Collateral
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Collateral

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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  1,586 ratings  ·  212 reviews
The gripping story of a woman torn between love for her boyfriend, a dedicated Marine deployed to Afghanistan, and the resentment she has for the war that is tearing their lives apart.

Written in Hopkins’s stunning poetic verse style, Collateral centers on Ashley, an MFA student at San Diego State University. She grew up reading books and never dreamed she would become a mi...more
Hardcover, 512 pages
Published November 6th 2012 by Atria Books
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Bonnie
A review copy of Collateral was kindly provided to me by Atria Books.

'Each returning soldier is an in-the-flesh memoir of war. Their chapters might vary, but similar imagery fills the pages, and the theme of every book is the same - profound change. The big question became, could I live with that kind of change?'

Alternating between the past and present, Collateral tells the story of Ashley and a marine named Cole. How they met. How they fell in love. How Ashley was transformed by Cole's deployme...more
Sarah
Nov 10, 2012 Sarah rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Ellen Hopkins Fans
{This review was originally published on Clear Eyes, Full Shelves.}
[...] Service. Sacrifice.
The problem with that being,
everyone attached to those
soldiers must sacrifice, too.
So, as some Afghani warlord
might say,
put that in your
pipe and smoke it. Okay, that
was actually my grandpa’s saying.
But it works, and what I mean
is, think long and hard before
offering your heart to someone
who can only accept it part time.

It’s fitting that Ellen Hopkins’ newest novel-in-verse for adults, Collate...more
Arlene
“You can’t patrol unfriendly villages without embracing paranoia. You can’t watch your battle buddies blown to bits without jonesing for revenge. You can’t take a blow to the helmet without learning to duck… Paranoia. Revenge. Bloodlust. These things turn boys into men. But what kind of men?”

As of late, I’ve found myself attracted to books that center on the recent war in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s these themes that seem to remind me about the things I tend to take for granted… our freedom, our...more
Paula  Phillips
When I saw Collateral was available for review, I knew I just had to grab it as I have read all of Ellen Hopkins Teenage books and have her latest two books Triangles and Tilt sitting on my Ipad to read, along with her earlier books which I purchased as I just love her work. I first fell in love with Ellen Hopkins books about three or four years ago when I picked up Impulse to read. I loved the way she used poetry to tell a story and the way Ellen targeted those edgy topics which as the years ha...more
Jessica Price
I just have to jump right in and say OH MY GOD. The ending of Collateral was absolutely insane. Totally unexpected; I felt like I had been hit by a train. And I'm so glad that it happened! I was already disappointed thinking to myself about the way I thought it was going to end. Well Ellen Hopkins, you got me again! This is why we, your fans, love you.
I didn't know how I was going to react to this book at first because I knew it revolved around the military and marine subject matter. But of cour...more
Danielle (Bookwhoreblog) Perez


Review Originally Post HERE


I have been a fan of Ellen Hopkins since first reading her free-verse novel Crank. The series about her daughter's drug addiction captured me and still haunts me to this day. I drifted away from Ellen's writing once her novels became mostly about teen issues and jumped back on board as a fan with her first adult novel Triangles. Collateral even though I enjoyed it falls short of her normal gripping heart wrenching tales.

Ellen is a master in tragedy and I always know I...more
Erica Smith
This book was an emotional struggle to read.

Ashley loves Cole. Cole is a Marine- the type Ashley swore she would never go out with. But how can she ignore his golden eyes, sweet poetry and the fact he is the most sensual/sexual person she has ever been with?

Soon, Cole must go off to war in Iraq and Afghanistan and slowly…little by little, a piece of who he is to her chips away. Hopkins does a beautiful job having Ashley’s voice within the pages and Cole’s poetry scattered throughout. In defense...more
Lisa
Collateral was about a woman in a relationship with a soldier. It is told in Ellen Hopkins signature verse style. It was the first adult book I've read by her and I had mixed feelings.

On one hand, I can't exactly fault her writing style. It is effective and I love how you are exposed to all the feelings of the main character. On the other hand, I found myself slightly annoyed by the verse style at times. I just felt like there wasn't enough actual style to it. I don't mind when poems don't rhyme...more
Kathryn
We always think we know what it is like to be a spouse or loved one of a military member serving overseas during wartime. We always think we know what the anxiety is like, the depression, worry, never knowing if your loved one is coming home or not, and all of the regular worries of every day life. I think unless we've been there, we've been in those shoes, we could never really know what it is like. However....

