Neil Shusterman is known for weaving together unusual plot lines featuring alternating points of view revealing the thoughts and personalities of his characters, his morally complex scenarios, and the long "half-life" of his novels. The characters and issues they raise seem grow in intensity long after you've finished the book. Bruiser is no exception. In interviews about Bruiser, Shusterman said that some of the inspiration for this book came from our society's habit of trying to ignore "emotional bad stuff," which made him wonder, "How would we even know what “happy” is, if we haven’t experienced unhappiness? How would we ever be able to appreciate joy, if we’ve never been in emotional pain?" Do you agree with this?
For a great trailer about Bruiser made by Misha Navarro of Finley and Howard Middle Schools in Waxahachie, Texas, check out this video from Book Trailers For All on YouTube.