Oct 15, 2012

Tilt by Ellen Hopkins review

Tilt cover
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.

From Goodreads

Tilt follows the teenagers introduced in her adult novel Triangles. Each of the three teens are facing their own struggles with demons. None of them ever expected to end up in the situations in which they find themselves, but who does? 

Mikayla can't imagine a world without Dylan, so why would he expect her to hurt their baby? Shane has used "light recreational drugs" to help him cope with a dying little sister & the fact that his homosexuality has caused him to be a blight on the family. But how far will he falls when he falls for a doomed lover? Harley is a newly minted high schooler trying to find her own path in a sea of confusion. With no real guiding reference as to what a relationship or proper personal responsibility should look like, she risks losing everything she never knew she'd miss.

As far as the story is concerned, this is a very traditional Ellen Hopkins novel. Told in verse, you're pulled into very hectic situations and tossed in all sorts of directions. Each character has some serious demons to face that they couldn't have really planned for no matter how hard they may have tried. While none of them have perfect parents, I really think their parents' issues cause more damage than the teens are able to cope with at such a fragile time in their lives. 

I'm sure every reader will be able to identify with at least one of the main characters, but I really enjoyed the vignettes from other characters. Between each section of a main character's story is one page from a minor character's point of view. I think this gives the book a different feel than we usually get when reading from just the main characters' views. In a way it breaks down the barrier between how the main characters' perceive events & the reality of the situation.

Unfortunately, this book does not provide the type of closure that I have come to expect from Ellen's books. While her previous books may not have answered every question, I think they still left the reader with some sort of closure or satisfactory ending. The final sections of each character felt very abrupt to me. It's almost as if I was missing a few pages. When I checked, my book was in fact complete. So just a heads up, this one ends messily and in no real way gives the reader or the characters any sort of completion. While that may have been her intention, it didn't really sit that well with me.

Overall though I enjoyed the book, as much as one can say they "enjoyed" such a book. What were your thoughts?

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