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It's the summer before senior year, and Marcus should be hanging out, filling his sketchbook, maybe asking a girl out for once. So why is he in a car with his brother, his brother's girl, and the pistol, headed straight toward his dad?David Hernandez writes with striking lyricism and unfaltering poise. Suckerpunch marks the debut of a superb and important new literary taleIt's the summer before senior year, and Marcus should be hanging out, filling his sketchbook, maybe asking a girl out for once. So why is he in a car with his brother, his brother's girl, and the pistol, headed straight toward his dad?David Hernandez writes with striking lyricism and unfaltering poise. Suckerpunch marks the debut of a superb and important new literary talent....

Title : Suckerpunch
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780061173301
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Suckerpunch Reviews

  • Steph
    2018-09-20 15:16

    Numerous reasons exist to prompt a reader into picking up this book for National Hispanic Heritage Month. The reader should pay attention to the development of masculinity. Hernandez cleverly unravels the danger of macho-bullshit. Enrique, the character who is most abused, embraces a tough guy pose. He becomes the mirror image of his abuser - picking fights, being violent, speaking harshly in situations that don't require anger or rage. He adopts homophobia. He embraces the role of the lothario. And yet all the while suffers from the pain of trauma coupled with mental illness. Enrique, while the only one physically assaulted, is not the only one to suffer abuse. The mother and brother, silent and frozen witnesses to the abuse have to unravel their guilt at never having defended Enrique. They watch - frozen in their fear. The mother attempts to "talk" the father out of his abusiveness. And Marcus retreats further into his shy guilt, taking refuge in getting high. Marcus - although the most demeaned because he doesn't offer that macho posturing that his community of male friends display - is the strongest male of all. After all the abuse he witnesses, Marcus can still offer love to his brother, to his mother, and even in some measure to a father who is struggling (and failing?) with transformation, self-healing, and attempting to make amends. I love that Hernandez made "the pussy" and the virgin our hero. The ability to come out of abuse and still be capable of loving, forgiving, and moving forward is the image of masculine strength that is so very needed in our Terminator-Ironman-Hulk worshipping world. Marcus is a character to be explored between teachers and students. I would recommend this text for any 12th grade studies in Literature or writing courses.

  • Jessica Cuddy
    2018-09-19 15:06

    Hernandez forges the powerful voice of a somewhat angsty teenager in this gripping yet easy-to-follow novel. I regard this as a coming-of-age story of sorts, because of the way the characters are developed, namely Enrique. The writer plays with the reader's perception and opinion of characters masterfully, namely in the revealing of Enrique as a less-than-desirable character AFTER revealing the path of his painfully blazed trail from childhood to early teenhood. The idea that people can change unexpectedly is a big deal for the plot of this book--the brothers assume that their father is the same as he has always been despite the signs that seem to suggest otherwise. When the group of kids goes on their journey to avenge Enrique's broken childhood, they run into a lot of unexpected obstacles along the way (as suggested by the title) and see others who have fallen victim to the reckless wiles of life as well, which really enriches the scope of that theme. I do agree with other readers who say that the graphic sexual content may have been unnecessary, however; I also believe that it was instrumental in establishing Marcus as a hearty and determined young adult, and in turn showing just how much his brother's torment affected him and why it affected him in the ways that it did. I'm giving this book four stars and not five because, quite simply, there were no quotation marks.

  • Amy Armstrong
    2018-09-20 13:10

    First, the good stuff: David Hernandez packs a lot of powerful emotion per page in this novel, and his main character, Marcus, is a wonderful mix of reliable enough for me to trust him as a narrator, but imperfect enough to relate to. Also, this is one of those rare YA novels that I think would resonate with teenage boys, especially if they're Hispanic. Hernandez manages to honor the traits of a Hispanic family in the US without digressing into the preachy-ness that is so typical of "multicultural" children's books.Second, the not-so-good stuff: some of the plot felt kind of tacked-on for the sake of moving things forward instead of growing out of the story. The worst part of the book, no quotation marks. Trying to read a dialogue-heavy book without quotation marks=pain in the butt.

