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Impulse Paperback – May 20, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up—Three teens tell their stories, in free verse, from a psychiatric hospital after failed suicide attempts. Their lives unfold in alternating chapters, revealing emotionally scarred family relationships. An absent father, a bipolar mother, and a secret abortion have caused Vanessa to slash her wrists. As a compulsive cutter, she hides a paper clip to dig into her skin. Tony's drug overdose was triggered by an addiction in which he exchanged sex for money. Abused as a child, he is confused about his sexuality. Connor is the son of rich, controlling parents, and he survives a self-inflicted gunshot wound after a doomed affair with a female teacher. Initially, the narrators are inwardly focused, having arrived at "level zero," the beginning of their treatment. As they become acquainted with one another, the story, told in spare verse and colorful imagery, becomes more plot-driven and filled with witty dialogue. Both boys value Vanessa's friendship and there is an inkling of competition for her affection, although she assumes that Tony is gay. During a wilderness camping trip with other patients and staff, which would graduate the trio to the final level of treatment, it becomes apparent that one of them is mentally backsliding at the thought of returning home and has stopped taking meds. The consequences are played out, leaving the others to grapple with an additional loss and a newfound appreciation for life. Mature fans of the verse format will devour this hefty problem novel.—Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
Top customer reviews
For a teenager, the content is mature enough where she feels that she is reading a book geared for older teens but not so much where is be getting her an adult book thanks beyond her maturity level.
Ellen Hopkins is the New York Times bestselling author of Crank, Burned, Glass and several other best sellers. She is very popular with teen girls. She has a gift for understanding what teen girls think and feel. Recommend it to everyone. Parents of teen girls need to read this book.
Personally I found that all three of the main characters had unique stories and I liked that when they all interacted, you could get the point of views from each of them instead of just having one character that we know the thoughts of. I like knowing each characters perspectives on the situations.
There were some shocking moments, and some disturbing moments as to be expected. Although a little watered down on the disturbing side but this isn't an adult novel so it's to be expected. At the time of purchasing this novel, I also took the chance and bought two other Hopkins novels, just based on the assumption that I would like them (as in, perhaps I should have just bought one first to see if I enjoy it, then I can go out and buy more). And I'm glad I liked Impulse because now I'm looking even more forward to read the other two books I got.