Impulse by Ellen Hopkins, read by Laura Flanagan, Jeremy Guskin, and Steve Coombs
Publisher: HighBridge Company
Release Date: February 17, 2009
Format: Audiobook (6 hrs 52 min)
Age Level: Young Adult
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Buy: Amazon | IndieBound
Brutally honest. Depressing. Hopeful.
Vanessa, Tony, and Conner all attempted suicide and failed, and their paths cross at Aspen Springs where they become friends. I won't lie, this is a tough book. Tough to think that there are kids that actually have these lives. Ellen Hopkins is now another author I applaud for tackling real, difficult issues that teenagers face.
Impulse has great pacing, and is written in beautiful verse. Though I liked listening to the audio version, I'd be interested to read her physical books to experience the verse style of writing. Hopkins did a great job with characterization, I felt like I knew Vanessa, Tony, and Conner. I truly cared about these characters.
The narrators were great, I really appreciated that there were three different narrators. I love when audiobooks have more than one narrator when the book is written from multiple perspectives. Though it did take me a while to distinguish between the voices of Connor and Tony. I would recommend both the audio and physical versions of this book. The audio was great, but the verse style may be overlooked, as it wasn’t obvious (to me).
I want to warn that there are many mature topics in Impulse. Attempted suicide, sexual abuse, cutting, sex, drug use, and mental illness being the main ones. I wouldn’t recommend this to younger readers, but at the same time, I don’t think these issues should be hidden from them either. I sincerely believe that these topics should be openly discussed between kids and their parents… but that is my opinion.