Ellen Hopkin's masterpiece

Monday, September 22, 2008

Does over 600 free verse pages about teen suicide sound like a little much? It is at times, especially as the three interconnected protagonists reveal all the trauma they've endured in their short lives -- which includes everything from sexual abuse to abortion to cutting and more.

But by stringing together short lines, Hopkins is able to make each of her characters real and distinct. I find this book very interesting. Unlike the usual paperback novels, Allen managed to capture peoples attention by telling her stories in the form of poems. Along the way, readers will find themselves really caring for Vanessa, Conner, and especially funny and warm Tony, as the troubled teens start to deal with their demons, and depend on one another.

In the end, IMPULSE is a gritty and realistic book for mature teens only. It can open the door to a lot of conversations, thanks to the myriad topics it covers. Parents who do a quick flip through the book first will feel more prepared for the discussion.