Author: Ellen Hopkins
The name Ellen Hopkins usually fills me with excitement; I have reviewed several of her young adult prose/narrative/poetry novels and given them all a high five. However, Rumble is different, a new verse “narrative” novel with Matthew Turner as the entire narrative voice instead of different characters’ point of views.
Matthew believes in nothing: his younger brother Luke has just committed suicide due to harassment and bullying by his classmates and online. Luke was gay, and Matthew did not realize the depth of Luke’s depression and inability to cope. Matthew is in love with a girl in high school named Hayden, who belongs to an evangelical church. Hayden spouts her love for him and yet denies him her approval, for Matthew might be gay – mightn’t he? As Hayden and her friends begin to ease away from Matthew, he begins to realize what love and trust really are.
Bad boy Matthew is really not bad; he is misdirected and angry. When he meets another girl, Alexa, who tries to befriend him, he remains caught up in Hayden’s beauty instead of her true maliciousness.
When another tragedy forces Matthew to face his own death, he learns the lessons he ignored before, and begins to truly live.
A little long in the tooth, Rumble is well written and engaging. Matthew is a strong character and as always, Hopkins pulls no punches when it comes to teenage angst, guilt, misbehavior and confusion. I would have preferred less rather than more, but all in all, Hopkins is Hopkins, an author who puts characters on the page and revels in their humanity.
Well done, Ellen, as always.
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Review by Broad “A” – Ava
We received a copy of this title for our book review. All opinions are our own
Rumble is available on Amazon.com and booksellers nationwide