  • Cheryl Klein
    2018-09-25 10:01

    David Hernandez is one of my favorite poets, and he brings his acute observational skills to this story of a teenage boy dealing with his father's inexplicable violence toward his younger brother. The novel meanders the way that teenage life does, floating from one scene to the next with more emphasis on sensation than causality. Maybe it's a poet thing too. But what the book lacks in page-turner-ness, it makes up in realism and quiet moments of odd beauty.

  • Oliver Eastwood
    2018-09-25 16:08

    This was a good book. It had good characters and a good plot. The theme of domestic violence and depression was quite sad and dark, but once you get around that, it's great.

  • Brayden Hendrickson
    2018-09-27 16:01

    I liked the book, it was a good blend of friendship, family, and hard times. The story is about two brothers and their father, Marcus the older brother watches and cries as his dad beats on Enrique the younger brother. This happens all the time for many years until one day Marcus jumps on top of his dad to stop him from beating up Enrique. They all go to there rooms but when Marcus and Enrique wake up all they have is a note from there dad saying im leaving don't come after me. Everything was fine for a while until his mom tells him that shes been talking with his dad and he wants to come back home. Marcus and Enrique didn't like this so they figure out where their dad is living and try to scare him from coming home by using a gun. They drive for a few days and arrive at there dads house in CA there they confront him but he is being nice, he tells them that he doesn't have anger anymore and that hes sorry but Enrique pulls the gun anyway to try to scare him but it only works for a little bit. Enrique and Marcus decide to leave at that and return home.

  • Nashom Carter
    2018-09-30 13:27

    In the book, “Sucker Punch” by David Hernandez, explained that It’s amid a late spring before his senior year. An understudy named Marcus, an extremely gifted craftsman that has kept him safe damage. With respect to his more youthful sibling, Enrique isn't as fortunate by any stretch of the imagination. A mother that can't take care of the circumstance by any means. A period where it appears the time has come. Marcus is in the auto with his sibling, Enrique and his lovely sweetheart and on their approach to visit their father. Yet, why is that there is a gun in the glove compartment?A critical citation in the book would to be in page 24, where it says, "Don't let yourself get overrunned any longer." It lets us know that don't let other individuals single out you and always give them a chance to do however they see fit that you ought to discover an answer for it. Is the thing that Enrique wanted to do.An association I can make with this book is that they jump at the chance to party alot and simply have a decent time. What's more, that’s what I jump at the chance to do a lot, go out and party and have a decent time. Additionally where guardian and youngsters contend with one another on the grounds that it happen in my family however no as large as the book describes it. It is amid a late spring before his senior year. An understudy named Marcus, an extremely gifted craftsman that has kept him safe damage. With respect to his more youthful sibling, Enrique isn't as fortunate by any stretch of the imagination. A mother that can't take care of the circumstance by any means. A period where it appears the time has come. Marcus is in the auto with his sibling, Enrique and his lovely sweetheart and on their approach to visit their father. Yet, why is that there is a gun in the glove compartment?I give this book a five in light of the fact that it was extremely engrossing for me to peruse. To start with it had an awesome snare. Sooner or later it would indicate how, in actuality, what a young person would do in the book. It had some comical inclination. Demonstrated some tension however not care for frightening anticipation. In general, simple to take after and in all likelihood you can't lose all sense of direction in the book unless you snooze off.

  • Nathan
    2018-09-19 15:24

    Honestly, I didn't really like this book. It took over half the book for when Marcus and Enrique finally confront their father. This was one of the reasons why I wanted to read this book in the first place; I wanted to see how Marcus and Enrique would go on with their lives after they dealt with their father. Because this happened at the end of the book, there were only a few pages about to read about how they continued with the rest of their lives, knowing that they were able to face their fears and confront their father. I was really looking forward to reaching the climax so I would learn of how these two teenagers would end up. Unfortunately, it took a while to reach the climax, and nothing really happened afterwards, which made me take away 1 star. I removed another star for too much things happening before the climax. The author needed to get straight to the climax with a great build up, but the build up in this book was way too long. I took away another star simply because it was a short book and I was able to read it in 2 days. I know I should've seen how many pages it was at first, but the inside cover page encouraged me to read this. The only thing that is stopping me from removing another start was that I was able to connect with Marcus and Enrique during some parts of the book, so I would've known exacty how they're feeling. Overall, it took time for things to build up, too short, but I was able to connect with some parts of the book. Recommendation? I don't think so.

