Books before food (and any sort of comfortable life).
Summary: 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.
The thing I love most about Ellen Hopkins is her ability to write for multiple characters and have it flow easily together. And don’t get me started on her amazing verses. I’ve never seen another author who writes in verse like she does. And she’s so good at putting real-life situations into her books. I think she’s covered pretty much every issue—suicide, drug abuse, teen pregnancy, homosexuality, HIV/AIDS, eating disorders, depression, prostitution, divorce, personality disorders. And she portrays them really well because of personal experiences in her life. This book is the companion to her first adult novel Triangles. While you don’t necessarily need to read Triangles to read Tilt, it does help to give you a better back story on the characters of the parents. (Triangles is an adult novel, though, and for good reason, so read at your own risk.) While I love anything Ellen Hopkins, I do prefer her teen novels. I find that they’re more relatable (probably because I’m a teenager myself), and they’re also just better in general. I enjoyed Tilt a lot, but I have realized lately that her older books are better. Her verses don’t have an artistry to them anymore. Another thing about this book is that it doesn’t have a definite ending. Sometimes that’s okay, and this time it was for me, although I suspect not everyone will have that opinion. Honestly, I would recommend anything Ellen Hopkins, but if you’re not sure where to start with her I would say to start with her older books, like Impulse and Burned.