I recently finished reading Bruiser, by Neal Shusterman.
This is the tenth book that I’ve read by Shusterman. His books are chock-full of deep meaning and heart-wrenching themes.
Bruiser is no exception.
This book tells the story of a young man named Brewster who has a unique ability. When a girl named Bronte befriends Brewster, strange things begin to happen.
Brewster’s relationship with Bronte and her twin brother, Tennyson, changes all of their lives in unexpected ways.
This book is told from the perspectives of each main character, as well as Brewster’s younger brother.
Oh word, but I rode a roller coaster of emotions with this book.
My heart broke for Brewster, as I saw the pain he allowed himself to go through because of his love for his brother and friends.
I grew angry at Bronte for trying to mold him into the person she wanted him to be.
Tennyson’s selfishness made me want to knock some sense into him!
What was most frustrating was Bronte and Tennyson’s inability to see what was clearly before them. Grrrr!
As I think about how this book’s themes apply to real life, I’m surprised to find that most people are just like the twins. We settle ourselves into our cozy lives, happy when we find things that satisfy us.
We foolishly allow ourselves to use things in our lives to mask the pain and heartache we face each day when, in reality, we need that pain to find our way through the difficult circumstances.
Ultimately, I saw a correlation between Brewster’s selfless sacrifice to that of Christ’s. If you read the book, you’ll understand what I mean. Shustermann never mentions Christianity, but one can’t help but think of it as this book reaches its climax.
I will probably do this book as a Read Aloud next fall. The messages about not judging people by their reputation and not jumping on the bandwagon ‘just because” will ring true to my high school kids.
It rang true to this almost-44 year old gal, that’s for sure.