Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Brutal Youth: A Novel Hardcover – June 10, 2014
|New from||Used from|
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Peter Davidek agrees to visit the crumbling St. Michael’s High School to get out of a day of classes at his middle school. But when he comes to the aid of a student wounded in a vicious attack, he seals his fate. The father of the wounded student pressures Peter’s father into sending Peter to St. Michael’s, thus ensuring that he will be entirely miserable for the next year. Not only does the school promote bullying, but it also employs its fair share of loonies, including a disturbed guidance counselor and a devious priest with a gambling problem. Peter throws in with the enigmatic Noah Stein, who sports both a distinctive facial scar and an insouciant attitude. They both fall for the lovely but ostracized Lorelei Paskal, who is determined to belong to the popular crowd. In between the abuse heaped on them by seniors, the faculty, and their own clueless parents, the trio become friends. Eventually, a counterattack against the bullies is launched. In his first novel, Breznican, a staff writer for Entertainment Weekly, is clearly aiming for biting satire, but the off-the-rails plot and lunatic villains more often come off as cartoonish. —Joanne Wilkinson
“It's crackling good entertainment: arresting from the first page to the last, full of plot twists, characters to root for (or against) and plenty of suspense about how the various story lines will resolve themselves.” ―USA Today
“This quick, unsettling coming-of-age novel blends sympathy and satire with surprising effectiveness.” ―Shelf Awareness
“Breznican captures a perfect balance of horror, heartbreak, and resilience and takes the high school novel into deeper places. Great for the beach but not just a summer read.” ―Library Journal, starred review
“A story that confidently rips through tangles of high school insanity. The author molds real characters out of high school stereotypes, most notably the misfits, all struggling for a humble slice of dignity within St. Michael's wretched, bleeding walls. The satiric narrative is as brilliantly hilarious as it is poignant and heartrending.” ―School Library Journal, starred review
“Readable and clever.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“While it certainly contains elements unique to parochial school, those who remember the passing of their high school years with relief rather than regret will feel the unease and quiet fear dripping off every page.” ―Book Reporter
“If you thought high school was hell, has Anthony Breznican got a story for you…Every bully who stalked you, every sadistic teacher who ever terrified you, every stupid prank, every hopeless crush and false friend: they're all here, along with a few kids who hang together and try to do the right thing in a brutal environment. By turns funny and terrifying, Brutal Youth is an unputdownable tour-de-force, a Rebel Without a Cause for the 21st century.” ―Stephen King
“With Brutal Youth, Anthony Breznican has captured high-school life in all its gruesome, wild, survival-of-the-fittest lunacy. His portrait of teenagers--and the theoretical grownups who tend to them--is, by turns, painfully funny and painfully painful, but always sharp as a well-carved stick.” ―Gillian Flynn, New York Times bestselling author of Gone Girl
“Anthony Breznican's debut screams with undeniable talent. Part The Outsiders. Part Stephen King's The Body. The aptly named Brutal Youth is a funny, tough, and heartbreaking book about the darker side of growing up.” ―Stephen Chbosky, New York Times bestselling author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower
“Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican is one of the most thought-provoking, troubling, captivating stories I've read in a long time. My heart still hurts when I think of what those characters went through. Breznican does a fantastic job of creating people you fall in love with, making you experience their pain and cheer their triumphs as each page goes by. Their stories will haunt me for some time to come. The anti-bullying message is earned, heartily, instead of being thrust in your face. First and foremost the book is an intriguing, rich, perfectly paced, entertaining read. I also enjoyed the dark humor that offsets the harrowing tone at just the right spots. Highly recommended.” ―James Dashner, New York Times bestselling author of The Maze Runner
“As a child, few things are scarier than school. In Brutal Youth, you'll realize how right your younger self was. This one will haunt you.” ―Brad Meltzer, author of The Fifth Assassin and The Book of Lies
“Breznican has accomplished that rare feat of unflinchingly exposing the high school experience in all of its hilarity, vengeance, and terror. You'll think Roald Dahl just went for a swim in the world of John Hughes and came out wearing prison stripes. Life isn't fair... but high school is brutal.
