Ellen Hopkins is one of my favorite modern Young Adult authors. I just finished her first Adult novel, Triangles. Without giving too much away from the experience of reading her stories, I must discuss 2 elements which compels me to pick up novel after novel.
First – Courage
Ellen Hopkins obtains an unending well of courage to discuss subject teens and young adults need to consider and reflect on. The first book I read was Impulse, which surrounds itself around three teens at a rehabilitation center. This story provokes subjects many people would rather sweep under the rug, but instead the characters themselves discuss their problems, thoughts, and feelings. It is the creative perspective in which she writes, which carries such a weighted emotional punch to the reader’s heart. (This leads me to element number 2.)
2 – Creative Writing
Ellen Hopkins writes very creatively, from her shifting from character to character and then capturing their unique voice in a first person chapter, unfolding the events through their eyes as they see it, to allowing the reader to settle within their skin, feeling what they feel. She also uses fresh imagery not cliché, to convey what is happening in her characters’ heads. Hey diction flows off the tongue, yet fast paced as machine gun fire. In addition, she also uses formatting to add another layer to the story. Whether it be placing the words to build a picture, or off setting words on the side to build a sentence, the thesis of the page.
Lastly, I have read several of her books, save Crank, Glass, Tricks, and Fallout. However, they are on my list to consume. I would recommend all the others, but would name Impulse and its spin-off Perfect, as my favorite. Although, Identical, also tops the list for it has a unique twist, which will completely catch you off guard. Burned, was entertaining, but just not my favorite, similar to Triangles, which is provocative and would only recommend it to the older crowd, as it is a bit adult.
However, I am anticipating the release of Tilt, another spin-off, about the children of the adult characters from Triangles. Expect another post after released later this year.