Sunday, July 5, 2015

Blog Tour: Inspiration to Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican+Giveaway

Hi everyone! We just got home from meeting Katie Cotugno, Melissa Kantor and Robyn Schneider and it was so fun guys! We'll be posting our recap soon about the book signing , anyways today we have on our blog Anthony Breznican to discuss what inspired him to make his debut novel, Brutal Youth. You can also read the exclusive excerpt below from the book and join the giveaway!

What inspired me to write my book...

I am fascinated by the forces that turn good people bad. The world is full of cruelty, but I don’t think we start out that way. I’m an optimist in that I think human beings are born basically decent, but over time the hardships of life tend to harden us. This is a vital part of growing up – we need to get tough, we need to become strong. We need to form an armor around us, otherwise we would collapse and shrivel at every challenge. But sometimes … sometimes that armor goes too deep and our hearts become hardened. We become calloused.

When writing Brutal Youth, I wanted to craft a kind of war story about growing up. When you hear soldiers talk about their time in battle, yes, undoubtedly they speak of the horrors they witnessed, the inhumanity, the despair – but they also recall the valor, the friendship, and sometimes even the unexpected mercy between enemies during those brief moments when two people on opposite sides see each other not as foes, but just fellow human beings. I think adolescence is a kind of emotional battlefield, and that’s where that armor I mentioned comes in handy.

So with these thoughts in mind, I set about creating a very troubled, very corrupt private school that has become a kind of dumping ground for unwanted and mistreated kids: bullies, delinquents, troublemakers of all sorts – as well as a fare number of students who are merely unlucky. I wanted to tell a thrilling story about survival and resistance, but also explore the overwhelming emotion of that age. That’s where we learn to be adults, but as well know … not every adult is a kind or well-formed individual. There are a lot of assholes out there!

Brutal Youth tells the story of a handful of kids trying to protect themselves without losing who they are. We need armor, but it can’t go too deep. We need to fight, but we need to learn how to deploy that strength without hurting those who don’t deserve it.

There’s the main character, Peter Davidek, who only wants to lay low and stay out of trouble – but can’t stand to see injustice. His friend Noah Stein is a fighter, someone whose instinct is to lash out, and through Peter he learns where to direct that fearsomeness. They both make each other a little stronger, a little more “good.” And then there is Lorelei Paskal, the sweet, damaged girl from a nightmarish home, who is desperate to make friends at school because she has nowhere else that feels safe. She’s that scared side of ourselves, the part that means well but can be selfish. She has a good heart, but has been told too much that she’s worthless – and so when happiness finds her, she sabotages it.

All three of them do good things, they do bad things, they do brave things, and sometimes cruel things, too. I wanted the readers to love them and sometimes be angry with them.  I wanted the readers to feel heartbroken about the tragedy, but also laugh a little at the dark absurdity life sometimes throws at you.

There are many things that can turn a good person bad, but if you make the right choices, those same challenges can make a good person even better.

Thank you, Mary Ann! They were good topics! I would have answered all three of them.

Brutal Youth
by Anthony Breznican
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: June 2nd 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Drama, Literary Fiction, Coming of Age, Psychology, Mystery
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.

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg
Follow the Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Anthony Breznican was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania and graduated from the University of Pittsurgh in 1998. He has worked as a reporter for The Arizona Republic, Associated Press, and USA Today. He is currently a senior staff writer for Entertainment Weekly.

Brutal Youth is his debut novel.

US Only

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...