People sometimes make the mistake of asking my what my favorite book is. As in, “What’s your favorite book of all time?” Seriously? I don’t think I could pick a single favorite book from the books I have read so far this year, let alone all of the books I have read in my lifetime! Maybe there are some people out there who could name their favorite book. Some could probably do it without any hesitation, but I am most definitely not one of those people! I can’t even pick one favorite book from a single author. Case in point — a teen asked me the other day which of Ellen Hopkins’ books was “the best,” and I just stared back at her with a tilted head and squinty look of confusion. As a matter of fact, I probably looked a lot like this dog:
I mean, how can you possibly pick *just one* Ellen Hopkins book? Crank would be a logical answer, I suppose, because that was where she got started. I think it was very brave of her to write about her daughter’s meth addiction in an attempt to help other people who are struggling with addictions of their own or the addictions of their loved ones… But, then I remember Burned. My heart breaks all over again just thinking about reading that tragic love story! I might even be tempted to pick Impulse or Perfect because I could relate so well to some of those characters’ struggles with depression, anxiety, and the desire to be perfect. But, I would probably have to pick the pair of them together. Do you see what I mean?!?
The reason that teen asked me which of Ellen Hopkins’ books was “the best” is because I was practically dancing around the room after receiving an email that said Rumble was waiting for me on the hold shelf. This teen hadn’t yet read any of Hopkins’ books, so she didn’t understand why I was so excited. Well, let me just say that everyone in the Teen Area got some rapid-fire book talking and several of the teens went home with Ellen Hopkins books that afternoon. I am happy to report that, after all that hoopla, this book definitely lived up to my excitement. The only problem was that I didn’t pace myself and finished it in just two evenings! I can’t think of how to accurately summarize this book without giving away too much the plot, so I am just going to list a bunch of the topics she covered in order to whet your appetite for this book — religious belief vs. atheism, censorship vs. freedom of speech, fidelity/cheating, marriage/divorce, anger management, PTSD, homophobia, bullying, depression, suicide… Yeah. It definitely covered a lot of ground, but it never felt didactic. LOVED it!
Happy Teen Read Week!