Review: Rumble by Ellen Hopkins

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Title: Rumble
Author: Ellen Hopkins
Genre: Contemporary YA
Publisher: McEldery Books
DOP: August 26, 2014
Pages: 546
Rating: 4/5
ISBN: 978-1-4424-8284-5
Twitter: @EllenHopkinsYA

After losing his brother, Matthew Turner spirals down into a darkness that he finds difficult to escape from. The world he has known changes around him and he blames everyone for what has happened to Luke. He clings to his Christian girlfriend Hayden, afraid of losing her too while he, as an atheist, deals with the crumbling world.

Written in a poetic format, Rumble by Ellen Hopkins, takes a while to get used to if you’re not familiar with her previous books. Apprehensive at first, I hesitated to start reading this book but once I got through the first few pages and realised that the title was the start of each sentence of the page, the book read like a train.

Ellen Hopkins wasn’t scared to touch subjects such as Christianity, homosexuality, bullying, alcoholism and suicide and when combined all together, Rumble becomes a dark story of a young man struggling with the aftermath of losing a brother, questioning God’s existence and the kindness of humans.

The story takes you on a realistic journey, slowly revealing the circumstances of Luke’s death. Although there were moments that brought me to tears, I was disappointed with the ending of this book. Matthew is searching for a way to move on and the way it was dealt with, felt empty. His growth starts (slowly) halfway through the story but is finished way too fast for me to accept as realistic. The catharsis felt incomplete and ruined some of the story (making this a four instead of a five). It felt unnecessary, just an easy and quick way to wrap things up.

I had hoped for a spiritual search (whether Matthew found God or not, I don’t care) but I was disappointed that the only Christians discussed in this book, were extreme in their views and were portrayed as doing anything good. No one is perfect but no one is all bad either and I feel, if there was someone in Matthew’s proximity who was Christian and didn’t have such extreme views, Ellen Hopkins could have used this to guide Matthew better and change his views (and if not change, then at least open his mind for other people’s religion), instead of using the epiphany coming from a certain event. I don’t believe this event can change someone’s view and feelings entirely and it would have pleased me more if we could have seen the change in Matthew afterwards and his growth from there.

However, the overall story was magnificent and carried me towards the ending in less than a day. I had a need to find out how some people would react when faced with some issues and I haven’t been disappointed.

I’d definitely recommend this book and when you’ve read it, I’d really like to know your opinion about the way Christianity was dealt with and how you think of the way this story was wrapped up.

Do you think Ellen Hopkins could have done more with the ending?

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