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Tessa23

The Story Seeker

In search of the ultimate story, finding many good ones on my way. Take a look if you want to see what I found so far.

This was brutal all right

Brutal Youth: A Novel - Anthony Breznican

Recommended to all the people who are in a really bad place right now: so you can see that it can be worse and that life isn't fair. Or maybe not.... If you are suicidal this book could convince you to make that final step.

I've boosted the rating for this book to 2 stars. 1 star for being entertaining (it did not bore me) and 1 extra star for the awesome character development.

After I finished this book I originally didn't wanted to write a review for it. I really liked the author's writing style. He kept his story interesting, it had a lot of good developed, round characters. But...

ALL.THAT.RAGE.

Story:[might contain spoilers]
It's about a private school where all the students are allowed to run wild. The seniors bully the freshman on the account of needing to relieve stress. This has been going on for (I kid you not) decades, since Davidek's father claims it was pretty much the same when he was young (a reason why he decided to quit the school). So, in short, the story is something like this: drama, bullying, bullying, drama, drama, bullying, bullying, drama, drama, bullying, bullying, drama, drama, bullying, bullying, drama, drama, bullying and it goes on and on and on.

Having one of the students almost committing suicide didn't melt their frozen hearts. It actually looked like it got worse. When Davidek enrolls here as a student he has no idea all the shit that's coming his way. Those kids are crazy and the teachers have no excuse. During the book I thought that closing the school was the best thing that could ever happen.

Now, I understand the author's intent to bring us a realistic story, to make us taste the bitter reality, but really, not even real life can be this bad. During the entire book you don't see one good thing happening. There are glimpses here and there, but in the end I, as a reader, didn't get closure, I don't even want to start on the characters. That Epilogue was the saddest epilogue I had read in my life. Compared to this one "Game of Thrones" is a walk in the park. They die, game over. Here the characters are tormented forever. And most of them (including us) never get to find out the truth.

Characters: The reason why you can't stop reading this is because of the characters. They are interesting, they feel real, they might be good intended and do all the wrong things and they might be bad indented and actually end up doing good. I loved that part :) .

1.Davidek

He's the only character that remains true to it's roots. He's courageous, he's nice, he's brought down by his family and that cursed school, but he tries to stay the same. He knows who his real friends are and won't take any bullshit. He and Hannah are the only 2 characters that made me go on reading this. Another reason why the end infuriated me to no end. I'm surprised how an abandoned child like him can show so much tenderness. I mean, his parents were awful, especially his mother, more interested in their own well-being than that of their son's. Now we can pretty much guess why they lost the first one and I have a feeling they will loose the second in the end as well.

2.Stein

What can I say, I loved Stein from day 1. He's funny, takes no bullshit and knows what he wants. He was such a promising character. I shed some tears when Lorelei betrayed him. He was the sacrifice of this book and it infuriated me to no end that his sacrifice was in vain. :(

My favorite Stein quote:
"JayArr crossed his arms, leaning back in his chair. “And when my brother got to be a senior, you better believe he and his friends did the exact same thing to their freshmen. It’s called revenge, dudes.”
“Except the guys your brother squirted chocolate sauce on weren’t the guys who did anything to him,” Stein pointed out. “Sounds to me like he got his just desserts.” He leaned back, smiling proudly, awaiting accolades from the table for his cleverness—but nobody got it.
“I think you’re getting hung up on the banna split thing,” JayArr said.
Stein rolled his eyes. “No, I mean, what your brother did to those freshmen is not revenge. It just means your brother is a dickhead, same as the guys who did it to him for no good reason. Karma just happened to catch up with him ahead of time."

In all that school, there was no one else who decided to point this out to the rest of the students?

3.Hannah

Yeah, she's cool. She found a way to keep the harassment at bay and I was hoping, just like Davidek, that she would have a plan to take revenge on everybody. I guess that was impossible anyway, and I must agree with her:

"The best revenge you can get is making people see the worst parts of themselves."

The only redeeming female in this book.

4.Lorelei

Her is the story of miss popularity. The story of a beautiful girl that wants to do good, but in the end will choose the wrong path all the time. Because it is easy, it's safe. Lorelei was a weak character and I hated her. I also hated the fact that it was never very clear why

she did that to Stain

(show spoiler)

. Her mother was her eternal punishment, but she was also the one who chose to be miserable. I couldn't feel pity for her. I tried, but all I felt was disgust.

5.Sister Maria

The picture above describes her pretty well. She wants to do good, she's the most well intended person in the entire book, but putting a bunny suit and jumping around won't really atone to much now, will it? If you take a closer look at all her actions she lies just as much as Father Mercedes does. She's incompetent and can't control her students, yet she does not want to admit defeat and close the school. She saves anyone as long as it doesn't imply her loosing her position. In the end she's far from a saint or a good character. We try to excuse all her shortcomings because we knows she means well, but that should not stop us from judging her. In the end, she fails in everything she does.

6.Father Mercedes

And here is our main bad character: he gambles, he has tasted all the deadly sins from what I can tell, but vanity still remains his top one. He's the sort of man who will step on graves and after, make you step on them as well. He has no scruples and will do anything it takes (and I do mean ANYTHING) in order to save his skin. He was horrible and only made me hate this book even more. The weirdest part is that he wanted to close the school and for this, I was on his side. I do think that school is a horror house that can only release monsters into the world. Of course, his reasons for wanting it closed are not that charitable, he just wants to hide the fact that he used school money for his own gambling.

7.Mr. Zimmer

Ok, that image doesn't describe him really accurate, but I was upset that he never did go and confront any of the problems he had. He just preferred to pity himself and never questioned the decisions of the staff. His ending was another reason why I hated this story.

How come they decided to keep a waste of air like Mrs. Bromine, but accepted to kick him out. Sister Maria should have fought for him more. But I guess in the end, the only thing she really fought for was her position as chairman.

(show spoiler)

8.Bromine

She is Lorelei's future, I believe. She also used to be beautiful and popular but now she's a failure as a teacher and a human being. Hateful and full of resentments she's easily one of the most annoying characters in this book. She also got way better than she deserved

compared to mister Zimmer, who did nothing wrong and ended up being the one who got fired.

(show spoiler)

9.LeRose

He was a tool, he remained a tool and will always be a tool. I was happy that most of the times he was Davidek's tool, but it didn't change the fact that he was a tool....

10.All the other students:

About that, what's wrong with that school? For teachers to tolerate such behavior it can mean only 2 things: they don't care or they really are too stupid to notice.

How I would have solved the problem:

THE END