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Book Review: Rumble

Title: Rumble
Author: Ellen Hopkins
Genre: Realistic Fiction (in free verse!)
Rating: 3.75/4 out of 5
Reviewer: Julia

*Note: this book contains some ideas that may be upsetting to certain audiences. Topics such as suicide and depression are mentioned, and, while I did not believe this myself, some readers might find parts too depressing. 

Where should I start this review? How should I do it? How will I do it?

All of the above were thoughts of mine when I started writing this review. I was under a lot of pressure, not only because I was writing it two hours until it was due to be published, but also because I feel that it's important. Beginnings are special. And difficult.

That's how Matthew "Matt" Turner, the narrator and main character of this book by Ellen Hopkins, felt (also at a beginning - the beginning of the book). How could he start his life again after what had happened? Would he be able to move on and face more beginnings as he continued to grow? Even if it had been a while since his brother's suicide, he can't let the guilt pass. And that's not all that's troubling him.

Besides the fact that he feels that he is to blame for his brother's death, there's the situation between his parents. They are not doing well together, and their relationship is crumbling. Then there's his own relationship with his girlfriend, Hayden, which one moment is great and the next awful. It seems to be that his whole world is falling apart. On the inside, it's not looking much better, what with his guilt and lack of ability to forgive, growing hatred, and stress.

How can one forgive oneself? How can they forgive others? How do they move on? How do they succeed in happiness?

Not only is this exciting enough, but there is a major event in the book that I completely did not see coming. It blew me away, and I must say that I was very shocked. (I ended up finishing the book later that day because I was very invested in the book...especially after that!)

By now, I'm sure that you can tell that the plot of the book is very interesting. That's what we all want, right? Of course, the plot isn't the only great thing about the book. If it was, I probably wouldn't have bought it, and I might have not even read it.

For one thing, the book is written in free verse. If you have started to get to know me through this blog, you should know that I love poetry, and books written in poetry (most often they are in free verse) are even better! The first poem from the book is absolutely great, and if you'd like to take a look at it, click here. (Scroll down to "Read an Excerpt".)

Another thing that I like about the book (and, once again, if you know me well you should know this other factor that helps me decide if a book is good) is the themes in the book. I would definitely say that the themes are strongly shown in the book, so you should be able to find them easily. The theme that I liked the most in the book (LITTLE SPOILER ALERT) was on the issue of forgiveness.

I do have some complaints, though, and one of them is actually on my favorite theme in the book. (MORE SPOILERS BELOW.)

Complaint #1: I was a little (that's an understatement) upset with the way that Hopkins, the author, chose to conclude the idea/issue of forgiveness and guilt. In my opinion, it was rushed. I wasn't pleased that (EVEN MORE SPOILERS - sorta) one thing happened, and - bam! - problems were suddenly solved.

Complaint #2: The last poem in the book. I would have prefered for it to be on something else, but I suppose that's okay...

Well, that's the end of my review. I do have more things to say on the book (I don't know why, but I am "in the zone", and really feel like discussing this book), but I'll leave it at that. I think I've already said enough. Still, while I did complain some about the book, it was still wonderful. I recommend it to everyone, but especially to those who are stuck in a condition similar to Matt's; those who are struggling.

Check out the post "Book Review: Symptoms of Being Human". This book is recommended for those interested in Rumble.


  1. That's interesting that the book is written in free verse! Glad you enjoyed it!


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