Friday, October 17, 2014

Rumble by Ellen Hopkins

Publication Date: August 26, 2014
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Series: Stand alone
Pages: 560 
Genre: Contemporary,
Synopsis: Matthew Turner doesn’t have faith in anything.

Not in family—his is a shambles after his younger brother was bullied into suicide. Not in so-called friends who turn their backs when things get tough. Not in some all-powerful creator who lets too much bad stuff happen. And certainly not in some “It Gets Better” psychobabble.

No matter what his girlfriend Hayden says about faith and forgiveness, there’s no way Matt’s letting go of blame. He’s decided to “live large and go out with a huge bang,” and whatever happens happens. But when a horrific event plunges Matt into a dark, silent place, he hears a rumble…a rumble that wakes him up, calling everything he’s ever disbelieved into question.

Review:  I really don't know what to say about this one.  Rumble was good, yet I just didn't find myself connecting with it.  And that synopsis is so far off, I don't think I have ever seen one so misleading as to what a book is about.  It is not about a boy discovering God or whatnot.  No, in fact, Matthew is sure he is an atheist.  This book is about him dealing with the suicide of  his younger brother.  There are religious aspects, but the book in no way focuses on them.

Overall, there were interesting themes.  Ellen Hopkins dealt with the tough subject extremely well.  I have never read a book that deals with religion so openly.  Usually, it is one of those subjects best left unanswered in YA.  This book also had interesting ideas about love and family.  The characters were realistic, yet I did not like them.

I couldn't connect with any of the characters.  I didn't really care too much about what happened to them.  The main character, Matthew, was a jerk who wanted to control everything around him, from his parents marriage to his girlfriend.  And, considering his crappy family life and his brother's suicide, is understandable, but irritating and sometimes downright disturbing.  Matt also thinks only of himself, and not only did some situations make me cringe, they made me lose respect for him as a character.  Matt's girlfriend, Hayden... By God did I not like that girl.  She was hypocritical and snobby and blindly followed whatever her youth minister or the Bible told her in the worst ways.  Alexa, Hayden's ex-best friend had some spunk, yet I did not like how she went after Matt knowing he was dating Hayden.  The only characters I genuinely liked were uncle Jesse and his girlfriend Quin.  They were nice people and good parent figures for Matt when his real parents were not ideal. 

The writing itself was pleasant.  Simple, yet effective.  I know some people do not like the free verse but I had no problem with it.  I actually enjoyed how dramatic it was at some points.  The plot had a decent pace, not too slow or fast, until the end.  The end was rushed and sudden, too convenient and an out of the blue thing to bring people together and end the book.  

I did enjoy this book, but not as much as I think I wanted too.  It was not the writing or the plot really, but mostly how displeasing the characters were.  Too be honest, I didn't care about the characters and I didn't care that much the plot.  I didn't feel as if the results quite mattered, what happened to whom or to what.  I was mostly indifferent.  Props to Ellen Hopkins, though, for handling such intense topics.

2.5 Keys

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