Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican
St. Micheal’s Catholic School has stood for decades but now appears to be on its last legs. With a plunging reputation as well as budget things are not looking good for the future. Now even the selected students seem to be of a lesser value, a group of delinquents all trying to find their place before they are popped out into the real world.
Peter Davidek comes to the school his freshman year following in his fathers footsteps. On this very first day Peter gets a real sense of the school when a student snaps and throws himself off the roof. The faculty looks the other way when in comes to the real problems of the school and Peter is seeing first hand that it is every man for themselves.
Peter friends a boy named Noah Stein who has a strange burn mark on his face, and a pretty but troubled girl named Lorelei. The trio starts out working together to keep bullies at bay, but even their friendship is tested by the upper class men and the popular students. And what about the mysterious girl named Hannah, the one that everyone says to avoid at all costs as she has no friends and she is always watching always taking mental notes for the day when she will unleash all the secrets she has collected over the years of students and teachers alike…
and why does she have her eye now on Peter?
Brutal Youth is a hard book to describe. In one way I think it is a little like Lord Of The Flies, and in other ways it is like The Chocolate War. It is about right and wrong, defending what you believe is right no matter what the consequences. It is about that crazed teacher that had it all as a student and let it slip away who now looks at her misspent youth as a personal revenge on this new generation. It is secrets and lies… friendships and enemies… relationship status and self value.There are many lessons within these pages and I don’t think it matters what your age is to appreciate them.
I found Brutal Youth to read like a jagged edge, both dangerous and strangely exciting. I kept digging into this book every chance I had to see the outcome. It is a crazy wild book that is great for discussion.