Kid Konnection: Impulse
Three very different teens find themselves in a residential mental health facility for three very different reasons and, find that as different as they are, they have a lot in common. They form an unlikely friendship and try to look out for each other.
. . . These
kids are the best of the worst –
bright, capable underachievers.
It’s truly bizarre
that they end up here. For
some it’s addiction, for
others, abuse. A few simply
succumb to depression.
- Tony’s parents are divorced – he never sees his father and his mother has problems of her own and fails to protect him from horrific abuse. He solves things his own way which creates other problems for him.
- Vanessa’s father is always gone leaving her and her sibling in the care of their mentally ill mother. It looks like Vanessa may have inherited her mother’s problems.
- On the surface, it seems Connor has it all, but nothing he does pleases his parents. He can’t keep up with his twin sister.
Impulse, by Ellen Hopkins, is written in verse and is a companion book to Perfect. It’s told from the points of view of the three main characters so readers get inside each of their heads and it’s not always pleasant. These kids have been through some horrific things and some of the tools they use to cope aren’t pretty. The book is rather dark and gritty, but true to life for so many young people so it left me feeling somewhat sad. I think it’s an important book, though – for those who can relate to the characters as well as those who can’t – because the issues explored are all too real for teens today.
I am in awe of Ellen Hopkins and her writing ability and think she is truly gifted. This book is over 650 pages long and it’s all in verse. It’s done so well that I knew the characters and struggled with their pain right along with them. They felt so real to me and I hoped they’d find their way to healing. I didn’t love Impulse as much as I loved Perfect, but I still thought it was fantastic and recommend both books. There are some serious issues in these pages – depression, mental illness, sexuality, and abuse, to name a few, so they’re not for younger YA readers.
For more children’s books reviews, go to Booking Mama’s feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site.