Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican Review+Giveaway!


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.

Brutal Youth begins with a bang--a student, a building, and a girl. It is the beginning of a new era. Told in various parts, Brutal Youth Tells the story of teenaged students just trying to survive high school. Set against the backdrop of hazing, initiation, and borderline torture--Brutal Youth paints a picture of brutal and raw high school life. Bullying is acceptable, a school ritual--and the adults, they all turn a blind eye.

Despite all of that here's my issue with Brutal Youth--I couldn't get into it, be it bad timing or maybe the book just isn't for me. I'm not sure. I didn't develop a connection with any of the characters or anything they went through.

I did like the general idea of the story, and the characters despite the lack of connection. They were unique, and solid. They all had unique backgrounds, and I loved their diversity--but that wasn't enough. I'm disappointed because my expectations were pretty high for this one. I think I'll revisit it when my mind is better prepared for this kind of read.

But, I still recommend it to people, who like reading about high school experiences, raw, gritty, and survival of the fittest style.



  1. Sounds like it might still be worth a try - I like a gritty high school story. I totally have books like that were I am not sure if I just wasn't in the right head space for it - Great review regardless!

  2. The title of this book sounds intense and the synopsis sounds even more thrilling! Sorry to hear you couldn't get into the story :( I'll be curious to see what you think when you revisit it :D Great review!

  3. You really do have to be in the right mood and mind frame sometimes with certain reads. Sorry this didn't work out for you like you were hoping. Great honest review!

  4. Sounds like a great and intriguing book and would love to read this one. Captivating review

  5. I loved the opening line of your review =)
    This book has been on my radar for a while. It's good to get another opinion.

    1. Thanks! Hope you win this copy so you can finally check it out!

  6. Dang Jazmen. I think that's the part about reading I don't care for: not being able to connect with the characters. Well, I hope you can connect with them and have a better time reading it the next time you pick it up girlie!♡

  7. Sorry you struggled with this one! It does sound pretty interesting but I get what you mean about having to be in the right frame of mind for certain reads.

  8. Yeah, if I can't connect with the characters, I'm not going to love the book. Hope the next book is better! ~Pam

  9. Even if the plot of a story is good, it's hard to like a book when you can't connect with the characters. I'm sorry your expectations weren't reached with this one - hopefully the next book you read will be more fulfilling <3

  10. I've been eyeing this one for quite some time now. It definitely sounds like my type of read although it's a sad thing that you didn't connect with the characters.

    czai @ the Blacksheep Project