Book Review on Ellen Hopkin’s Novel, Impulse

Book Review on Ellen Hopkins Novel, Impulse

Eleni Gaspar, Staff Writer

Last week, author Ellen Hopkins came to Academic Magnet to talk with interested students about her life and writing career. One novel she wrote, Impulse goes into detail about three different characters who come together after facing severe depression and who are close to their breaking point. They arbitrarily meet in a facility for young adults where the goal is to undergo therapy in order to restart a healthier life. Unfortunately, this does not end up being the case for all. Not everyone has faced such adversity as the protagonists of the story have, however the novel grabs the attention of the reader and allows a sense of self-evaluation and purpose to be established. Hopkins does not hold back on allowing the reader to feel saddened and discomforted, while at the same time feel gratitude, love and curiosity. One of the main ideas Hopkins pushes is the different situations and backgrounds of each main character. Tony is a character in the novel who not only seems unapproachable in his rough, unclean personality, but also lived on the street for most of his life, begging and terrorizing others around him for drug money. In contrast, Connor and Vanessa lead seemingly ordinary lives on the outside. This story takes young adults from overly-perfect scenarios as well as the worst situations, and explains how all people can be brought to their limits. The underlying message may seem cliché, but the book demonstrates that adversity does not always lie on the outside or first glance of a person. It is not only the people sleeping on the park benches and begging for money that need help and face hardships. This novel has relatable occurrences while expanding the reader’s thoughts into other terrains that both scary and exciting. In an indirect way, Hopkins presses the idea of appreciation as well as keeping an open mind to the choices and lives of others, through a free verse, well-written, compelling novel.