September 25, 2012
Review: Impulse by Ellen Hopkins
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.
Release Date: January 23, 2007
Pages: 688 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderrry Books
LONG STORY SHORT:
Impulse didn't surprise me as I was told how brilliant it is so many times before. Nevertheless, I surely couldn't put it down and have to say I admire the author for writing such a deep, sad, disturbing story and creating three very realistic, likeable characters.
I was told so many times how Ellen Hopkins was brilliant and a genius and other awesome things so I thought it was about time for me to try her books. I must say, it overwhelmed me. In every way possible.
First of all, it was brilliant. I had to get used to the verse writing, but it didn't take me that long and after a couple of pages it wasn't a problem at all. What makes Hopkins so brilliant, I believe, is her ability to form those incredible three-dimensional characters. They seem so real and the further you read the more you get the feeling that you know them like you'd know real friends.
Also, some authors have a talent of displaying nothing but true life on their pages - and that's what Hopkins does, too. Sometimes, good things happen. Another time, bad things happen - and you can never predict it because that's just how life goes.
I noticed before I read Impulse that none of Hopkin's books featured light and easy subjects and Impulse doesn't, either. It's set in Aspen Springs, a clinic for teens who struggle with all kinds of mental diseases or drug abuse or other really bad issues. The good thing is that the three characters we take a closer look on in Impulse all seemed weird to me at first and I was a bit frightened to know how they got themselves in the situation they were in - but then their stories were so unique and suddenly made me understand them in a way I never thought I would. Hopkins did a wonderful job here on creating troubled teenagers AND showing the reader what they are like on the inside.
Then again, that's also what I struggled with. After I finished Impulse I did need a little reading break just to get my mind off of the problems and issues the teens faced. Now, I think that it's important to read about heavy stuff like this from time to time. I can say for myself that it gave me the impulse to look at things from another angle - or to look at things at all, really, but everyone should decide for themselves if they feel ready to read about these kind of things or not.
All in all, Impulse was a fantastic novel all around and I would recommend it to everyone who thinks he or she can handle issues like abuse, violence or cutting.
RATING: 3 out of 3 Smarties