Three freshmen must join forces to survive at a troubled, working-class Catholic high school with a student body full of bullies and zealots, and a faculty that's even worse in Anthony Breznican's Brutal Youth.With a plunging reputation and enrollment rate, Saint Michael's has become a crumbling dumping ground for expelled delinquents and a haven for the stridently religious when incoming freshman Peter Davidek signs up. On his first day, tensions are clearly on the rise as a picked-upon upperclassmen finally snaps, unleashing a violent attack on both the students who tormented him for so long, and the corrupt, petty faculty that let it happen. But within this desperate place, Peter befriends fellow freshmen Noah Stein, a volatile classmate whose face bears the scars of a hard-fighting past, and the beautiful but lonely Lorelei Paskal --so eager to become popular, she makes only enemies.
To even stand a chance at surviving their freshmen year, the trio must join forces as they navigate a bullying culture dominated by administrators like the once popular Ms. Bromine, their embittered guidance counselor, and Father Mercedes, the parish priest who plans to scapegoat the students as he makes off with church finances. A coming-of-age tale reversed, Brutal Youth follows these students as they discover that instead of growing older and wiser, going bad may be the only way to survive.
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I received this book from St Martins Press in exchange for an honest review. And to be really really honest, this book was SO out of my comfort zone. People who knows me know that I love fantasy books. So reading a book about kids getting bullied in a school where bullying is ENCOURAGED, well that’s new.
I think what really captured my attention and heart about this book, is the way it is portrayed. This book is about Saint Michael’s School, where even the teachers are as messed up as the students are. And there’s no where for one to run, especially when you’re a junior. The school has this one rule where you don’t retaliate back at the person who attacks you. Honestly, if you thought that YOUR high school was hell, you have not been to this school. It takes bullying to a whole new level, where you would just be wincing throughout the whole book, thinking “I thank God that this was not my high school, or I won’t ever survive.” I don’t know if I was the only one who thought of that, but yeah, that was what chanted in my head like a mantra throughout the whole book.
The first chapter had me like HOOOOLY CRAP. I remembered reading this book next to my best friend, and I got so shocked (and also a bit intrigued) that I read out the lines to her, who also cringe HAHA. But really, the first chapter already managed to pull me into the story. I honestly started out this book with quite little expectation, because like I said, it wasn’t my cup of tea. But at the end of it, I was REALLY glad that I got a chance to review this book (THANK YOU, ST MARTIN PRESS!) because it literally made my whole week. HAHA, no kidding.
My favorite character was Noah Stein. He was the fighter, the one who never took crap from anybody. But he wasn’t a bully either. He was loyal to his one close friend, Peter. And I loved that this book showed a side of Noah that nobody else thought he had, his vulnerable side. There were three main characters in this book. Noah, Peter and Lorelei. Most hated character? WELL, Lorelei. If you read this book, you would understand why. But the way the author wrote this book, DAMN. It’s really descriptive. It makes the characters come to live, with every emotion, every anger, sadness.
Crazily amazing and gruesome. Somewhat breath-taking with a hint of blood.
Anthony Breznican was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania and graduated from the University of Pittsurgh in 1998. He has worked as a reporter for The Arizona Republic, Associated Press, and USA Today.
He is currently a senior staff writer for Entertainment Weekly.