Tuesday, August 1, 2017

*Review* Impulse by Ellen Hopkins

Genre: YA Fiction
Published: January 23, 2007
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 666


Sometimes you don't wake up. But if you happen to, you know things will never be the same.

Three lives, three different paths to the same destination: Aspen Springs, a psychiatric hospital for those who have attempted the ultimate act -- suicide.

Vanessa is beautiful and smart, but her secrets keep her answering the call of the blade.

Tony, after suffering a painful childhood, can only find peace through pills.

And Conner, outwardly, has the perfect life. But dig a little deeper and find a boy who is in constant battle with his parents, his life, himself.

In one instant each of these young people decided enough was enough. They grabbed the blade, the bottle, the gun -- and tried to end it all. Now they have a second chance, and just maybe, with each other's help, they can find their way to a better life -- but only if they're strong and can fight the demons that brought them here in the first place.


I had been wanting to read Ellen Hopkins' books since I was in high school, but I never got around to it. Until this last month that is. I made a diversity challenge on my blog, and July was set up for me to read books about mental illness. Ellen Hopkins books seemed perfect for that. I put a hold at my library on two of them.

I read Identical towards the beginning of July and it was okay, but I wanted to try another of her books. I especially wanted to read this one because my husband read it in high school and he complained about how much it upset him. Seeing as his pain pleases me, I wanted to see what the hubbub was about.

I have to say that I have no idea how he managed to get through three of these books. (I'm fairly certain that's how many are in the series.) I couldn't even finish this one.

I'm not saying that the author didn't do research or had connections on the subject matter, but it just felt detached from reality. It seems like somebody was writing about a subject that they had not experienced for themselves, but wanted to make money off of it and exploited teen mental illness to do so.

Besides that, I felt so little connection to any of the characters in this book that I cannot remember a single one of them. I read about 75% of it and I feel like I wasted too much of my life by doing that. I wanted to give up about 25% in but I was trying to push myself to finish it, and I regret my life choices.

DNF - Joood - Hooligan

Buy the Book

About the Author

I was adopted at birth and raised by a great, loving older couple. I grew up in Palm Springs CA, although we summered in Napa and Lake Tahoe, to avoid those 120 degree summers. After my adopted parents died, I did find my birth mother, who lives in Michigan with my half sister. 

I studied journalism in college, but left school to marry, raise kids and start my own business--a video store, before the mega-chains were out there. After a divorce, I met my current husband and we moved to Tahoe to become ski bums and otherwise try to find our dreams. At that time, I went to work for a small alternative press, writing stories and eventually editing.

When we moved down the mountain to the Reno area, I started writing nonfiction books, many of which you can see here. The rest are viewable on my personal website. I also continued to freelance articles for newspapers and magazines.

All that has changed, with the publication of my novel, CRANK, which has led to a valued career writing YA novels in verse, all of which explore the more difficult situations young adults often find themselves in. Will I ever write one in prose? No doubt! But, for the moment, writing novels in verse fulfills two needs: writing poetry and writing fiction. The combination is so interesting!

1 comment:

  1. AW sorry to hear this was a disappointment. Something like this definitely has to be handled right given the subject matter. Doesn't sound like it would be for me either.