Reading Collateral was like being that person who has the loved one overseas in after...more
Sherry
This was the first Ellen Hopkins book I've read despite constantly ordering and purchasing her YA novels for my students and library. I've always been reluctant to try her YA novels because I perceive them as depressing and sad.

I decided to read Collateral because it was a love story. I'm a sucker for a love story and appreciate a good romance to lose myself in every once and a while.

The verse novel style made for a quick read but didn't lessen my involvement with the characters and story. My he...more
Lisa
I commend military wives. Of those in my family or ones I know, I don't think I tell them this enough. I've always admired their strength, but seeing their lives up-close it has also taught me that you don't always choose who you love. I've told myself time and time again that I could never be a military wife, but I'm sure some of those wives said the same thing...at least that is what Ashley always thought until she met Cole.

Ashley and Cole are very dynamic characters. In Collateral you follow...more
Jon
Seen at Scott Reads It!
Prior to reading Collateral, I had only read one Ellen Hopkins book. I'm not a fan of realistic fiction but I'd rather be in some fantastic paranormal or sci-fi world. Reality is way too harsh and I'd rather read something unrealistic. Collateral is the story of Ashley who falls in love with a soldier named Cole. Collateral may not be for everyone as there are a few sex scenes, scenes in which the characters curse, and tons of heartbreaking moments.

Collateral is an poign...more
Beverly J.
Absolutely fantastic. I think this woman is one of the best writers ever. The ending was abrupt but I am not completely upset with that. It did seem a bit less prose that her earlier works too.
Heidi M
Couldn't get into this book. The subject content was good but the free verse was very distracting for me. Has to stop reading it.
Renae Blanton
this book was written like a poem and to confusing to read. I didn't like it.
Janie Johnson
Another great book by Ellen Hopkins, wrote with such realism and depth. The imagery was fantastic as well. So much so that I feel myself immersed into the story and becoming the characters. Again so much emotion to feel while reading this.

We follow Ashley and Darian who go out one day and they meet Cole and Spencer, who are marines. They both fall in love with their marines, but they both deal with their issues so differently. Like light and day, and I liked seeing the 2 different sides to the s...more
Soobee72
Hopkins apparently always writes in free verse. Collateral is about the relationship between Ashley, a grad student who falls in love with Cole, an active duty Marine serving in Afghanistan.

For me, this book fails on all levels. It's not a terribly good book of poetry (although it's not awful either), and it's not a terribly good novel. It's not that poetry cannot tell a story, and even here the poetry does tell a lot.

The problem for me is that it all felt very shallow to me, largely because the...more
Denise
3.0 out of 5 stars - free verse leaves too many important details from the story for my need as a reader.

This novel, about a college girl who falls in love with a Marine posted to active duty, seemed incomplete without the many details that develop a narrative into a full story that will ring true. As is typical of an EH book, the whole tone is actually quite depressing and the reader can feel another bad ending coming a mile away. A pet peeve of mine is that she alternates points of view and go...more
The Sweet Bookshelf
This isn't something I normally read but I wanted to try something new and see what I thought. This is what I imagine life of a military spouse is actually like. It is heart breaking. I don't think I could do it. Not ever. Not even in the name of love.

The narrator felt real. I felt like Ashley was actually talking to me and telling me her story. And I hated it. I wanted so much for things to work out. I wanted so much for things to not be so hard. I wanted her to move on and make something of he...more
Kelly Hager
As with all of Ellen Hopkins' books, Collateral is a novel in verse. It's about Ashley, a young student at San Diego University. Her life is going along about like she expected until she meets Cole, who's in the Marines. They immediately hit it off (and have seriously intense sex) and manage to stay together through four deployments. Now Cole wants to get married and Ashley loves him but she also has met this other guy, someone with a similar background and could give her a life outside of the m...more
Kyle
This and others reviews can also be found at Living Is Reading

Ellen Hopkins is one of my favorite writers . . . ever. I love her prose, characters, pacing, romance, and how she’s not afraid to write about taboo issues like prostitution, sexual abuse, etc. Ever since New Year’s Day of 2011, when I took a chance and downloaded Crank despite the fact that I was uncertain about the verse format, I fell in love and have since then read every book, YA or adult, that she’s published.

However, I have...more
Heather (Fic Talk)
Ashley is a graduate student. One night she meets Cole, a marine. He’s passionate, caring and a hopeless romantic who writes poetry. Their relationship goes on for five years, lasting through Cole’s four deployments.