  • Jennifer Wardrip
    2018-10-14 08:15

    Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.comSUCKERPUNCH is the story of two brothers - narrator Marcus and his younger brother, Enrique. Marcus, the shy one, has spent most of his life looking out for Enrique. For some reason that Marcus has yet to fully understand, their father physically abused Enrique. Why one boy and not the other? That is a question Marcus would love to have answered. As a result of the abuse and then abandonment, Enrique is medicated for depression and violent tendencies, and Marcus is trying to keep things under control as the "man" of the family. When the boys learn their father has continued to send money to help their hardworking mother, they are pleasantly surprised. When their mother tells them that their father is planning to return home to live with them, their reaction is anger and fear. Enrique decides he must be stopped, so with the help of a friend and his car, the brothers set out to visit their father. Armed with a starter's pistol, Enrique's green-haired girlfriend, and minus Enrique's medication, the positive outcome of this confrontation is in serious doubt. SUCKERPUNCH is gritty and hard-hitting. Readers will soon bond with both Marcus and Enrique. The story flows smoothly, although my English teacher side did have trouble dealing with the lack of quotation marks in the dialogue. I did get over it somewhere around the halfway mark, but it could be a distraction for some readers.

  • Doug Beatty
    2018-09-30 15:22

    Plot: This is the story of Marcus (Nub) and his brother Enrique. Enrique was physically brutalized by their father, although the father left Marcus alone. Marcus hangs with his friend Oliver who recently lost his father to suicide and goes to parties, takes valium, tries acid and smokes weed with his friends. His mother waitresses at a Thai restaurant after his father takes off a year ago. Marcus meets green haired Ashley at a party, and develops a crush and later learns that Enrique is dating her. One weekend Enrique comes up with a plan to take a starter pistol to Monterey with Oliver, Marcus and Ashley, in order to threaten their father. Enrique is on anti-depressants and has some severe anger management issues. On the way back, there is an accident involving a horse, and only Marcus is the one who is able to pull the trigger and shoot the horse. Strengths: This is a gritty, readable novel. You really feel for Marcus and Enrique and can believe their actions and the reasons they feel at odds and seem to be lost. The plot moves quickly and even though they are using a starter pistol, the danger seems real. There is mounting tension as you wonder what will happen next. Weaknesses: The novel is edgy, relying on many sexual terms, drugs, and violence. It would be hard to just give to a teen as a good read. It would be more suitable for an older teen, but probably could be found by a teen browsing on their own.

  • David Onemany
    2018-09-20 16:12

    It is during a summer before his senior year. A student named Marcus, a very talented artist that has kept him safe harm. As for his younger brother, Enrique isn't as lucky at all. A mom that can't do anything about the situation at all. A time where it seems it is time. Marcus is in the car with his brother, Enrique andhis pretty girlfriend and on their way to visit their dad. But why is that there is a pistol in the glove compartment?I give this book a five because it was very entertaining for me to read. In the beginning it had a great hook. At some point it would show how in real life what a teenager would do in the book. It had some sense of humor. Showed some suspense but not like scary suspense. Overall, easy to follow and most likely you can't get lost in the book unless you doze off.A significant quotation in the book would of to be in page 24, where it says, "Don't let yourself get overrunned anymore." It tells us that don't let other people pick on you and constantly let them do as they please and that you should find a solution to it. Is what Enrique planned to do.A connection I can make with this book is that they like to party alot and just have a good time. And thats what I like to do alot, go out and party and have a good time. Also where parent and children argue with each other because it does happen in my family but no as big as th book desribes it.

