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Impulse (Impulse #1)

4.29  ·  Rating Details ·  61,773 Ratings  ·  3,114 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
Kindle Edition, 679 pages
Published June 1st 2008 by Margaret K. McElderry Books (first published January 23rd 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Emily May
Aug 31, 2011 Emily May rated it liked it  ·  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
Nov 24, 2010 Ebehi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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'
Chelsea (Octavia)
Feb 19, 2017 Chelsea (Octavia) rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1-star
Why Impulse is the Most Problematic Book I’ve Ever Read

Warning: This review will contain unmarked spoilers!
Also, if you loved this book and are going to be angry if someone didn’t like it, you may want to keep scrolling.

Oh boy. Where to start...

This is my second time reading this book. The first time was about a year ago, and it has stuck with me as one of the worst books I’ve ever read. I decided I wanted to do a reread as more of an in-depth analysis, looking for the problematic aspects I p
Elise (The Bookish Actress)
I started out with really high hopes for this after enjoying Hopkins' Tricks series. Unfortunately, Impulse is a pretty terrible book. And besides that, it contains the most homophobic storyline I have ever had the displeasure of reading. I am not joking or exaggerating when I say this storyline genuinely reads like someone's conversion therapy manifesto.

Before you call me an SJW keyboard warrior so you can feel morally vindicated in your opinion: Please at least read the damn review. I am not c
Megs ♥

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
Oct 15, 2011 Jude rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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  ·  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
Aug 28, 2009 Tatiana rated it really liked it  ·  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
Chelsea (Octavia)
Jan 17, 2016 Chelsea (Octavia) rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
***This is an old review. I did an in-depth analysis of this book during my second read. That review is much better! Link: ****

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, bu
Aug 03, 2014 Spencer rated it it was amazing  ·  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
C. Maria
Sep 18, 2015 C. Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Julie Zantopoulos
Okay, this audiobook may not have been the way to go. I enjoyed the writing style, the flow, but the audiobook had multiple male POVs and the voices weren't different enough. The mental health discussions intrigue me, the psychology nerd in me, but there are a host of trigger warnings for this book and a lot was hard to listen to. Something about reading isn't as real as hearing a cutter idolize cutting and describe it.

I didn't connect to the characters and the instalove but I appreciated their
Jul 19, 2014 Heba rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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:
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 21, 2009 Brittany rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 17, 2017 allison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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  ·  review of another edition
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,
Jun 25, 2014 Deyanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Deyanne by: Lisa L.
I'm still reeling after having just completed the reading of this novel. I am humbled at just how little I know and how complex life is on so many levels. This is a book of "inside" and "outside" stuff. It raises so many questions for me. Just how important is our environment in molding who and what we are? What about relationships, especially family? I think about resiliency and the difference one caring adult can make in a person's life. Pain - both physical and difficult to tr ...more
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
Sep 23, 2013 Emerald rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
“Love means holding on to someone just as hard as you can because if you don't, one blink and they might disappear...forever.”
Dec 16, 2014 Yanisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 29, 2008 Courtney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  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
Jay G
Jan 01, 2017 Jay G rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my YouTube channel:

Vanessa, Conner and Tony are three very different teenagers that develop a friendship after they are admitted to the same psychiatric hospital after attempting suicide.

I enjoyed the book, although the story was very predictable and easy to call. The big plot twist that always happens at the end of Ellen Hopkins books was extremely obvious in this one which was a bit disappointing to me
Jessie Marie
4.5 stars

Yeah, I'm gonna need some more Ellen Hopkins in my life. Fast. Intense. Beautifully written. Heart-wrenching. Ugly cry inducing. Wish it was 1000 pages longer so I could spend more time with these characters.
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#AYEARATHON: Impulse - Ellen Hopkins (SPOILERS) 5 31 Oct 24, 2016 03:37AM  
the ending.... 17 79 Oct 13, 2016 05:18PM  
#AYEARATHON: Impulse - Ellen Hopkins (Non-Spoiler) 14 39 Oct 08, 2016 12:14PM  
Mentor Texts: mentor texts 1 1 May 08, 2016 07:16PM  
  • Cut
  • Glimpse
  • What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know (What My Mother Doesn't Know, #2)
  • Far from You
  • Exposed
  • Willow
  • I Don't Want To Be Crazy
  • The Perfect Cut
  • Black Box
  • 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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5 trivia questions
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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.” 921 likes
on your impulse,
swallow the bottle,
cut a little deeper,
put the gun to your chest.”
More quotes…