Bruiser by Neal Shusterman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Everybody has seen Brewster, but no one really knows him. And, even though the kids at school tease and bully "Bruiser", along with spreading crazy rumors about him, he wants to keep it that way. As Bronte and Tennyson find out, the moment Bruiser starts to care about someone, he takes on all of their pain.
I was drawn into the story immediately and had quite a few laugh out loud moments (at least early on before things got serious). I got a kick out of several of the lines, like this one (the background is that Tennyson and Bronte are twins and their literature professor parents' marriage is struggling):
"Mom could have been a sniper if she had chosen that line of work. Every time she gets off a nice one, it gives me hope that her soul might be reviving."
I really liked that Tennyson tried to protect Bronte when he found out about her date with Bruiser.
I didn't love everything about the book (ie. the poetry style of the Bruiser POV chapters), but overall it was such an interesting and enjoyable story. For most of the book I couldn't help but think about the great symbolism for Christ and his atoning sacrifice for all of us.
There is some swearing and violence.