Rumble by Ellen Hopkins


This was a painfully true novel about a boy struggling with God, his family, his relationship and the mess that is this life.

Matt has zero faith in a higher power. He believes that if there was a peaceful, benevolent God, there wouldn't be wars, famine, intolerance, and most of all, that his brother wouldn't have committed suicide because of all the hate he received over his sexual preference.

Struggling with the blame that he has for his brother's death, the crumbling relationship with his girlfriend, and his contempt for his father, Matt has zero idea what to do after school, let alone what to have faith in. But one after another, things in his life possibly give him something to believe in--and in the end, maybe it isn't all darkness.

Honestly, I'm not a huge Ellen Hopkins fan. I think she's the Macklemore of poets; she's a poet for those that don't like poetry. Not to insult Macklemore--I'm a huge fan. Anyway, my point that her books aren't really poetry, just prose written in stanzas. But really, I'm not a huge fan because I didn't like Crank, the book everyone else in the world thought was so magnificent. I thought it was full of forced emotion, unrelatable characters, and rushed plot progression. I think she picks tragic topics to write about just to get the attention of readers, not because she has experience or desire to discuss them. Nevertheless, I decided to read Rumble because the two topics this book focuses on--death or a loved one and belief in a higher power--are two topics I have strong opinions about or experience with. And this book was pretty good in the end, but fell just a little bit short.

I really loved Matt. I thought he was a thought-provoking, troubled character that felt so much guilt and blame for something that wasn't his fault at all. But he was the kind of man that took on responsibility that wasn't his. And yeah, he wasn't perfect. In fact, he did something in the book that I absolutely despise, but he was a great character to read about.

I just didn't like the progression that much. The entire book was way longer than it needed to be, and kept on leading to something big--but that big thing didn't happen until the last twenty pages; then there was no real conclusion because there were barely any pages left. And the "conclusion" of the novel kind of felt like the author's agenda, not something natural. Maybe that's because of my beliefs, but I don't think so.

I also didn't like that she uses such hoity-toity words. They are words no one says in every day life. And if this book is supposed to be from the point of view of a teenage boy, shouldn't he speak like one, not like a adult with an extensive vocabulary?

In the end, I think this novel was a great improvement from Crank for me, but it reinforced that Ellen Hopkins just isn't my kind of writer.

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