Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican
Posted by Krystal Larson at 9:11 PM Monday, August 11, 2014
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.
Organized crime for the youth can create a very tiered system of checks and balances at St. Michael the Archangel High School. Imagine if the teachers lost control and the students were running the show. The problems are huge and all is just brushed under a rug as if things will just work themselves out . Add in some fingers being chopped off, a hole in someone's cheek, and some inappropriate student/teacher relations, and you have a crazy, completely out of control school.
I liked the rule that came up in the book. "You can't hurt anyone who can hurt you back." That speaks volumes for the type of scary environment that the students live in at this school. There are some powerful students in the school and they really know how to hurt back if you cross them in any way. It made for some awesomely "interesting" situations that were loads of fun to read. The author really does spin some creatively cruel characters that jump right out of the page and make this book shine. Being a teacher myself, it was also interesting to read about a school where the dynamics and roles of power have shifted in the opposite direction. All in all, this is a wild adventure of scholastic dementia that will draw in the masses and entertain all.
*Reviewed by Chris*
This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ
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