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Impulse    by Ellen Hopkins order for
by Ellen Hopkins
Order:  USA  Can
Margaret K. McElderry, 2007 (2007)
* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Vanessa, Tony, and Conner all have something in common. They have all made serious attempts to end their own lives. Hospitalized at Aspen Springs, a psychiatric hospital, the three meet and recognize the tortured souls they all share.

Vanessa is a cutter. When the slow mutilation of her own body isn't enough to ease her guilt she slashes her wrists. Tony uses pills. He's spent half of his life, beginning at age eight, in juvenile detention and the rest dodging his mother's boyfriends or on the streets. Conner comes from a family where anything less than perfection isn't enough. He thinks putting a gun to his chest will end it all.

Will any or all survive? From lock-up to a survival challenge, the three have a second chance, but first they must learn to trust themselves and each other.

Impulse is a fascinating story made richer by Ellen Hopkins' use of fast-paced verse. She grabs the reader from page one and doesn't let go. Hopkins' specialties of poetry and suspense keep getting stronger with each book.

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