Bruised by Sarah Skilton


Imogene was there the night the gunman was killed at the diner. All she can remember is blood and a boy under another table, across from her. Imogene, who has a black belt, didn’t lose her life that night, but she lost her confidence, her heart, and her purpose.

Imogene’s character grows in amazing ways, the realizations she finally makes are hard won, and worthwhile.  There is a romance of sorts in this novel but its secondary, in a manner of speaking, to dealing with the PTSD that is happening to her after the diner event. I did wish I knew what Ricky’s therapy was, how he needed to deal with his own issues from the shooting. He does to talk to Imogene at the end, but I wanted more. (He is the boy under the other table, who becomes the romantic interest.)

I really liked this book, but I don’t like the cover, and the paper-back cover is similar to the hard-back. The broken trophy makes sense; I’m just afraid that many of my students will bypass it because of the cover. There aren’t as many karate students here as there used to be, but I’m pretty sure if I can “sell” this to the right people, it will take off.

Goodreads summary:

Imogen has always believed that her black belt in Tae Kwon Do made her stronger than everyone else--more responsible, more capable. But when she witnesses a holdup in a diner, she freezes. The gunman is shot and killed by the police. And it's all her fault.

Now she's got to rebuild her life without the talent that made her special and the beliefs that made her strong. If only she could prove herself in a fight--a real fight--she might be able to let go of the guilt and shock. She's drawn to Ricky, another witness to the holdup, both romantically and because she believes he might be able to give her the fight she’s been waiting for.

But when it comes down to it, a fight won’t answer Imogen's big questions: What does it really mean to be stronger than other people? Is there such a thing as a fair fight? And can someone who's beaten and bruised fall in love?

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