Monday, August 27, 2012

Tilt by Ellen Hopkins

TiltTilt by Ellen Hopkins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads: Love--good and bad--forces three teens' worlds to tilt in a riveting novel from "New York Times "bestselling author Ellen Hopkins.Three teens, three stories--all interconnected through their parents' family relationships. As the adults pull away, caught up in their own dilemmas, the lives of the teens begin to tilt....

Mikayla, almost eighteen, is over-the-top in love with Dylan, who loves her back jealously. But what happens to that love when Mikayla gets pregnant the summer before their senior year--and decides to keep the baby?

Shane turns sixteen that same summer and falls hard in love with his first boyfriend, Alex, who happens to be HIV positive. Shane has lived for four years with his little sister's impending death. Can he accept Alex's love, knowing that his life, too, will be shortened?

Harley is fourteen--a good girl searching for new experiences, especially love from an older boy. She never expects to hurdle toward self-destructive extremes in order to define who she is and who she wants to be.

Love, in all its forms, has crucial consequences in this standalone novel.

My thoughts: In order to completely enjoy Ellen Hopkins, the reader must read the books in the format they are written. The words are profound and written in verse. At the same time, the format provides layers to the stories. It's more of an art form than simply a novel or a book of poetry. For instance, one of the peripheral characters is writing from his point of view and expresses many different thoughts and feelings when read in complete verse. It makes complete sense and the voice stays in character. At the same time, the verses are written in a format where certain words are set apart and succinctly summarize in five words.

Triangles was an adult book, written about three women; friends and/or sisters. Their lives all intersect in many ways and on different levels. What they all have in common is their geography and the fact they are all mothers. Tilt is also written in verse and alternate points of view via three main characters, one teenage child per woman from Triangles. This book covers the same time period as the adult book, perhaps even further if I remember correctly, but from the teenage children's perspective. Interestingly, it does not retell the same story. There are life events that both books mark like death, marriage, divorce, and a certain level of infidelity, but the books intersect only so far. The children never completely grasp what the parents are experiencing and the parents did not comprehend what the children were really doing or feeling.

The main characters include Harley, Shane, and Mikayla. All three are struggling to find their place in the world. Intermingled in the three stories are peripheral points of view through verse via boyfriend, sister, cousin or best friend. Each character and voice is vastly different and I found myself liking Alex, a peripheral character, the best because of his depth.

I can not rant and rave enough about Hopkins and her writing style. I love it and I love the way she expresses an individual's thoughts, feelings, and subconscious ideas. I would suggest this book as a book club book and moderated by a teacher or counselor. It is rich with feeling and layered with the reality of consequences regarding teenage sex, quick judgment, and drug and alcohol use. Well worth the time. But be prepared for difficult subjects.

Sex - Extreme
Drug Use - Moderate to extreme
Language - Extreme
Violence - Mild to none.

*I received a free copy of this book from publishing company in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

1 comment:

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Rainy Day Reads