Cole wants to marry Ashley, only she’s never seen herself as a military wife. When Ashley meets a professor at college who shares similar interests with her, she begins to see what life may be like without worrying over war and deployments.

This books is written in Hopkins’ usual vers...more
Sterlingcindysu
I gave Hopkins a bonus star for writing this novel in poetry format. Just as in Triangles she was able to capture multiple characters' voices in few words. Whenever I start thinking, "boy, that's a dumb thing for her to do," you know the character has become real--and I really think that Ashley did quite a few dumb things and still needed to grow up even at the end of the book. She blamed her mother for being too complacent, but she was much, much worse. She depended on others to choose her care...more
Sarah
Telling the story of deployed militia and the family they leave behind, I found Collateral to be quite a departure from the norm for Hopkins. This is only her second foray into adult literature but so far, I haven't found her adult novels as compelling as those for young adults. This book is different from her usual fare for a number of reasons. First, it focuses on only one character - well, not exactly, but there's only one narrator. Additionally, this book is much more political than any of h...more
Danie
Ellen Hopkins hosted a contest a while back for photos of military families. I sent one in of Mike and I, just for the heck of it. I didn't think I'd be one of the winners, but when she contacted me via email, I was so excited. I love Ellen Hopkins. I've read every one of her books, with the exception of Triangles. I'm a huge fan of her writing style.

Collateral is the story of Ashley, a 20-something year old woman who meets a Marine named Cole and falls in love with him. She is a bit apprehensi...more
Cait
It's good, but not Hopkins' best.

I am in a military relationship, and though I relate to about 80% of the book and the relationship they have, a lot of it is really misleading and misses the mark for accuracy in a military relationship. Hopkins paints Cole as this ignorant, bigoted and terribly abusive person, who basically and literally screws Ashley into staying with him. Their entire relationship is based on sex, and though it's a large part of the military, because it's another way of givin...more
Lydia Presley
Collateral is the first book I've read by Ellen Hopkins and I approached it with hopeful optimism - mostly because I had heard that it was written in free verse style and, after having immersed myself in poetry this year, I thought it would be fun to try something like this.

At first the story really worked for me. It was the same story told a hundred times over - girl meets boy, boy is charming/cute/wonderful/strong/respectful/perfect, boy is in the military and is taken away from girl, etc... A...more
Carol Wilcox
I want to read more YA this year, so I am more prepared to recommend books to our seventh and eighth graders. I picked up COLLATERAL in the "Featured" section at the library, thinking that it would be YA, because that's what Ellen Hopkins usually writes. It's actually considered an adult novel, although I think the true audience would be young women from 16 up.

COLLATERAL, a novel in verse, is told by Ashley, a college student who falls in love with a soldier. The novel traces their lives over t...more
Amanda
This is the first adult novel that i've read by Ellen Hopkins. Previously I thought she only wrote young adult novels. I was very pleased to find that I enjoyed her writing in both genres. Collateral is mainly a realistic romance novel in verse form, set in the present day. Ashley meets Cole. They eventually fall in love. Ashley is a college student, still figuring out what she wants for herself in life. Cole is in the military. I think the author did a great job of accurately portraying the str...more
Nick
I have read nearly all of Ellen Hopkin's books. I fell in love with them. Identical, Impulse, and Burned all hold special places in my memory. They were wonderful books. They were inspiring. I always enjoyed her poetry, her stories, the messages behind them.

This one I couldn't stand. I forced myself to read it. Dreaded reading it the entire five hundred pages.

First off, it's just a flat out love story. The only twist is that he's a marine. I like war stories. This is not at all a war story. Jus...more
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Ellen Hopkins is the New York Times bestselling author of Crank, Burned, Impulse, Glass, Identical, Tricks, Fallout, Perfect, Triangles, Tilt, and Collateral. She lives in Carson City, Nevada, with her husband and son. Hopkin's Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest pages get thousands of hits from teens who claim Hopkins is the "only one who understands me", and she can be visited at ellenhopkin...more
More about Ellen Hopkins...
Crank (Crank, #1) Impulse (Impulse, #1) Glass (Crank, #2) Identical Burned (Burned, #1)

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“Love can complete you. It can also destroy you.” 15 likes
“Think long and hard before offering your heart to someone who can only accept it part-time” 12 likes
More quotes…