Home       About Me       Review Index

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Thoughts: Tilt by 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.

I was SO excited when I heard that Ellen Hopkins was bringing Tilt into existence. I had read and reviewed it's adult companion, Triangles, late last year and I really enjoyed it. However I did wonder if the youth in the novel would be making an appearance in their own novel. I was sure that their story needed to be told.

There were a number of teens that Hopkins could have "picked" from when writing this novel. However, she knew what she was doing when she chose to write the stories of Mikayla, Shane and Harley. They were the perfect protagonists.

If you have read Hopkins before I am pretty sure you will not be disappointed with this novel. However Tilt is not like most of her other novels. In saying that his one wasn't as heavy or emotionally exhausting as her previous novels. Don't get me wrong. This one deals with serious issues such as aids, teen pregnancy, drugs, and date rape. But the story is less gut wrenching.

First we have Mikayla- She's 17 and rebelling strongly against all parental authority. She is also madly in love with her new boyfriend. When she finds herself pregnant she is lost and not sure what to do. She is conflicted and this is something Hopkins does well conveying these emotions. We know Mikayla is confused and unsure and we know that she feels like she has no one to turn to. As I was reading this I was heart broken for this girl. She was convinced that she loved this boy and that he loved her and they could figure this out together. it was very sad.

We then have Shane- I think Shane's story is the most heart wrenching of the book. He's a sixteen year old homosexual teenager. Who is in a relationship with a boy he adores but who is very sick. He has a broken relationship with his father due to his sexuality. So, when his sister dies Shane really loses it. I ached for this kid. Everything he had to experience was incredible.

Finally there is Harley- She was the one that annoyed me the most. This is mainly because the decisions she was making were ridiculous. She was the one who was the most insecure and therefore the most outgoing, if that makes sense. She faked it till she made it. She tried to find acceptance in all the wrong places. This really bothered me because I know that this isn't  how it needs to be. Harley is a sweet girl and she has a good heart and what she is looking for she deserves. But she's just to self involved to recognize when she's got it wrong.

Tilt is written in Hopkins' standard verse, and it's beautiful. It really adds to the story. I think that's what makes these stories so much more then your standard issues novels.  But the way she writes her stories really gets you thinking. Which is a good thing.

The one thing that I didn't really like about this novel was the timeline. Much of Tilt's timeline overlapped with Triangles timeline. So a number of the events were the same and they were expected. This is only an issue for those who have read Triangles. I wanted to know how the kids were doing after the events in Triangles. Tilt did extend past the Triangles timeline but not much. But other than that, this novel was pretty near perfect. SO go read it.

~Happy Reading Everyone!


  1. Thus far I haven't been able to get into verse stories, but I have heard so many good things about her, I need to try again.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  2. I didn't know that this one was a companion to Triangles. I never finished Triangles actually (didn't get past the first few pages so it wasn't the stories fault so much, just me feeling overwhelmed) but this one sounds really interesting. Ellen's books are a bit much for me in the sense I just feel emotionally drained when I finish, so I haven't been reading them in awhile. Since this one wasn't AS emotionally draining I may give it a try.

  3. The writing in verse is what scares me away from these novels a bit. Though after having recently read an issue novel for the first time in years and loving it, I am probably closer and more interested than I have ever been to reading her stuff. I am worried that it will be hard to read the verse, but if you say you love it and it is an essential part of the story then so be it! I would really love to read outside my comfort zone so much more than I currently do.

  4. I still stay away from Ms. Hopkins books, I don't know why, they don't call to me. It's not only because their descriptions largely read like issue books, sometimes I feel the pull toward a book that deals with difficult stuff, but never felt that toward this author's .

    It's sad because I always hear her books are great, :P

    I'm glad you enjoyed this one.

  5. I still haven't read a book by Ellen Hopkins though I'm waiting for Crank to arrive. Honestly I'm a bit nervous since her books tend to be so intense and emotionally draining, I think I would feel exhausted after reading her books. I've seen this around but I didn't know what each of the characters were facing until I read the synopsis. My heart broke for the characters just by reading your review, it sounds amazing.


I love comments! So please leave them and I will make every attempt to return the favor!

"So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall."
— Roald Dahl