  • Paula Griffith
    2018-09-20 10:13

    Marcus tells us the story of his dysfunctional family and how having a father who is abusive affects each member in a different way. Marcus (aka "Nub")has a talent for drawing, and when there is an accident that costs him a part of one of his index fingers, his father blames his younger brother, Enrique. This sets of a chain of events where Marcus' father makes Enrique the scapegoat for his anger, hitting, punching, and bruising him while Marcus watches unable to move out of fear. Every time his father is set off and starts beating on Enrique, Marcus and his mother cower and are ineffective against the man's wrath. While Marcus' art becomes more desperate and violent, Enrique dissolves into massive depression caused by his anger at his father. This cycle of abuse continues until the father's beating is so abusive he knocks out three of Enrique's teeth, and the father leaves. However, even with the abusive father out of the house, the effects are still far reaching as Marcus begins using drugs and partying and Enrique punches holes in his bedroom wall. This is a brutal look at abuse from an insider's point of view. Recommended for grades 9+. Readers who like problem novels will appreciate Hernandez's candid storytelling style.

  • Raina
    2018-10-03 16:17

    At first, I thought this was just another edgy hi-low read with a great cover. But the further I got, the more I liked it. Hernandez does a beautiful job of describing things in a way that works for his narrator, but is unique and beautiful all at the same time..."I looked at our neighbor's house, the small waves that rolled across the tarp whenever the wind bothered it, and remembered again the sound of glass breaking." (pg. 63)"Everyone in the car said as little as possible. We all, to some degree, hated one another." (pg. 197)Marcus flips between memories and action like many authors, but Hernandez chooses and depicts those memories masterfully. On page 140, Marcus' brother brings a brown paper bag out of his appointment with his shrink. It's never explicitly stated what is in the bag. On page 142, Marcus' brother brings up the meds. This kind of layering happens over and over again, and I'm still thinking about Hernandez use of metaphor. This book has trouble-seeking youth, drug use, mental illness, abuse, guns and a kickass cover. None of the dialogue is in quotes, which I interpret to mean they are approximations, thus giving a feel of direct memory. Solid and awesome.

  • Nervical
    2018-10-18 12:05

    Suckerpunch is a bit, well, interesting to say the least. I'll just get into the likes and did-not-likes just for the sake of brevity.What I don't like is the absence of quotation marks. I can tell Hernandez might be trying to create his own style, but removing a form of punctuation from your story is probably not the way to do it. After a while however, you get used to it. Another thing were the scenes that never really seemed relevant to the story. The protagonist Marcus recounts various events which seem to have no build-up, or fail to push the story any further. They seem a bit shoehorned in is all. Some of them are flashbacks which developed Marcus and his brother, but other sidestories seem to fall flat.What I do like is just how real the characters are portrayed. They're not charming and witty like you see in some books. They're crude and obscene, but more importantly, they're real,to the point where it becomes a bit uncomfortable. Anyways, it's a short read which you can probably fit into a weekend or two, so I'd give it a read if you're interested. If you like it, I also recommend reading Submarine by Joe Dunthorne. Even if you saw the movie, you should take a look at the book as well.

  • Kelly Trotter
    2018-10-17 15:25

    In life, in every situation, you will always have a choice. It is Marcus's turn to make his choice. He could have stood up to his dad but he sat back and watched him beat his brother. Will he take acid or will he take uppers? Will he tell his brother's girlfriend that he likes her or will he suffer in silence? Now he has one more choice: he can finally stand up to his dad with a gun or he can sit back like he always did. I am not sure how I felt about the book. It was very different from other things that I have read, in terms of content and not something I would pick up just for the heck of it. There is a lot of graphic content, like heavy drugs, guns, premeditated murder, suicide, child abuse, etc. The writing style was very different as well. It was written from first-person perspective, but there were no quotation marks around the dialogue which made it very confusing at times. That is part of the reason I am not sure if I would recommend it to certain students because it is not a good example in terms of how to write.I never know how to answer this part, because I do not know if someone would like a book or not. I do not think I would actually recommend it to anyone.

  • Shelley
    2018-09-24 13:28

    I would like to give this book a higher rating because the story is fantastic. This book follows the lives of two brothers, Marcus and Enrique. While Marcus is the older of the two, Enrique has the more powerful personality. They are just starting to enjoy their lives after their father has left, but Marcus notices that his brother is starting so show some of their father's violent tendencies. Their relationship starts to change as they both seem to be moving in two separate directions, however they do have one common goal, they want their dad to own up to how he treated Enrique over the years. The issue that I have with this book is not the powerful viewpoints of the characters or even the strong language that appears throughout the book. The issue that I had was the overly gratuitous use of sexual references and explicitly described sexual acts, even if they were only in Marcus's imagination. I will say that I do know that teens have these kind of thoughts but I just didn't feel they needed to be made so vivid for the reader.

