As the youngest black belt at her dojang, Imogen loves assistant teaching more than anything in the world, and she plans to open her own martial arts studio one day. Per the Tae Kwon Do student creed, she's come to think of herself as a potential hero, a defender of the weak, and a champion of justice.
Her confidence disappears when she freezes up at an armed robbery that leaves someone dead. Guilt-stricken and numb, Imogen is left to wonder if martial arts failed her, or she failed it. Estranged from her family and friends, who don't understand why she's still beating herself up for failing to act, she struggles to get by on her own, and decides to prove herself by teaching another student how to fight –- no holds barred, no protective gear, no rules.
When the image you have of yourself is shattered, how do you make it whole again?
Imogen is an awesome character, and the way she deals with her problems is captivating and real. She has a lot of emotions and difficulties to face, and she doesn't just bounce back automatically like Superwoman; she has to work her way through her issues. Her choice at the end of the book was fantastic, and I loved that Skilton went that route. The romance in the book does not come off as overly sappy or contrived, and I really appreciated that Skilton didn't shove Imogen and Ricky together via insta-love. The storyline is interesting and the telling is well-paced; it didn't really drag painfully at any point, which is usually my problem with realistic fiction. This is a great example of contemporary fiction, and it would probably be a great addition to any public library, school library or personal YA collection.
Thank you to Netgalley and Amulet Books for the galley!!
Originally posted at: http://perrytheplatypus1102-3daydreamer3.blogspot.com/
**I received an Advanced Reader's Copy of this book from Abrams And Chronicle Books U.K in exchange for an honest review.**
Amulet has really got a good handful of YA debuts this year.Their first 2013 debut,Splintered, won my heart at first read (because first sight wouldn't really count :P) and Bruised was no less fascinating.Yes,I've already fallen head over heels love with Amulet at their second debut read.
Bruised is one of the most unique YA contemporaries that I've read so far.It's not everyday you see Tae Kwon Do being a major focus in a YA contemporary.I bet that took a lot of guts,considering the risks of whether it would go along with the usual cup of tea for most YA readers.
But Sarah Skilton had no problem at all in adapting the story for the YA crowd.Not only that,she was able to portray the concept of one's passion for a sport through her story and has gone through lengths that no other YA contemporary author had dared to reach before.
With an admirable and strong female protagonist with a vibrant voice,a daring sport,and an unforgettable story,what more could you ask for?Bruised is one YA novel that will not fail to move people,even someone who is not much of a contemporary fan.