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Brutal Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 10, 2009
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Against the backdrop of an ancient battle between the forces of Light and the forces of Darkness, Aidan struggles to control the newly awakened and enigmatic powers that seem to be his only hope for rescuing Ava, his little sister, trapped somewhere beyond the Veil. Paperback | Kindle book | See more for Teen and Young Adult readers
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Top Customer Reviews
The characters are general cut outs with Poe Holly (a rebellious Gothic teen with a parent complex), he mother (a neglectful work obsessive socialite doctor who left her to go work on a charity project), Her father (the quiet school counselor/writer who left when she was born but is really cool), Velveeta "Andrew" (her weird friend who is picked on), and Theo (her very intelligent best friend/boyfriend who is a rebel and mayor's son). The cast is entertaining enough (I loved Theo even though he was unrealistic), but Poe's attitude becomes really annoying. She is so angry at the world when she has a lot more than other kids have, like Velveeta. Her family is very dysfunctional but at least she has the support. Her rebellious act gets old after awhile. Also, all her speeches and arguments were so well planned she becomes a megaphone for the author.
The heart of the story is Poe finding out who her father is and fighting the system. Poe fights against bullying and how high school forces students to form cliques. The school has a policy that everyone is in one giant school clique but that is broken down.
The book was okay. The characters are a little too perfect and sound a little too "adult" for teenagers. Their fight against bullying and cliques felt tired and unresolved. It is written in a very down to earth style and Poe's narration was always fun to read but you just get tired of it.
It is okay if you like spunky girls with all the answers but it would be better from a library than purchasing it.
It's subtle and important distinction that Harmon explores in Brutal. If the teachers are supporting the intimidation of some students by the popular and athletic ones, what hope is there of eliminating the problem. Certain students are given privileges and it's those students who are the bullies. Colby Morris is Brutal's untouchable football hero who has singled out Velveeta, a misfit of a boy who lives near Poe, for his put downs and degradations. Poe won't allow it, and the tenacity she used to get herself kicked out of three elite Los Angeles private schools will be needed if she is going to take on the system starting with her father who is Benders High's guidance counselor.
Readers will root for Poe, because of her for her inability to let go of what she knows is right.
-- Reviewed by Cathy Castelli
The story was interesting, but I would have liked a little more character development with Velveeta and Theo. It was a fast read and will appeal to boys and girls age 13+
When sixteen-year-old Poe Holly's doctor mother decides to take her practice to the jungles of South America for a year, Poe finds herself living with the father she has never really known. She was a baby the last time her parents were in the same room together, and now she's moving into his house.
Since her mother is usually busy 24/7, Poe is used to living on her own. It's a welcome relief to find out her father is willing to allow her a fair amount of freedom, but his neat and tidy house soon becomes her home, and she is surprised how much she enjoys it. The shared meals and conversation aren't nearly as dreadful as she anticipated. The major weird thing about the arrangement is that when Poe starts school at the local high school, she's not sure how to handle the fact that David Holly, her newly inherited dad, is the school counselor.
Life in Benders Hollow is way different than the punk rocker life Poe is used to. Music is her life, and leaving her band was one of the hardest things she had to do. When her father suggests she could join the school choir and maybe even be one of their soloists, she rejects the idea as too lame to even consider. But after some contemplation, Poe stops in to visit the music teacher.
After hearing Poe's incredible voice, Mrs. Baird promises her a spot as the principal soloist. The result of that offer is one of Poe's first experiences with just exactly how the town of Benders Hollow works.
Poe soon learns that at Benders Hollow High School a select few have all the power.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Captivating book, with super discription, felt that i could see everything as it happenend. Was guessing the plot the whole time! Loved itPublished 4 months ago by Clodagh Scott
I think books like these are important to keep awareness and dialogue about bullying open. That being said, while I think the issues in the book are important, the execution wasn't... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Elizabeth @ so long and thanks for all the fish
Michael Harmon's books are targeted for the mid-level teen, judging from his writing. I'm nearly an adult, and despite the simple language, I really enjoy his books. Read morePublished 19 months ago by DJ
There is a great, big beast in our schools that we can't control. Try as we might, as strict as we can be, we can't stop the bullying that happens among our students. Read morePublished on March 18, 2013 by OpheliasOwn
Although less then strong on character development, still an entertaining and in-depth read, addressing the issue of individualism and bullying in High School. Read morePublished on April 15, 2011 by Kindle Customer
I have few authors on my target list of what to buy. Michael Harmon is one. This is the best of the 3 I've read.Published on March 18, 2010 by D. Coles