Impulse by Ellen Hopkins

Impulse by Ellen Hopkins

Release Date: January 23, 2008
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Series: Impulse, Book 1
Rated: YA 14+
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository

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 no idea that Ellen Hopkins books were in verse, so I was surprised to open up and see poems instead of prose (normal plain writing). But at the same time, I was quite glad, because this book is HUGE and I was kinda afraid to tackle it. It actually didn't take very long, and is quite a fast read.
People have been going on about Hopkins' books (this was my first), but honestly, this shocked me. It was completely:


Loved it, the verses flowed and the story revealed itself with the meaning behind the words. Something about poetry does that to you, huh?

I really loved the switch in perspectives, it's like little jigsaw puzzle pieces all coming together in the end to reveal what actually happened to these three people. I was intrigued by all three perspectives, which is pretty odd since I only usually am biased to one (or two) at the most, but it just made me want to go on and read more.
Of the characters however, I found my self warming up to Tony. I felt so bad for him and I think he's the sweetest of the lot. Obviously, none of the things that these three have gone through is good, but I found myself cringing at Tony's story. Vanessa's story is also really good, I love how much she loves her little brother and how much her cares about her. Conner, I feel so sorry for him. Having to be perfect all the time is too pressurizing. He was a great character, and I have to say, I was the most attracted to him. It's always the new ones to the center that are, I've noticed.

The ending though. Oh Gods, MINDBLOWING. Totally didn't see that coming. I kinda stopped reading, looked at the words open mouthed and re-read them several times to make sure I wasn't dreaming. But yup, it's a great ending, some good and bad came out of it, but everything ties up nicely.
Impulse is beautifully horrific, in the sense that the stories of the past and present which these three perspectives tell us mainly end up with a sad or shocking ending. Yet there are some from which you just can't help but to smile, like their growing friendship and love that forms. Ellen Hopkins, as I said before (in different word order) has blown my mind, and I can't wait to get my hands on book 2, Perfect, or any of her other books for that matter!

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  1. I've only read one book in verse before and I quite enjoyed it. Coincidentally, it tackled a tough issue too. I should try this one.

  2. I haven't read any of Ellen Hopkins books yet mainly because I'm afraid I won't appreciate the verse form.. But I'm very interested in trying at least one of them now ! Thank you :)
    I'm adding this one to my wishlist ;)


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