Monday, May 28, 2012

Review of Impulse

My review of Impulse by Ellen Hopkins is based on a hardcover copy of the book that I purchased for myself. The following review is my honest opinion of the work.

Goodreads Summary: "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."
When I first picked up Impulse I wasn't sure how I was going to be able to keep up with all three narrators. I mean, I'm challenged enough when a novel is written traditionally but three different perspectives all told in alternating verse? Talk about a challenge. Or at least I thought it was. Ellen Hopkins has mad skills let me tell you. At first I found myself paying close attention to the title of each chapter, which was the character's name, but after only a few chapters I didn't have to. I knew these characters. I could tell one style of poetry from another.

I loved the different viewpoints. I loved getting to know these three characters so intimately, and after having read it in this way I can't see how Ellen Hopkins could have given Impulse that kind of depth in any other way. There's something so personal about verse, something so intimate about seeing a character's thoughts and actions portrayed through verse/poetry that lends itself to this kind of emotional rollercoaster well.

Impulse has the train wreck effect going for it, or at least it did in my case. As the reader you see the characters maturing, or at least trying to mature and not always succeeding at it, and you grow attached. At some point during the novel, I couldn't pinpoint an exact section, I started having this bad feeling. I just knew something was going to happen but I kept rooting for the character anyway, I kept devouring the book hoping that something would change, that it would go another way. But in that Impulse touches on something very true to life, we don't always get our happy ending.

Impulse doesn't hold back and gives readers an intimate look into the lives of the three teenagers without pulling any punches. Ellen Hopkins has written another hard-hitting, heart-breaking novel in verse that is without a doubt a five out of five stars.


  1. I haven't read a novel in verse yet. I'm ashamed to admit they seem intimidating to me! This book may be the one to break that for me, it sounds riveting. Awesome review!

    Kristan @ Lost Amongst the Shelves

  2. Oh they're really good. After awhile you almost forget that they are being told to you in verse. The intimidation of poetry just goes away.

    Thank you! :D

  3. You really caught my attention when you mentioned the bad feeling you were getting, I love when a book can force you to feel all sorts of emotion and builds tension. Also, I'm a fan of verse so I really want to check this book out!

    I found your blog via your feature on Into the Morning Reads ;) We're now following you.

    Mands xox

  4. Me too! I think that is an important sign of an amazing book, when you get so sucked in that you're feeling the emotions of story and characters. It makes for a far more intense read than normal and therefore a better one. I hope you enjoy Impulse!

    Aw, thank you. I really enjoyed writing that post and I'm glad its getting some attention. :]