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Tilt Hardcover – September 11, 2012
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From School Library Journal
"Brimming with shoes about to drop (some do, some don’t) and the drama her fans devour . . ."--Kirkus Reviews
"Graphic, bitingly honest, and voluminous verse." (SLJ)
"By turns poised and visceral." (The Horn Book Guide)
Top Customer Reviews
What prevented me from awarding this book my usual 5 stars is the plethora of secondary characters who have their own stories. All of these characters are interconnected in some way...blood relatives, friends, friends of friends. Not only that, but each of the parents of the three main characters have their own dramas. Breaking with her usual form of telling the story through the first person characters of her main characters, this time Hopkins let's everyone have their say. Helpfully, the book designer reminds us that these are "outside observers" by placing their chapters on greyed paper. After awhile with all the cousins, and aunts and uncle, boyfriends and girlfriends, and a posse of friends for each of the characters, I began to wish the book had included a dramatis personae to keep them all straight.
Additionally, Hopkins covers a ton of hot button topics...teen HIV, pregnancy, euthanasia, abortion, casual sex, drug use and drinking,adoption and a search for a birth parent, plus both teen and adult infidelity. Whew! I love Hopkins' writing, but perhaps there was just a little too much crammed into this one. I blew through this in four hours (starting the second it downloaded to my Kindle), so now I am going to re-read it, more slowly, to see if I can keep all the characters straight. However, if you are a Hopkins fan, you will not be disappointed.
Also a word of warning if you are reading this in the Kindle version. A lot of the meaning of Hopkins work comes from the way the verse is arranged on the page. Not only is this feature mostly missing in the Kindle version, tI can tell there are a whole words and phrases left out. This is really reading between the lines.
What really ruined this book for me was the fact that I could not get emotionally invested in the characters’ lives.
Mikayla never really spoke to me. I couldn’t understand her romance with Dylan. I really couldn’t see their romance as anything other than a very unhealthy co-dependency. Mikayla’s every thought was about Dylan, and about how she could twist and turn and bend herself in every which way to make him happy. We only start to see real character from her when she finds out she’s pregnant, and even then she’s over the top, jealous, petty and immature. I really wished throughout the whole book that someone would give her a reality check, because her chapters were definitely very difficult to tolerate.
Harley got on my nerves more than anything. She's is tired of being a “good girl”, so she wants to change that. Harley does so many things that I really wish never to read again. I’m 18, and seeing a 14-year old make so many subsequent bad decisions was agonizing. I ached to be her mother and slap some sense into her. All I can really say about her overall outcome is: it was expected.
The only point of view that I really enjoyed was Shane’s. Shane’s story was the one that captivated me the most, and the one that didn’t make me want to roll my eyes most of the time. Shane and Alex’s relationship was so different and so genuine from the other relationships in this book. They had to overcome religious parents, judgmental peers, health issues, mental disorders, etc. There were so many things happening between them, and it was so nice to see how their relationship would twist and turn and accommodate to what was happening. I loved this part of the story.
Between each chapter there was a point of view of a different minor character, and at first it was good. After that, it turned really unnecessary to the plot and basically useless.
The narrators for this audiobook were wonderful. They each knew how to represent their characters and did excellent jobs at portraying the emotions. They really played at my heartstrings in some parts, and I really loved that. However, not even the brilliant narration could have salvaged the book for me.
The ending was by far the worst part of this book. Because of the ending I had to remove a star from my rating. When I had thought that I was finally going to see how everything was resolved, the book ended. It ended abruptly; every single problem was left unresolved. Every character’s story was left wide open. I really don't know what happened with any of them. I was really disappointed at this.
Overall, if it wouldn’t have been for the disappointing ending and the lack of connection to most of the characters, I would've enjoyed this book. However, I do recommend audiobooks with the same narrators, because they did a wonderful job.
Rating: 1.5 stars
Anyone who is an Ellen Hopikin fan, loves poetry or the style of poetry and just wants a good book to read should definately purchase this book. Upon reading this book, I couldn't put it down, I wanted more and the ending came much too quickly for me to handle. I wanted more and was disapointed that it ended, it leaves you amazed and compleately shocked.
Not only is the story good, but the way it is written, this is a fantastic book for critical thinking and analyzation. Please highly consider this book when you are shopping. I hope you have a great time experiancing it as I did. I will definately be purchasing mor Ellen Hopkin in the future, she is truley gifted.
a sequel? I hope so. I do recommend this because it covers many important topics.