Impulse – book review

Impulse by Ellen Hopkins

Enthralling and attention-grabbing, Impulse is a book by Ellen Hopkins.

Aspen Springs is a psychiatric hospital for those who have attempted the ultimate act – suicide. Three teenagers with three different lives have tried to escape, but what they’ve done has led them to Aspen Springs.

Vanessa is smart and beautiful, but she believes the only solution to when things get hard is the blade.
Tony has suffered a painful childhood and has turned to pills.
Conner life seems to be perfect. But he’s in a constant battle with his parents, his life and himself.

Now living in a place where they don’t know anybody, all three teenagers need to find someone they can rely on for when times get tough. The only way they can get through this is if they have each other. Maybe they can help each other find their way to a better life, but they have to be strong enough to fight the demons that brought them here in the first place.

When I first got this book and opened it to start reading it, I saw what seemed to be a page of free-verse poetry. I thought it must have been some introductory thing to the book or something similar. So I flicked through the other pages to see if the rest of the book was the same as that page. It was. The first thing I thought was: Oh, no! What have I gotten myself into? Even though I’d seen the Goodreads rating of 4.3 stars, which is why I wanted to read it in the first place, I was sceptical as to whether I’d like reading this book. I didn’t think I was the type of person who’d like this book, if it was going to be all like this. But I read the first page to get a taste of whether I’d like it or not before I had to put it down and go out someplace. I wasn’t expecting to like it. But I did. I loved it. After I read that first page, I was desperate to read more. Why did I go out and not take the book with me? That was the thing I was thinking over and over again until I returned home that night. I really wanted to know where things were going to go from that first page. For me, this book was definitely love-at-first-page.
I really liked the characters in this book, Vanessa especially. I felt like she was the most thought-about and planned character. Tony and Conner felt semi-done to me and I often couldn’t remember whose point of view I was reading from, unless it was Vanessa. I liked finding out what happened to them that led them to this place. I loved how their friendships developed throughout the book.
Impulse deals with some really deep issues. Ellen Hopkins tackled these issues head-on and I loved her courage for writing such shocking and possibly disturbing things. Only a really skillful author can write about these things without making clichés or making the story seem unrealistic. Ellen’s writing was full of emotion and had me tear-up in quite a few places. This book really was an emotional rollercoaster and wasn’t all depressing, like I thought it could have been. But there is a lot of depressing parts in this book and I wouldn’t recommend reading it if you’re in a bad place at the moment. There are happier books to read out there, but I really enjoyed experiencing Ellen Hopkins’s writing. I absolutely loved how this book was written and I will definitely be reading more of Ellen’s books soon! I’d give Impulse by Ellen Hopkins a score of 8 out of 10. If you’re looking for a book that’s different and exciting, this is the book for you!

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Australia for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review!

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