12:04 pm EDT, September 21, 2015

‘Brutal Youth’ excerpt: A gruesome tale about high school outcasts

Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican is a dark, coming of age tale that highlights bullying in its many forms.

Brutal Youth is the story of three outcasts who must join forces in order to survive their Catholic High School. Peter Davidek is unaware of just how bad high school can be until he until be attends Saint Michael’s. Filled with delinquent students and staff, Peter finds refuge with follow classmates Noah and Lorelei, who each have their own issues. The story examines bullying and how it can become a culture in some schools.

Breznican touches on a subject that is frequently talked about but not always addressed. In Brutal Youth, bullying is part of the school culture that goes beyond the students and infects the staff as well. Saint Michael’s is the culmination of everyday high school experience one could image and even a few you can’t. With razor sharp wit Breznican addresses bullying without the in your face message found in so many anti-bullying books.

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About ‘Brutal Youth’

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.

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