ARC Review: Bruised (DAC)

February 4, 2013 Review 12 ★★★★

ARC Review: Bruised (DAC)
Bruised by Sarah Skilton
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Abrams
Source: Netgalley
Pages: 288
Release Date: March 5th 2013
Genres: Family, General, Love & Romance, Martial Arts, Sports & Recreation, Young Adult
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 that her sense of self has been challenged, 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 shoot-out. 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.

I received this book for free from the source listed above in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


BRUISED tells the story of a girl named Imogen, a teenage black belt.She believes the black belt makes her confident and strong. It takes an awful experience to show her just how wrong she is about being a black belt. Imogen , that’s Imo-gen, believes in one thing above all-protect the weak.

So when the diner she is at one night gets held up by gunpoint, she blanks out. The gunman ends up dead, and she blames herself. After all, what was all that training for if it didn’t come in handy when she needed it most? At least, this is what she thinks. With the help of a boy that experienced the event with her, Imogen has to figure out what it truly means to be a black belt.

 The younger you are, the quicker you can normalize an event and move on, because you don’t know any other way of life. It just becomes a small part of your narrative as the years go by. But it seems to me the younger you are when something bad happens to you, the longer you have to carry it with you.

Imogen is a great protagonist: relatable and humorous. You are able to feel her emotions and struggles, she is really hurting from the diner accident. Luckily, she has some help from her family and a boy that was in the incident with her. Ricky is also a great character, he has lot of depth and maybe even worse issues than Imogen has.

This novel has its fair share of laughs, tears, and memorable quotes. It also has some pretty cool cultural references. Like being said, you don’t have to have knowledge of Tae Kwon Do or anything to really enjoy the story. It’s not even really about that, it’s the fact that Imogen has this ability but it “failed” her when she needed it.

 ‘You’re bruised,’ he says. ‘It means you’re alive.’

 “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.” Definitely. I would say that this is for sure more contemporary, though. With some romance and fighting sprinkled in. It’s really about dealing with the issues that plagues Imogen after this haunting encounter.

That open ending really gets me, though. On one hand, I was begging to know what happened with the characters relationship-wise. On the other, if you step back for a bit, you can truly appreciate how it is left open for you to imagine the possibilities. That is what makes a great book.

-If you had strengths such as Imogen has, would you feel guilty if you didn’t use them to the best of your ability in a situation like the one she faced?

Rating Report
Overall: 4

12 Responses to “ARC Review: Bruised (DAC)”

  1. Adriana (BooksOnHerMind)

    Absolutely love those quotes especially the first one. It’s deep and so true. I like how Imogen cares that the gunmen dies. It would be interesting to get into her head and figure out why she feels that way. I’ve very interested in this one. It’s very unique.

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