Vanessa, Connor, and Tony are three people who don’t have anything really in common. Vanessa is an army brat, who uses sex as a way to find herself. Connor is the popular, rich kid who used sex to find something in his life worth living for. Tony is a former drug addict, who’s gay and has parental issues. Not much in common, except for the fact that they’re all in the same institution. Vanessa and Connor are in because they tried to kill themselves, and Tony…well, he’s in there for his addiction to drugs that almost got him killed. Despite the odds and their differences they form a close friendship and look out for each other while they try to get out. But for one of them friendship just isn’t enough.
Okay, so, Ellen Hopkins is really good at what she does. She writes really powerful novels no matter what situation – drug addiction, religion, suicide, etc. – she puts her characters in, and these stories are haunting and beautiful. Impulse was my second crack at an audio book and like with Burned, I really loved the narrators. Laura Flanagan did an awesome job with Vanessa, although there were times I kept imagining Pattyn instead. Same goes for Jeremy Guskin and Steve Coombs who did Connor and Tony’s passages. Wow. It felt like they were all actually in the car with me.
My two complaints are quite simple. One, I was somewhat irked that the trio became friends so quickly. I know friendships can happen in a whirlwind, especially under extreme circumstances, but – what seemed like – one week together and they’re that close? Give me a break. Second, I really love diversity in books, so when I was first introduced to the trio I was really excited that Tony was gay. I thought for sure there was going to be a love triangle between them all, but not in the usual YA way. I was disappointed when it went the opposite direction. Vanessa and Connor then Vanessa and Tony. Really, Hopkins? So much potential wasted.
Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. A powerful tale about how depression bring three people who aren’t similar at all together, but at the same time isn’t enough to stop the disease. With the cliffhanger of an ending, I’m off to download the next book and see what happens next to these characters.
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