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Impulse (Impulse #1)

4.29 of 5 stars 4.29  ·  rating details  ·  54,126 ratings  ·  2,718 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 chi
Paperback, 667 pages
Published May 20th 2008 by Margaret K. McElderry Books (first published January 23rd 2007)
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Crank by Ellen HopkinsImpulse by Ellen HopkinsPerfect by Ellen HopkinsBurned by Ellen HopkinsFallout by Ellen Hopkins
The Verse Challenge
2nd out of 106 books — 74 voters
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78th out of 507 books — 298 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Emily May
Mar 30, 2012 Emily May rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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'
Meg ♥

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
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
Dec 05, 2008 Jaclin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jaclin by: Stephanie Johnson
Ellen Hopkins. Amazing writer! I have been trying to figure out words that could describe this book and well I have only been abled to come up with a three. Oh My Gosh!! This book is one of those that you have no idea what it will come out as, and let me tell you when I finished it I was crying like a baby. Hopkins has a way of letting you into the charactors mind then trying put you into their shoes. I was told by a friend to read this book and so I took her word for it and like my mom said jum ...more
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 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
Sep 12, 2009 Tatiana rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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 af ...more
Feb 10, 2009 Thomas rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
C. Maria
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
Michelle. D.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 21, 2015 Spencer rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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. :(
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
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,
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
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
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
Oct 04, 2008 Courtney rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Jul 06, 2011 Amsyy rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
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...
“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
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:
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
Aug 09, 2015 Tara rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any teen or someone who's having a ruff patch.
Shelves: abuse, self-harm, drugs
Another 5 star book from Ellen Hopkins with an end, that if you haven't guessed close to it, will shock you completly. I love an author who's not afraid to right with such deepth and truth. Brilliant.
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Ellen Hopkins Fan...: Impulse 6 28 Sep 14, 2015 09:15PM  
Did you want connor to die? 26 66 Aug 10, 2015 11:30PM  
Was anyone else bothered by.. 22 143 Jul 10, 2015 12:01AM  
Tony? Connor? Vanessa? Discussion! 4 30 Apr 12, 2015 06:54PM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Impulse by Ellen Hopkins - Restarting December 26th 2014 54 60 Dec 30, 2014 11:01AM  
  • Far from You
  • Cut
  • Glimpse
  • What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know (What My Mother Doesn't Know, #2)
  • I Don't Want To Be Crazy
  • Cutters Don't Cry (SoCal, #1)
  • Scars
  • Undone
  • Exposed
  • The Rules of Survival
  • Candy
  • Black Box
  • Red Tears
  • The Burn Journals
  • Because I Am Furniture
  • Purpose for the Pain
  • Jinx
  • Catalyst
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
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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.” 897 likes
on your impulse,
swallow the bottle,
cut a little deeper,
put the gun to your chest.”
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