  • Jacari Lenoir
    2018-09-18 12:11

    17 year old Marcus, and his broke friends are trying to understand the world, just like most of us teenagers. His best friends' father killed himself but Marcus wants to kill his own father. His father has left Marcus family and use to abuse him and his brother. The father tries to come back in their life, but Marcus and his brother takes a trip to his house and tells him he no longer wants him to be in their life. His whole life was a suckerpunch.What I liked about this book is how he stood up to his father. What kid you know has big enough balls to stand up to there dad? I liked how the characters had his back all the way through the story. And they all were pretty funny too. Its nothing like having funny friends in a story. Makes the book more interesting. What I didnt like about the story was.. Why didnt somebody call the freaking police?! Just common sense to do it and stop it from going on in the family.I recommend this book to anyone who just want to read a story about disliking a father. Pretty sure we all can relate with dead beat parents in our life.

  • Patrick
    2018-09-26 14:01

    A violent story that focuses upon the anger that abuse creates. The opening of the novel grabs your attention; the main character, Marcus, is attending the funeral of his friends father, plotting the way in which he could kill his own dad. Although the abusive father is out of the house, Nub sees fragments of his appearance constantly in strangers. Both boys are relieved and haunted by the absence of their dad. The main character is a HS Junior who is struggling with guilt of not protecting his brother, while his personal life is completely rearranged. The storyline features drug use, drinking and physical abuse. The tense scenes are spliced with flashbacks which fill in the backstory of violent abuse. The buildup in the car creates a large amount of drama within the last quarter of the story. p.100 Our dad's rage followed us after he left.p.197 Everyone in the car said as little as possible. We all, to some degree, hated one another.

  • Eric Travis
    2018-10-09 12:17

    I believe the theme of this book comes through pretty clearly. In life people do bad things to you and it makes you want to hold a grudge against them. Sometimes it is just better to forget and forgive no matter the hard feeling you have for them for things they've done in the past. The story begins with a boy named Marcus (Nub) and his little brother Enrique, ages 17 and 16. They together lived with their mother and father. Their father was very abusive towards Enrique but never Marcus. So then one day the father walks out of their lives. A year later the father is wanting them back in his life. So the two boys pay a visit to their dad to "talk" to him about all of this. I was very satisfied with this book until the end. I believe this is a very good book for the average "I don't like to read" teen (Which is what I am). I don't believe an avid adult reader would be very fond of this book based on some of the choice words used in this book, but I may be wrong.

  • Delma Matta
    2018-09-27 15:11

    I can see how some teenagers would like and find this book relevant because the characters a well-developed and true to life. However, I would recommend this book to older readers because of the violence and drug use content but that does not overpower the story line and the author’s “hard edge” writing style. The story is about two brothers Marcus who is recounting the story and Enrique his brother. One of the brothers Enrique is physically abused by their father and Enrique becomes depressed and under medication. Marcus feels guilty and protective toward his brother and he wants to help Enrique battle his demons. The father is not in the picture but soon wants to return home. This is where the story “gets rolling” the boys decide to pay a visit to their father armed with a starter’s pistol. On top of all the drama and violence are sprinkles of comedy. This book is a good read and YA would enjoy reading the brother’s adventure.

  • Alicia
    2018-09-29 14:24

    Getting past the fact that there are no quotation marks for dialogue (so distracting!), the plot wasn't so common that I felt "been there, done that". Enrique and Marcus (aka Nub because he lost half his finger in a childhood accident) have suffered at the hands of their abusive father until he decides to leave. To the boys, it's not over though, because once their mother mentions that their father may be returning, the boys decide to take a road trip to confront him. Enrique is all for this because he was the punching bag and wants to exact revege using a "play" gun. The confrontation turns serious quickly but Marcus spoils the threat by telling their father that the gun is fake. In the end, it did the job and the boys go back to reclaiming their life knowing that their father will not return to wreak havoc on their family.

