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Impulse (Impulse #1)

4.29  ·  Rating Details ·  59,357 Ratings  ·  3,000 Reviews
Sometimes you don't wake up. But if you happen to, you know things will never be the same.

Three lives, three different paths to the same destination: Aspen Springs, a psychiatric hospital for those who have attempted the ultimate act -- suicide.

Vanessa is beautiful and smart, but her secrets keep her answering the call of the blade.

Tony, after suffering a painful childhood
Hardcover, 666 pages
Published January 23rd 2007 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Emily May
Dec 28, 2013 Emily May rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who don't mind the disturbing
Shelves: young-adult, poetry, 2011

3.5 stars. The fact is, this is my third read by Ellen Hopkins and all of the books I've read so far have affected me quite deeply. I've discovered in this past year that I really like novels in verse, I couldn't imagine it being my thing before I first picked up Burned but all the ones I've read have been all the more emotional, moving and effective because of it. Before I start on about what I don't like, I'll just say now: this book is worth your time if you are okay with the depressing, dis
Mar 02, 2011 Ebehi rated it did not like it
I started this book very excited. Firstly, the cover looked interesting, then I saw that the story was written in verse form and my excitement level went higher. Perhaps my expectations multiplied my disappointment. Halfway through the book, I was only reading because I had already started and wanted to finish what I had started. Now what to start with...

1. There were many times when I couldn't distinguish the voices of the three different protagonists. I would start a chapter from a new person'
Megs ♥
Jan 23, 2012 Megs ♥ rated it really liked it

Impulse is a very short, but very powerful story.

Ellen Hopkins is known for tackling those tough issues that are shocking to read about, but are particularly more disturbing when they are about such young people. Three characters lives intersect at a mental health facility, and at first the story is mostly about each one and how they landed there. The story soon shifts gears, and it becomes more about the bond these characters created. We read on, wondering if they will be able to help each othe
Dec 17, 2013 Jude rated it it was amazing
Shelves: in-my-shelf
It’s hard to review this book, it really is. Suicide is not something to be taken lightly, and it is also something very hard to grasp. Something that we usually tiptoe around, nobody wants to be that close to death. Ever. What makes it so shocking is to wonder: What can drive a person to such an ending? Why is it that they couldn’t see beyond their current situations, and why did they thought they had nothing left to loose.

It was especially hard for me to read this because I’ve been in this sor
Oct 26, 2012 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Do not read this book if you're in a bad place--it's most definitely a trigger book. But I am absolutely in love with Ellen Hopkin's writing style. It's poetic, but not in a way that's trying too hard (considering it's a teen book). I love all of her books--they make me think about what I want from my life, if that makes sense. Okay, getting a tad too in depth, but I loved this book, even if it was depressing as crap.
Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin

Holy noooooo! I knew this was going to happen. I just knew it. I'm guessing everyone would if they read the book.

This story is about three kids, Conner, Vanessa and Tony who all tried to commit suicide. Each of their stories is very very sad. They all end up in the same psych ward together and form a friendship.

One has overbearing parents that push their children to be the best, they have no warmth for the children. They just keep pushing them. And i
This novel, written in free-verse poetry, is set at a mental institution and follows three teens who tried to commit suicide. Conner is a rich kid with a "perfect" life who tried to shoot himself. Vanessa, whose mother is also bipolar, is a cutter who went too far one day. And Tony, who lived on the street after being abused as a child, tried to kill himself with a drug overdose. Now they are all at a private mental hospital, trying to come to terms with what has brought them there.

I'd heard goo
Feb 10, 2009 Thomas rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone 13+
Recommended to Thomas by: A friend
Okay - so, this was the first book I've read from Ellen Hopkins. Before I read it I had been avoiding her writing for a long time because the books looked lengthy and the style of poetry didn't seem to be right up my alley - but I was proved wrong.

