Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Book Review: Rumble by Ellen Hopkins

Publish Date: August 26th, 2014
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry

ISBN: 978-1-4424-8284-5
Pages: 560
Series: None

Source: From publisher for honest review

Goodreads Synopsis:
Can an atheist be saved? The New York Times bestselling author of Crank and Tricks explores the highly charged landscapes of faith and forgiveness with brilliant sensitivity and emotional resonance.
“There is no God, no benevolent ruler of the earth, no omnipotent grand poobah of countless universes. Because if there was...my little brother would still be fishing or playing basketball instead of fertilizing cemetery vegetation.”

Matthew Turner doesn’t have faith in anything.
Not in family—his is a shambles after his younger brother was bullied into suicide. Not in so-called friends who turn their backs when things get tough. Not in some all-powerful creator who lets too much bad stuff happen. And certainly not in some “It Gets Better” psychobabble.
No matter what his girlfriend Hayden says about faith and forgiveness, there’s no way Matt’s letting go of blame. He’s decided to “live large and go out with a huge bang,” and whatever happens happens. But when a horrific event plunges Matt into a dark, silent place, he hears a rumble…a rumble that wakes him up, calling everything he’s ever disbelieved into question.

My Review:
Once again we are introduced to real life important struggles and issues in Ellen Hopkins new book, Rumble. This time we tackle sexuality, religion, bullying and the guilt and regret that is associated with all of it.
Matt was just a "normal" guy or so he thought until his world is turned upside down with the news of his younger brothers suicide brought on by bullying. What if Matt had been there? What if he took that last phone call a little more seriously? What it? What if...? That is all that Matt is left with. The what ifs, and a family that has been pulled apart even more. When your family is falling apart, your best friend/brother is gone, who do you turn to for support and someone to talk to? Matt's girlfriend Hayden should be the one, but he can't even do this anymore because she has become this extra bible studying, God fearing religious type that Matt - as an atheist - can't relate to anymore. So Matt turns to his uncle who is suffering from his own struggles.
Ellen Hopkins brings us back into her usual verse style novel that I find very intriguing, and adds a mixture of intensity and vulnerability to the character and the story line. She tackles issues with a level of expertise that only she has mastered. Not once while reading Rumble did it feel like she was throwing subliminal messages our way, and never did I feel that her own beliefs and values were overpowering in any way either. Each character had their values and that's all we got. They were characters that Ellen brought to life. In a way, at some point or another, I think every reader can relate to one of Ellen Hopkins characters. Maybe not in this book, but in one of her others. They are real, the issues are real and nothing is sugar coated when it comes to Rumble. Ellen Hopkins is the leader in books that deal with real life issues, and she is most definitely the leader in verse style novels. Whether you're a fan already, Rumble is intense and a must read.

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