  • Jhoanna
    2018-09-25 10:25

    I'm giving this 3 stars because of the promise embodied in its opening:"At the funeral for Oliver's father I daydreamed about killing my own. I'd come at him with a switchblade while he was in the garage, the table saw whining in his hand as it chewed through a 4x4. I'd come at him with a hammer. I'd come at himwith a baseball bat, his head splitting open like rotten fruit."There are loads of wonderful passages in this "young adult" novel, but in the end, it just didn't resonate with me. Perhaps it's not supposed to, judging by its soul-crushing suburban setting and disaffected, lost teen aged characters, but I found myself wondering, Now what?, when it was all said and done.

  • Jennifer
    2018-09-19 10:20

    I'd say half of this book was a 2-star, and the other half was a 4-star. It seemed like some of the writing tried to be shocking, just for the sake of being shocking, which didn't really add anything to the characters or story. Plus I thought the whole crow symbol was too heavy-handed. By the end of the novel, however, I had a lot of respect for the treatment of the relationship between the brothers and with the father. I think it's hard to convey the complexities of those relationships without sounding contrived. I wish that Marcus had asked his father why only beat Enrique, though. I really would have liked to hear the answer.

  • Lotuslulu
    2018-10-02 08:27

    Graphic and raw this book made me uncomfortable to be reading in my classroom with students. My discomfort though seems to have intrigued several relucant readers into the storyline. This book is not for teachers though, it is for the angst ridden. It is an easy read and very high interst. You have to be able to stomach the frank sexuality and graphic violence, but underneath is s tory we all can understand, a child who has been abused who does not have the skills to cope and the threat that the abuser is coming back. I look forward to the conversations that will stem from this book in my student book club!

  • Kenneth Knudson
    2018-09-25 14:14

    I really like how this book was laid out. The author has also published poetry and it is evident in his writing. The basic story is this. Dad hits his son. Son gets mad and wants to kill him. Other son has to prevent this from happening. What I love the most about this novel is the author's use of time. Hernandez successfully gives us glimpses of the past while the story rolls on. For instance, their dad throwing lemons into the pool for them to go fetch. His use of fruit throughout the novel to describe emotions, anger was really impressive.

  • Ryan
    2018-09-26 08:28

    This book was interesting. It definitely would take a mature person to read this book, because there is quite a bit of language in this book and there is a lot of adult humor. There is also a lot of drug use from the main character and his friends which I thought was interesting but I couldn't really relate to the main character. I dont really know what to categorize this book as. Im more of a mystery type of reader and this was more of an action book i would say. Its an interesting book and i would tell people to give it a read to see what they think of it for themselves.

  • Anthony Doyle
    2018-10-04 08:20

    Raw, brutal, and honest, this story pulls no punches. It beings with Marcus fantasizing about killing his father while attending the funeral of his friend's father. It ends with Marcus starting his senior year, older and wiser for the events of the previous summer. The shadow of his abusive father looms large over Marcus and his brother Enrique even though he walked out of their lives. When they learn he may be coming back they have to confront their past and their father. Filled with drugs, violence and talk of sex this is definitely for high school only.

  • Dilan Smith
    2018-10-13 13:20

    Ehh this wasn't the greatest book I've read lately. The book is rather boring It begins with the beginning with summer and the way they act frustrates me. Their ruthless, vulgar, and unappreciative of anything. The way their father treated them was wrong, but they should've heard his father out or something. The ending was disappointing. It wasn't that interesting and I will probably never pick it back up.

  • Lindsey
    2018-10-13 09:00

    Markus is figuring out his life after his abusive father has left his family. I didn't like the characters, so it was hard to get into the story. The second half was better than the first. I'd be uncomfortable recommending it to anyone younger than 17 given the graphic language and sexual situations, drug use, and violence. I probably wouldn't recommend it anyway though because the story was just blah.Positives - under 200 pages.

  • Cristina
    2018-10-11 14:30

    This was an interesting book and I loved that it took place within the area I grew up in. Yes, it's violent, but I don't think the book is nearly as violent as others seem to think. The characters are interesting. It's not a short story, but it definitely reads like one. You only get to know the characters on a need to know basis and the story only shows you one chapter of their life. Everything else is just step for the main event.