The Resource Tilt, Ellen Hopkins

Tilt, Ellen Hopkins

Statement of responsibility
Ellen Hopkins
Three teens, connected by their parents' bad choices, tell in their own voices of their lives and loves as Shane finds his first boyfriend, Mikayla discovers that love can be pushed too far, and Harley loses herself in her quest for new experiences
  • Rainbow List, 2013.
  • YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, 2013.
  • Grades 10-12 Hopkins’ latest novel in verse focuses on the adverse circumstances of the lives of three teens: Mikayla, Shane, and Harley. Much of their misery is vested in their dysfunctional families, which will be familiar to readers of Hopkins’ recent adult novel, Triangles (2011), to which this is a YA companion. The three teens lead disparate lives but each must deal with the consequences of romantic choice. Mikayla has gotten pregnant; Shane, gay, has fallen in love with a boy who is HIV positive; and Harley, though only 14, has foolishly given her heart to an older boy who takes sexual advantage of her. This will be recognizable territory to anyone who has read Hopkins’ earlier novels, as will her depiction of teens’ uneasy relationships with the adults in their lives. As a cautionary tale, it offers helpful insights into the continuing presence of HIV in teen lives and the urgency of making better choices in matters involving sex. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Hopkins expanded her already sizable fan base with Triangles, and both teen and adult readers will be on the lookout for this. -- Cart, Michael (Reviewed 07-01-2012) (Booklist, vol 108, number 21, p63)
  • Gr 9 Up — A companion to Triangles (Atria, 2012), Hopkins's recent foray into adult publishing, Tilt fleshes out the stories of the children of Marissa, Andrea, and Holly. Mikayla cannot imagine loving anyone more than Dylan, yet when she becomes pregnant she begins to understand the limits of that love. Shane finally feels fully himself with Alex, but when mortality bears down on him in the form of Alex's HIV and his own terminally ill sister, it all becomes overwhelming. Harley wants nothing more than to be noticed by guys, even if it turns her into someone even she can no longer recognize. In Hopkins's usual style, the characters' lives are described in graphic, bitingly honest, and voluminous verse, all attributes her fans have come to expect and love. In that regard, they won't be disappointed. Yet this title might not work quite as seamlessly for those who chose not to follow her into the realm of midlife issues in Triangles . The mothers' stories weave in and out frequently enough to impact the narrative, yet because they are not fully developed here, they lend a feeling of loose ends hanging in the background. Ultimately, though, readers will care most about the clear, anguished voices of the teens.—Jill Heritage Maza, Montclair Kimberley Academy, Montclair, NJ --Jill Heritage Maza (Reviewed October 1, 2012) (School Library Journal, vol 58, issue 10, p137)
  • In this companion to Hopkins’s adult book, Triangles (2011), the author offers a gripping novel-in-verse about teens whose lives shift dramatically because of sex. High school junior Mikayla is in love, but her relationship with her boyfriend is tested when she gets pregnant. Shane, 16, is dating a boy with HIV and coping with his four-year-old sister’s incurable illness. Harley, a freshman, starts experimenting with drinking and drugs, as an older boy pressures her to have sex. Readers unfamiliar with Triangles may have trouble tracking the characters’ interlinked relationships, but Hopkins’s many fans will find plenty of authenticity, especially in Harley’s story (“I’m Running/ With a fast crowd and I’m not/ sure how I got here... I never expected to go/ this far”), and appreciate the author’s clever touches (the closing words/lines of the three narrators’ sections lead into single-page poems from the POV of other key characters). While these stories are not quite as compelling as those in Hopkins’s previous books, readers will likely move through this installment just as quickly. Ages 14–up. Agent: Laura Rennert, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Sept) --Staff (Reviewed July 30, 2012) (Publishers Weekly, vol 259, issue 31, p)
  • Less artistically sharp than most of her oeuvre, this newest from Hopkins will nonetheless hook fans with its addictive pain and quick-turning pages. Mikayla, almost 18, sneaks out to have lots of sex with her boyfriend. Shane, 16, falls for his first boyfriend, who's HIV-positive. Harley's a 13-year-old late bloomer (for this community) striving not to be. How many real issues can one book hold before soapiness ensues? Alcohol, drugs, rape, infidelity, emotional disconnection, terminal illness, homophobia, teen pregnancy--etc. Threads among the three protagonists (Shane and Harley are cousins; Harley's best friend is Mikayla's sister) expand into a web of multiple narrators from greater Reno, which dilutes focus. Conversely, it supplies a potent variety of first-person perspectives, from Shane's 4-year-old sister Shelby, unable to walk or speak because she has spinal muscular atrophy, to weed-seller Lucas, prowling for "virgin meat." Hopkins' fast-paced, free-verse poems, conveying bare shards of thought, work best for characters who are dissociated (Impulse, 2006; Identical, 2008); here, as in Perfect (2011), the characters are more bored, angry and struggling than dissociated, so the format's a mismatch for--and gives mixed messages about--their level of emotional presence. Brimming with shoes about to drop (some do, some don't) and the drama her fans devour, this will (and should) point them toward Triangles (2011), an adult-aimed version from the protagonists' mothers' perspective. Why not? (Verse fiction. 12-18)(Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2012)
Hopkins, Ellen
Dewey number
no index present
Literary form
  • 9
  • 12
  • Dating (Social customs)
  • Teenagers
  • Dysfunctional families
  • Families
  • Young adult fiction
  • Nevada
Target audience
Tilt, Ellen Hopkins
19 cm.
603 p.
Isbn Type
System control number
(Sirsi) i9781416983309
Tilt, Ellen Hopkins
19 cm.
603 p.
Isbn Type
System control number
(Sirsi) i9781416983309

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