This is the most richly detailed and nuanced academic microcosm since Dead Poets Society. You may have never been to St. Michael the Archangel High School, but you will fear it after reading this powerful and hilarious debut novel. Never has a story brought me back to the merciless teachers and ruthless bullies with such poetry and wit.” ―Jason Reitman, writer/director/producer of JUNO, THANK YOU FOR SMOKING, UP IN THE AIR and LABOR DAY
Top customer reviews
"Do we have a fail-safe if an especially cruel senior chooses an especially weak freshman to be a personal punching bag?" Zimmer asked.
"Then we intercede," (the principal) said. "But in the meantime, at least he will have only one punching bag."
Good to know, isn't it? Strangely, this isn't too reassuring to Peter, or his new friend Noah Stein, or the girl they both have a crush on, Lorelai, or their mutual friend, Green, the only African-American there. Or an unfortunate looking girl who is recruited by a priest to spy on her classmates and report back.
You see, the school is in serious financial trouble, which results in Father Mercedes, the one at the top of the power pyramid, scapegoating the principal, Sister Maria, and so on, all the way down to the outcasts of the senior class, who manage nevertheless to get some of their own back. But it's one outcast in particular, a girl named Hannah, who is feared the most - as she allegedly has a notebook filled with dirty secrets, and it's also rumored that she intends to have her freshman read it out loud at the end of the school year picnic. Over the year, the freshmen will struggle to survive, but there will be no real happy endings - just knowledge bitterly gained and sober realizations that the system is bigger than any attempt they could make individually to fix it.
Each character, even the evil Ms. Bromine, is given at least a little backstory, which even if it doesn't redeem them, helps to drive home the message that the line between victim and victimizer isn't always clear. The book will probably remind the reader of several books/movies on adolescent bullying, such as "The Chocolate War," "Lords of Discipline," "Mean Girls," and "Dazed and Confused," but the author avoids several potential clichéd paths (racism is surprisingly not a major part of the black student's hazing). Sadly, it does a pretty authentic job of showing what bullying was like in the pre-social network era, where teens didn't need the Internet to be vicious.
Let me just start off this review by stating that this is one of the best debut novels that I have ever read. Anthony draws you in with his writing and it won't let you go. I felt so absorbed with all the characters. Yes, all of the characters have a flaw, but isn't that true of everyone? No matter how good you are, there is ultimately some evil within you. Nightmares are what stem from people seeing the evil within themselves. We are disgusted by what we try not to see, but you can't hide from it forever.
“Maybe you can’t blame people for the pain that makes them who they are. Maybe that was just one more bullet you had to step in front of for someone you were supposed to love—even if you didn’t want to. Even if it hurt. Maybe that was love.” - Anthony Breznican
This book is great with detailing relationships between different types of characters, child-and-parent, student-and-teacher, peer-to-peer, worker-to-boss, ect. It is just such an incredibly moving novel that has so many breathtaking quotes to last a lifetime. This book had me highlighting and sharing sections of the text like no novel before. I could relate to so much to the content in this novel (which is part of the reason I liked it so much). Whether you were the outcast, the bully, or bystander watching something happen, then you can have some kind of emotional connection to this novel. There is no way that this isn't true for everyone who reads it. I am going to go out on a limb here and say that this book deeply affected, moved, and changed my view of people.
“Those who grow up being told they’re worthless start to believe it. When someone thinks they don’t deserve happiness, it becomes easier to sabotage it than to live with it. They never admit this, especially to themselves. But they always shoot the albatross.” - Anthony Breznican
People can be so terrible to others and this novel just gets that point across so well. Stein, Davidek, and Lorelei's story just made me melt from the inside out. It made me feel like I was a part of this godforsaken school, but in the best way possible. Isn't that what a book is supposed to do? Isn't it supposed to make you feel something and get you completely engrossed? This did that for me. I am so so so so glad that I had the pleasure to engross myself in this life altering story. This was my final and favorite book that I read this year. Hopefully in the coming years Anthony will release more novels, I will defiantly be looking forward to the day his follow-up is released because I don't even care what it is about, I will read it.
If you haven't read this novel yet, then ummmmm do it now.
“She’s the devil,” he grumbled softly. “Yeah…,” Davidek said, wiping his mouth as his eyes still followed her. “But the devil sure tempts.” - Anthony Breznican