Review: Impulse by Ellen Hopkins

December 29, 2013 3 Stars, Reviews 4

Title: Impulse
Author: Ellen Hopkins
Genre: YA, Realistic Fiction, Abuse, Suicide
Series: Impulse #1
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
My Rating: 3 Stars
"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."

My Review

This book is dark, scary, and very, very disturbing, but all that is hidden in beautiful words and a story that is so gripping that it makes it worth reading. If you prefer happy books with cute characters that have bubbly personalities and their biggest problem in life is who they’re going to date, then this book probably isn’t for you. However, if you enjoy reading heavy books with characters who deal with real-life struggles, such as abuse, depression, and suicide, then you should definitely pick this book up.

I love Ellen Hopkins’ books, and I loved reading Impulse, but I did have my issues with it. Firstly, we’re reading from multiple point-of-views, which I don’t have a problem with as long as the different POV’s are easy to distinguish between, however, sometimes I forgot which character’s POV I was reading from with this book. I had to flip back to the chapter headings so often just to get back into the right mindset. I hated that.

Another thing that I wasn’t very fond of was how each character had so many more problems than you see on the surface, and while I know that some people do have a lot of problems, but I just felt like these characters were carrying a heavier load than they needed to get the point across. I just felt like they never had a break, which I suppose is realistic, but it bothered me.

Lastly, I didn’t really get attached to the characters the way I’d have liked to. I didn’t form any sort of connection to them, and this book felt like a very impersonal read, but yet it still upset me. I didn’t feel as strongly for the characters as I usually do with Hopkins’ books, but instead I was more invested in the plot, which was sometimes slow going.

This book is difficult to read, and it will probably leave you feeling sad and down, depending on how you look at it. It might leave you feeling grateful for the problems you don’t have, instead of upset over the ones you do.

I will probably pick up the sequel, but not right away.

You should read Impulse if you enjoyed:

Crash Into Me & Thirteen Reasons Why


About Jessica

Jessica is an twenty year old blogger who lives in Michigan. She's currently a junior in college. She's a full-time student and part-time employee. She loves to read young adult fiction, especially contemporary, romance, and dystopian. Feel free to drop by and say hi by leaving a comment on one of her blog posts- she'll be sure to reply!

4 Responses to “Review: Impulse by Ellen Hopkins”

  1. Alise

    I had a friend who used to read all of Hopkins books and tried to get me into them when I was really young (around 12) and I was like “Heck, no!” Because they seemed so scary back then 🙂 Now I really feel like giving them a chance except I really don’t care for novels in verse.

    • JessicaN

      Really? I’d have been afraid to read them too! The first Ellen Hopkins book I picked up was Identical, which dealt with some heavy stuff, and I didn’t even know it was in verse until after I started reading it. I don’t think I’ve read any other novels in verse, but her books are fairly easy to follow despite the format. Thanks for commenting! : )

  2. mnkbooklife

    Ooh, I really adore Thirteen Reasons Why but I honestly have never heard about this one. Sad to hear that the PoV is very hard to be distinguished and that it’s hard to connect with the character, though 🙁

    Anyway, thanks for sharing! I’ll probably check this one out sometimes 🙂

    Neysa @ [B.O.O.K.L.I.F.E]

    • JessicaN

      I loved Thirteen Reasons Why, too! I would definitely give this book a chance, since you liked TRW, but it is a little more depressing than Thirteen Reasons Why was. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge