Review Detail

Tilt FeaturedHot
Young Adult Fiction 4116
Ambitious and Emotional
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
What I Liked:
Earlier this year, I read my first Ellen Hopkins and I liked it enough to want to read more of them. It’s funny, though, how much more daring and dark this later book can be. I feel like this is a sign of publishers broadening the sort of content deemed acceptable for teens. There’s definitely no HEA in Tilt, a far cry from the sudden mostly happy ending of Impulse. Still, I’m finding it hard to place just how I feel about it. I think the increased scope of Tilt, with a much larger cast of characters really upped the melodrama factor. The audiobook was a good way to go, though, because it put different voices to each character.

In Tilt, Ellen Hopkins takes on a LOT: drug usage, alcoholism, divorce, two traumatizing diseases, grief, rape, suicide, and pregnancy. Honestly, I’m probably forgetting a couple of major ones too. That is just SO much to cover in a single book and doing so without getting maudlin is pretty much impossible. On top of that, I think it’s even more difficult to handle each issue fully. That said, Hopkins does a really good job with a number of them, though others are somewhat glossed over.

Much as I am totally not into books about pregnancy, I think that storyline is perhaps the one that Hopkins handled best. Mikayla’s boyfriend talks her into sex without a condom, using the pull-out method instead, which, in a book, means definite pregnancy on the way. Mikayla really considers every avenue open to her, weighing both what will be best for her and for the baby that she could potentially birth. Even though she’s impulsive and has a history of terrible decisions, Mikayla really steps up and grows.

In addition to Mikayla, there are two other main characters and a whole bunch of secondary characters with perspectives. The main characters have long chapters, while the secondary characters sections generally took less than a minute on the audiobook, so probably no more than a couple pages. This piecemeal approach was confusing at the beginning, and sort of a blessing and a curse in the long run. Hearing from other characters is nice, but it’s also a bit difficult to remember the entire cast sometimes and often frustrating when I want to know more about a particular character. Also, like with my previous experience, the characters occasionally used words and phrases that seemed out of character. I will say, though, that most of the transitions from one perspective to another were really effective.

In my prior Hopkins experience, I had some questions about her treatment of the LGBT subject matter. I’m actually glad I read this book before I posted that review, because I wasn’t confident in my opinion on that. I think this later book makes it apparent that Hopkins is very LGBT-friendly. Actually, I was shocked at the change from the previous book to this one, which is way racier, full of sex both straight and gay. Shane’s plot is also notable for his having a pretty functional relationship with Alex, despite Alex’s HIV. Shane’s issues aren’t due to his being gay, but to his sick younger sister. Also, though it’s sad, I love that Alex can’t magically make things better for Shane, even though Alex is really supportive.

In contrast to the other two, Harley was a big change in tone. She’s idealistic and naive, definitely verging on stupid. Though I kept having to remember that she was thirteen to fourteen in Tilt. A crush on her step-brother to be brings her in touch with a dangerous crowd and into a dangerous spiral. Harley’s story is most upsetting by nature of her youth and how little she understood anything that was happening to her, but it’s also the most frustrating because “GIRL, NO.” It did seem pretty realistic, though, how much she would do to please someone even if she didn’t necessarily want to do it.

What Left Me Wanting More:
I don't really have any specific complaints aside from feeling like Hopkins took on a biiit too much.

The Final Verdict:
Each individual story would have made a great book, I think, but combined it was a bit overwhelming and these interconnected families really need a break. The audiobook narrators turn in good performances and make character-tracking a bit simpler.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Fowl Twins (The Fowl Twins, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
One week after their eleventh birthday, the Fowl twins--scientist Myles,...
Kai and the Monkey King (Brownstone's Mythical Collection, #3)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
When Kai grows tired of her bookish mum not being...
Astro Kittens: Cosmic Machines (Astro Kittens)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Greetings, my little Astro Kittens! Are you ready to take...
Astro Kittens: Into the Unknown (Astro Kittens)
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Greetings, my little Astro Kittens! Are you ready to take...
All the Things We Do in the Dark
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Sadie meets Girl in Pieces in this dark, emotional thriller...
The Rubicus Prophecy (The Witches of Orkney, #2)
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Abigail has just started her second year at the Tarkana...
Fancy Nancy: Camp Fancy
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Based on the Disney Junior TV show and inspired by...
Rules for Vanishing
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the faux-documentary style of The Blair Witch Project comes...
What Makes Us
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A viral video reveals a teen’s dark family history, leaving...
Harry Potter Origami
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ever wanted to fold your own Chocolate Frogs? Or play...
By Any Means Necessary
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Heart-wrenchingly honest, fans of Brandy Colbert and Nicola Yoon will...
Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution...
Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In 2001, audiences first met and fell in love with...
On the Come Up
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers...
Spin
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Paris Secord's (aka DJ ParSec) career--and life--has come to...
Leah on the Offbeat
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best...

Latest Member Reviews

Forgiven Are the Starry-Eyed
 
5.0
"The story: Sheltered high school junior Andrea Cavanaugh believes she hits the jackpot when Josh McMillan, a..."
All the Things We Do in the Dark
 
4.3
"ALL THE THINGS WE DO IN THE DARK is an intensely challenging and thought-provoking read with some magical realism elements...."
Rules for Vanishing
 
5.0
"RULES FOR VANISHING is a deliciously haunting YA horror perfect for Halloween. Told through collected documents, interviews, and texts, this..."
What Makes Us
 
5.0
"WHAT MAKES US is an intriguing story that follows a teenaged boy, his mother (in the past), and his friend..."
Serpent & Dove
 
5.0
"Lou is on the run from her family and she lives a thieving life with her friend Coco. Both of..."
By Any Means Necessary
 
3.7
"BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY is an engaging contemporary YA that presents some issues very well. The writing is in a..."
On the Come Up
 
5.0
"ON THE COME UP is a fantastic new YA contemporary that handles big issues like racism and sexism. The characters..."
Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
 
3.3
"FIREBORNE is a new YA fantasy that follows two teens, Lee and Anna (Antigone) in alternating points-of-view. Lee and Anna..."
Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel
 
4.0
"As Middle Grade graphic novel adaptations go, this urban fantasy is above par. The artwork has a bit..."
Into the Crooked Place (Into the Crooked Place, #1)
 
4.0
"INTO THE CROOKED PLACE is an engaging YA fantasy that follows five characters on a quest of aligned goals- even..."
To Kill a Kingdom
 
5.0
"TO KILL A KINGDOM is a wonderful YA fantasy about a siren and a pirate. Told in alternating points of..."
The Rift
 
3.3
"THE RIFT is a unique YA fantasy that takes place on Black Water Island, a place prized for the herd..."
The Beautiful (The Beautiful, #1)
 
3.3
"THE BEAUTIFUL takes place in New Orleans, primarily following a young woman, Celine. Celine fled France after a terrible event..."
 
5.0
"Eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson goes to Madrid, Spain with his family in order for his mother to reconnect with the country..."
Glow of the Fireflies
 
3.3
"GLOW OF THE FIREFLIES is a YA fantasy that follows a teenaged girl, Briony, who has no memories from before..."
Creep
 
3.3
"CREEP is an interesting YA thriller/horror that follows an incoming high school freshman, Olivia (Liv). Olivia lives in a small..."
 
4.0
"EVE OF MAN by Giovanna and Tom Fletcher is the latest in YA dystopias. In the story, a phenomenon of..."
 
4.7
"Sam Jones and Zoe Miller are seniors in high school, but they've never had a reason to communicate during their..."
 
4.7
"Michigan Manning just wants to play hockey. Unfortunately, the high school she attends in the upper peninsula of Michigan has..."
When You Ask Me Where I'm Going
 
5.0
"WHEN YOU ASK ME WHERE I'M GOING is an absolutely gorgeous collection that reaches to touch the soul. In poems,..."