Oh my GOSH! Abrams publishes some of the best books, EVER.
Bruised definitely surprised me! At first I thought this would mainly be Imogen going through work and school, being comforted by friends, feeling numb, having a steamy romance, but it was so much more to my surprise!
This book, I think, is more about relationships and accepting that no one can change the past. It's about realizing your own strengths and weaknesses, and I don't thin I could describe it any other way! It was definitely a heartfelt novel that tugged at some strings. I didn't cry, but throughout the second half of the book, when things get deeper and darker, the entire time, tears were pushing to get out.
The number one thing about this book are the relationships between Imogen and all these characters. There was Hunter, her mom, her dad, Ricky, Shelly, Hannah, DJ, and so many other secondary characters. I really can't explain it but something about the way that these relationships were...they just managed to get to you! The ones that I felt stood out the most? Hunter who didn't seem to know why his sister hated him and I did sympathize with him, but Imogen definitely had a reason to be pissed at him; her dad who was trying to do his best, and loved Imogen, who just missed the guy her dad USED to be--before diabetes, before it looked like he gave up; DJ, who left Imogen alone when she needed a friend the most. I can actually relate to this and can definitely say a friend like that? They don't DESERVE to be my friend and I loved Imogen for still fighting to stay strong.
Just wanted to give you a glimpse. :)
Now, the romance aspect of this honestly wasn't important. It was the finding someone who understood that was significant. And I loved Ricky! He was sweet and had his cute flaws (like laughing when he's nervous! Which isn't a flaw, but I still had to mention) and he put up with Imogen. Even when she punched him straight in the face. Ouch. He was honestly the perfect guy for Imogen! Talk about a match made in heaven!
As for Imogen herself, she was definitely one of those lovable flawed characters who still annoyed you sometimes. But hey, my friends annoy me sometimes but I still love em!
Throughout the book, Imogen struggles to not only come to terms that the gunman died, but also that she can't remember anything, and seems to think she and Ricky hid under the tables the entire night.
That's not what happened.
But Imogen is definitely one of those strong heroines in a totally different way. She's out to prove herself and throughout the book, we see little bits and pieces of what made her her, and why she feels this way. The way that this is written is unbelievable because it somehow helps you connect with the plot more.
Like I said up top, this book gets a lot deeper and sadder in the second part of it. Something just sparks this hopelessness and it makes everything so much more raw. The first half isn't bad, but it doesn't seem as serious as the second half. (But when they say dark humor, they mean dark humor.)
Did any of this ramble make sense? Prrrooobbaaabbllyyy not. But here's the entire thing in short:
Read the book, buy the book. It's incredibly well written and I think everyone should read it, or at least understand what Imogen is going through. It's a hearbreaking book that you will absolutely love!
Also, ABRAMS publishes some of my favorite books.
*Just want to clarify that my love of this and for ABRAMS is not because they sent me free copies of books. They seriously publish good stuff. SPLINTERED and THE STORYTELLER, anyone?*