? And just who is going to save Bruiser?

Highly recommended grades 9-up. Mature grade 8 readers should be okay with this book. Some family violence when Bruiser's uncle tries to harm Cody.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I purchased this book for my library. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

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