Synopses & Reviews
New York Times
bestselling author Neal Shusterman delivers a suspenseful and thrilling novel that's perfect for fans of Unwind
Tennyson is not surprised, really, when his family begins to fall apart, or when his twin sister, Brontë, starts dating the misunderstood bully, Brewster (or The Bruiser, as the entire high school calls him). Tennyson is determined to get to the bottom of The Bruiser's reputation, even if it means gearing up for a fight. Brontë, on the other hand, thinks there's something special underneath that tough exterior. And she's right…but neither she nor Tennyson is prepared for the truth of what lies below the surface. Told through Tennyson, Brontë, and Bruiser's points of view, this dark, twisting novel explores friendship, family, and the sacrifices we make for the people we love.
Bruiser was named to the Texas Lone Star Reading List, among many other state lists, and was selected as a Book Page Top Ten Book of the Year, a Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year, and a Cooperative Children's Book Center Choice.
Supports the Common Core State Standards
"In this thought-provoking, low-key drama, Shusterman (Unwind) examines the bonds between family, friends, and community, and how the individual can affect the whole. Sixteen-year-old twins Tennyson and BrontÃ« Sternberger aren't the closest of siblings, but Tennyson is concerned when his sister starts dating Brewster 'Bruiser' Rawlins, an antisocial delinquent from a dubious family. But as the Sternbergers grow closer to Bruiser, they discover his secret: he takes on the pain and injuries of those he cares about, healing them at his own expense, whether he wants to or not. He can even soothe emotional wounds--his mere presence is enough to save the twins' parents' fragmenting marriage--but the cost to Bruiser may be unbearable. Tennyson and BrontÃ« must face the unintended consequences of their actions when disaster strikes and a lifetime of healing others takes its toll on their new friend. Even as the narrative wrestles with philosophical and moral issues, it delves deep into the viewpoints of Tennyson, BrontÃ«, Bruiser, and his younger brother, each segment told in a different, distinctive style, making for a memorable story. Ages 14 up. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
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.
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.
Award-winning author Neal Shusterman has crafted a chilling and unforgettable novel about the power of unconditional friendship, the complex gear workings of a family, and the sacrifices we endure for the people we love.
About the Author
Neal Shusterman was born and raised in the heart of Brooklyn, New York, where he began writing at an early age as a creative alternative to stickball. At the age of eight, he sent his first story (something about a giant squid devouring Chicago) to E. B. White for approval. E. B. White told him that there were, in fact, no giant squid in Chicago, but he should keep writing anyway. He did.
Mr. Shusterman graduated from the University of California at Irvine with a degree in psychology. His first novel, The Shadow Club,was published in 1988 and received the International Reading Association Children's Choice Award. His other novels include Dissidentsand Speeding Bullet.In addition to novels, Mr. Shusterman enjoys writing stage plays, screenplays, and music. He lives with his wife and son in Los Angeles, where he spends too much time writing and not enough time vacationing.