Author: Ellen Hopkins
Published: September 11th, 2012
Book rating: 5 stars
Cover rating: 5 stars
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 in this standalone novel.
When I review a book I usually jump right in, but with this book I wanted to sit and think about how it made me feel and why I enjoyed it so much. If you haven't noticed, which I doubt you haven't, I'm a huge fan of Ellen Hopkins. I appreciate the fact that she writes about real life problems, that her stories don't always end with happy endings, and that when they do it's not some outrageously impossible happy ever after. I appreciate the rawness of her writing and how I've been able to connect with at least one character in every single one of her books not including the one adult book of hers that I did read, Triangles, although I definitely could relate to certain parts of Triangles story. So I hope that the sitting and thinking helps me get my point across about why I enjoyed this book so much and why I recommend it to anyone and everyone. I'd also like to point out that I loved how Ellen incorporated little pages/poems for the supporting characters so readers got a sense of why they did what they did and how they felt, props to you Ellen!
Tilt is one of those books that has you smiling and laughing one second and then crying the next. I think I related to Harley the most because she's like every other teenage girl. She just wants to be accepted, loved, and enough for people. Sadly she takes to acting out in a negative way to get that attention, she doesn't realize that some people never truly see the beauty in others and accept them for who they are. I don't want to give anything away but what happens to her is tragic and I felt my heart break a little bit while we watched her in this downward spiral. After realizing what was going on with her I can't believe that her mom, Andrea, didn't realize how her daughter was self destructing in Triangles. It really saddens me how blind she was because she was so wrapped up in other things. I admire Harley though, by the end of the book she's only 14 yet she comes out of it with a sort of positive attitude and decides she wants to try and move on.
I was really interested in finding out more about Shane and who he was after being introduced to him in Triangles. He comes off as this sort of douche at first but in Tilt we find out what a sweet person he really is. Even though his father tells him time and time again how he's committing sin and how he's going to hell he still has faith that God accepts him for him and that He will be waiting for him on the other side which really made me respect and admire him. Alex and Shane's relationship is sort of like a beautiful disaster. At first it was just beautiful but then something really tragic happens to Shane and his family and even though Shane won't admit it he goes into a downward spiral and becomes depressed. While dealing with this tragic loss he losses himself and pushes his bestfriend and boyfriend away. I loved how Shane's story ended in this book. Through a huge loss his family becomes closer and starts too work out their problems. His story was definitely bittersweet but I loved it.
Mikayla and Dylan believe they have this love that is unbreakable and at first it seems that way. This story frustrated me because it seemed like Mikayla was always grounded but I guess that's normal for a teenage girl with a boyfriend, huh? After Mikayla discovers she's pregnant Dylan decides to be, excuse my language, this huge pussy and run off and yet he still claimed that he 'loved her more than ever'. PLEASE can someone explain this to me? How exactly is it you love her more than ever yet you leave her and end up giving her an ultimatum of you or 'it'. Yes that's right people, he called their baby an it. Her story feels unfinished to me, we don't find out what happens to her or the baby. Also, just to throw this in there I think Tyler is crazy to do what he does but I find it incredibly sweet and he's definitely a lot less of a pussy compared to Dylan. If you're wondering who Tyler is, read the book and you shall see!! After saying that you might be wondering why I gave the book five stars, it's because all of the things that happened within Mikayla's story happen to girls who get pregnant in real life. It just frustrated me so I had to rant and I also think parts of her story remind me of when my sister got pregnant at 19, the dad decided not to stick around either and I have a lot of anger towards him so I relate.
I really enjoyed this book and even though I wanted to try and pace my reading I just couldn't.