Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Review: Bruised by Sarah Skilton

Title: Bruised
Author: Sarah Skilton
Author Info: Website|Blog|Twitter|Facebook
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Publisher
Publication Date: 5th March 2013

Tell Me About It
When Imogen, a sixteen-year-old black belt in Tae Kwon Do, freezes during a holdup at a local diner, the gunman is shot and killed by the police, and she blames herself for his death. Before the shooting, she believed that her black belt made her stronger than everyone else -- more responsible, more capable. But now her sense of self has been challenged and she must rebuild her life, a process that includes redefining her relationship with her family and navigating first love with the boy who was at the diner with her during the shootout. With action, romance, and a complex heroine, Bruised introduces a vibrant new voice to the young adult world -- full of dark humor and hard truths.

My Thoughts
I have had my eye on this book for a while, the cover of the book is simple but very eye catching, and one that drew me in, once I had read the synopsis I knew I had to read it so I was excited to receive a copy for review.
"My black belt represents everything I could've done and everything I didn't do, the only time it really mattered."
Page 3 uncorrected proof
I love this quote, to me it embodies the idea of the story and the character Imogen.  Bruised is about Imogen and focuses on the aftermath of the hold up in the diner and how she is dealing with it, or not dealing in her case. It affects her friends, family, school and even herself.  She is second guessing her actions and what she could have done, the guilt literally eats her alive and she can't seem to move past it and try to pick up the pieces and carry on with her life.

During the story we get to meet people that play important parts in Imogen's life.  Her Brother Hunter, who once was her close friend, who now dates and sleeps his way through her friends, destroying the friendships she made with them and causing her to lose a close friend.  Rick plays a very important role in Bruised also, he was in the diner with Imogen and was a witness to the traumatic event.  I really enjoyed getting to know him and his family, and get to see him bring out a different side to Imogen.

When I initially began reading Bruised I had firm feelings about what I felt about the characters, especially Hunter, but as I got further on I saw a different side to him, one that made me rethink my original judgement about him, and while I do not like how he acts towards Imogen's friends, he did manage to clear his name a bit for me.  Ricky was a sweetheart, he supports Imogen when he can and to be honest takes a lot of crap off her that he didn't really deserve.

Bruised really makes you think, not only about what you would do in a similar situation but how a traumatic event can spiral out of control and effect everyone.  No matter how many trophy's, awards or belts you have, do they actually mean anything when it comes down to actually implementing what you know or can do.  Faced with danger like Imogen was, could you stand up and fight not knowing what might happen or would you keep yourself safe and 100% alive.  I personally would like to think that if I was faced with something that I could get up and fight, but part of me doubts I could do this, and I guess we never know what we would do unless we were forced into action.

Bruised was a fantastic read, from the very first page, right up to the last word.  I enjoyed every single page of it and finished it in a few hours, I could not put it down.  Sarah Skilton has woven a story that draws you in and doesn't let go.  When I reached the end of the book I did not want it to be over, I wanted more of Imogen, more Ricky and more Hunter.  The ending of the book was perfect, even though it came far too soon, and it was good to see the characters come full circle.

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