Impulse is about three 17 year old teens who have each tried to commit suicide - and failed. They wind up in a treatment camp called Aspen Springs, and eventually find each other. Together, they face their old demons and find new friendship. The story
Dec 17, 2013 Tatiana rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everybody
Shelves: 2009, ya, verse
"Impulse" is not an easy book to read. The plot is rather dark: three teenagers find themselves at the same psychiatric clinic after failed suicide attempts. Vanessa slit her wrist a little too deep during her "routine" cutting experiment. Conner tried to shoot himself in the chest. Tony overdosed on pills. The reasons seem to be typical - Vanessa suffers from bipolar disorder and cutting is her only way to get her mood swings under control. Conner is going through a severe case of heartbreak ...more
Aug 03, 2016 Octavia rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1-star
Trigger warning for every bad thing ever—and I mean EVERY bad thing! Please only pick this up if you are comfortable with seriously mature subject matter.

Also, semi-rant ahead. Be prepared.

This is another one of those books that I’m incredibly conflicted about. I started off confident that this was going to be a four star book, but that slowly climbed down to a three, and then a two.

Though two was my initial rating I've decided to lower it to a one after looking over my finished review. If I ca
C. Maria
Sep 20, 2015 C. Maria rated it really liked it
I was thinking of giving it 3 stars but the last 20% of the book made me change my mind.

My happiest memories have no place in the past; they are those I have yet to create.

Ellen Hopkins did a phenomenal job with this story - it's powerful, heartbreaking and I do think it really shows the struggles and turmoils people with depression have. And suicide it's even a harder topic to write about - it goes deeper and it really hard to grasp every aspect and reasoning behind it.

I liked the main charac
May 21, 2015 Spencer rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
I'm left speechless by this book. I think my heart left my body while reading this, and if anyone finds it please tell me.

I absolutely loved this book. This book was so beautiful, relatable yet heartbreaking all at the same time. Vanessa cuts herself, I used to cut myself. Conner is in a perfect family, and all he wants to do is kill himself. I have what people would call a perfect family, and it's hard to live up to their expectations. Then we have Tony who is the gay guy with a very rough pa
Michelle. D.
Sep 19, 2010 Michelle. D. rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 15, 2013 Brittany rated it it was amazing
Without Warning

You're traveling
A highway, the only road
You've ever known
And WHAM! A semi
Comes from nowhere
And rolls right over you
You don't wake up
But if you happen
To, you know things
Will never be
The same
That's not
So bad.
Lives intersect
No rhyme, no reason
Except, perhaps
For a passing semi
I’ll go into my feelings more later but a lot is bothering me and I’m struggling with the characters. I love Tricks and Crank by Ellen Hopkins but I just think there’s too much going on in this one and it’s not for me. :(
Dec 13, 2008 Emily rated it it was amazing
Impulse by Ellen Hopkins
I’ve never known anyone to personally who has attempted suicide or anyone who’s life is pure horror with scarred relationships till I read Impulse by Ellen Hopkins. The book tells from the three character’s point of view about their life and their everyday struggle to control their inner demons. Ellen Hopkins has shown me how lucky I am for having a good life.

Connor is one of the three main characters. He is your typical everyday popular guy. He’s a jock, has blonde hair,
Oct 06, 2008 Madison added it
Shelves: q12008
Text to World

This was a very dark, yet very effective story of three depressed teenagers who end up at the same treatment center. I wanted to use this for text to world because I feel that it is important for people to understand what others around them go through. Each of the teens in this story attempted suicide, and all for different reasons. Whether it be overbearing and harsh parents, torment from previous relationships, or a long life of constant turmoil, these teens have been through it
Feb 13, 2015 Yanisa rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing...
At first I thought that the story would be hard to understand or that the world would make less sense since this book is all in free verse, but I loved the writing style and the way the words were projected towards us. Yes, the story was dark and the characters were depressing, but I really loved it and was completely entranced in it the whole way through. I got attached to the characters so quickly and just wanted more and more of their stories, all equall
Aug 02, 2015 Heba rated it did not like it
Shelves: no-good
This book bothered me so much.

I was extremely interested in a book written in verse. I had heard good things about Ellen Hopkins, so I decided to buy Impulse and it's sequel, Perfect.

Three extremely troubled teens, in a psych hospital, trying to work through their problems and mental illnesses.

These characters were shallow, and not likable. I didn't like these characters ... I didn't care about them. I couldn't relate to them.

Their language was also aggravating. Teenagers do not talk like this:
Oct 04, 2008 Courtney rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 06, 2011 Amsyy rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people with no common sense, or who like Ellen's books (not the same thing, mostly)
UGGGHHH. This book bothered me SO MUCH.

