{Review} TILT by Ellen Hopkins

Happy Book Day to 
by Ellen Hopkins!!!

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

Should the sun beat
summer too fiercely
through your afternoon
window, you can

the blinds to temper
heat and scatter light,
sifting shadows this way
and that with a

of slats. And if candor
strikes too forcefully,
step back, draw careful
breath and consider the

your words must take
before you open
your mouth, let them leak
out. Because once you
tilt the truth,

it becomes a lie.
(Page 1, US hardcover first edition)

This isn't my first time reading verse, but rather my fourth (I think.  AUDITION, LOVE AND LEFTOVERS, and MAY B. come to mind).  I've said before that the style verse offers is lovely and complex, but lacks the full immersion of a prose novel.  I feel like it's all introspective, and other things aren't fleshed out in the fashion I'm accustomed to. I didn't have this issue with TILT.  In fact, I discovered why readers have said that Ellen Hopkins' books pack emotional punches.  While still introspective, there is so much going on that I never felt as though character development (even secondary) suffered.  As Ashley from Basically Amazing Books has told me before, with the right author behind the wheel, verse takes you deeper than you ever thought possible.

Part of the reason for this connection surely comes from the rawness Hopkins reveals as she embraces the dark side of daily life.  She doesn't flinch away from hard-hitting issues.  Her books are about life.  Every day, teenagers experience drugs, sex, divorce, and other hot-button issues.  In TILT, Hopkins explores HIV, teen pregnancy, siblings with terminal illness, abusive relationships, coming out and learning to be comfortable in one's own skin.  These are only a few of the topics making up the fabric of the characters' world.  While at first it was hard to sink into the story's cadence due to the way it was hard to tell one POV from another (Thanks to the nature of verse, not Hopkins' ability by any means) within three or four POV rotations with each character, I had a handle on who they were and where they were going.  While I predicted a few late paths the novel would take toward the end, I was still surprised because Hopkins handled each one in a unique, unpredictable way.

TILT is a companion to TRIANGLES, Hopkins' first adult verse novel, in a way I didn't understand before reading both the author's note and the novel itself.  TRIANGLES is from the viewpoint of adults, while TILT is through the eyes of the children of the adults from TRIANGLES.  The same occurrences rip everyone's daily lives apart, yet the perspective is different.  In TILT, we're privy to snippets of overheard adult conversation, but we don't know what's going on in their lives.  In a way, I became a voyeur and wanted to know the other side of the story.  Initially, I wasn't interested in TRIANGLES because I knew the characters were older and going through experiences still foreign to me.  I'd heard a lot Hopkins' audience wasn't relating to it because of this, and I felt included.  After reading TILT, I believe there's one more way to read TRIANGLES, since I've now experienced one side of the story.  It's intriguing that together, these two novels make up a whole, even as they're able to be read as stand-alones.

While I've always been ambivilent about whether or not to read Hopkins, TILT has shown me that she has so much more to offer than I ever imagined possible.  And the writing.  I think I threw more Goodreads quotes up as I was reading than ever before, and there were even more I wanted to share that didn't necessarily work out of context.

Hopkins' books are dark, gritty, and raw.  They're unflinchingly honest and not for everyone.  If you want something a little rougher around the edges that doesn't promise the perfect Happily Ever After story, pick up one of her verse novels and try something new.  You won't be disappointed.
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

This cover is iridescent and shiny in person.  When it hits the light, the colors explode and deepen.  It's really quite lovely!  It also isn't often that I see books with yellow covers.  Yellow is unique because its hue spectrum can range from happy to sickly.  The circles range the spectrum as well, from sunshine yellow, to green, to traces of range.  Both happy and sickly, just like the pages lying within.  Who knew color could say so much?

I took TILT outside on a bright day so you could see the explosion of color waiting to happen.  Trust me, no photo will do this one justice:

YouTube Link

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Title:  TILT
Release Date: Out September 11, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster / Margaret K. McElderry Books
Received: Review Copy

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.


  1. Very happy you took the chance and enjoyed the reading experience. I do hope you'll try my other books, too.

  2. Haha! Yay!! :D:D:D See?! What did I tell you?! Ellen Hopkins is, without a doubt one of the most gifted verse writers. Period.

    (Also, totally awesome that she read your review! :D)

    We shall chat soon, and I will recommend which of her books I think you should read next, and now, maybe you will also read Lisa Schroeder! :) She's my other favorite verse novelist. :)

  3. Really too much informative news this is and I am too much impressed from this blog because this blog is totally related to house and house need. Thankful to you for posting this blog. Tilt and turn windows


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