At the beginning, it's good. Even in the middle it's okay. But the end? Complete and utter bullshit. Did she do NO research or did she just decide to pull it out of her ass?

First of all, you are not allowed to leave a psych ward until you're discharged. Second of all, they don't have "trips" that you have to go on in order to get discharged. And to suggest that they would take you on a trip to hike and rock-climb, you know, with suicidal kids ON CLIFFS, is
Dec 14, 2015 Maud rated it it was amazing
4.75 stars

I never thought I would love this as much as I did. I don't like realistic books but Ellen Hopkins touched my heart, my soul, my everything with this book. The only reason why I didn't gave it 5 stars is because it took me a bit to be able to tell the characters apart. But really, everyone should read this book!
It's heart wrenching and beautiful and just gripped me by the throat. The characters were amazing, they felt so real! The ending didn't take me by surprise but it was powerful n
May 18, 2010 Elizabeth rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 29, 2014 David rated it it was amazing
I don't even know what to say right now, this book was amazing. It followed the lives of three teenagers who all tried to commit suicide in different ways. It had so much character development in it. This was my first Ellen Hopkins read, and it was strange reading in verse at first. I finished this in one sitting, that was how addicting the writing was. I could relate to some things in this book, sadly, but it made me think about my life a lot. I'm grateful for having read this book.
Sep 30, 2015 Mason rated it liked it
I liked the beginning, but felt like it sort of got muddled towards the end. I already own the sequel... So i might read it soon... Not 100% sure...
Jul 29, 2008 Allyson rated it it was ok
Impulse is the story of three teenagers who narrowly escaped death after they each attempted suicide. Their stories intertwine as they come together in a mental institution where they are trying to appreciate the fact that they have been given a second chance at life. The book is filled with the shocking revelations about why Tony, Connor, and Vanessa decided to try to take their own lives.

Impulse is written in a style similar to Hopkins’s other books (Crank, Glass, and Burned), which means that
Feb 14, 2014 Sesana rated it it was ok
This is the second time that I've tackled Impulse. The first time, I hated it almost immediately and only skimmed the majority of the book. This time, I read the entire thing, but I didn't like it that much more.

Let's get the good out of the way first. Hopkins is, justifiably, well known for intense character studies that hold nothing back. And she does deliver that here. There's definitely some good in here, in the way she handles her characters' depression. And I feel like she did her research
“Forever has no meaning when you're living in the moment.”

Before I say anything else, I want to say that this book needs a serious trigger warning for depression/cutting/suicide. So if you are affected by that, I would think before reading this. This book is really dark and depressing, yet hopeful. I like it a lot but it was a little too depressing for me and I ended up really sad after this book.

Impulse is about three teens who have all tried to commit suicide, and failed. They end up in a psy
Brittany (brittanymariereads)
I read several of Ellen Hopkins books in junior high/high school and I remember absolutely loving them. It has been almost ten years since I have read any of her books so I wasn't sure if I would enjoy them like I used to. I was not disappointed and was so happy to find that I still think her books are just amazing.

Ellen Hopkin's books are dark, they are not the type of book you pick up if you are looking for a light read. She discusses hard topics like drug use, sexual abuse, mental illness and
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#AYEARATHON: Impulse - Ellen Hopkins (SPOILERS) 5 27 Oct 24, 2016 03:37AM  
the ending.... 17 73 Oct 13, 2016 05:18PM  
#AYEARATHON: Impulse - Ellen Hopkins (Non-Spoiler) 14 35 Oct 08, 2016 12:14PM  
Mentor Texts: mentor texts 1 1 May 08, 2016 07:16PM  
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  • Rikers High
  • Living Dead Girl
  • Because I Am Furniture
  • Scars
  • Break
  • Crazy
  • Define "Normal"
  • Leftovers
  • Lessons from a Dead Girl
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...

Other Books in the Series

Impulse (2 books)
  • Perfect (Impulse, #2)

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“Love means holding on to someone just as hard as you can because if you don't, one blink and they might disappear...forever.” 914 likes
on your impulse,
swallow the bottle,
cut a little deeper,
put the gun to your chest.”
More quotes…