Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Collateral by Ellen Hopkins

In Collateral, Ellen Hopkins' second adult novel, Ashley, a young woman who doesn't believe in war, falls in love with Cole, a man who is fighting in it. Having been together for five years and four deployments, Ashley pursues her MFA while Cole is away. She never imagined her life this way, but her love for Cole leaves her no other option. The only problem is, Cole may no longer be the person she fell in love with.

The novel goes back and forth in time, from when Ashley and Cole were just falling in love, to their present situation five years later. I really liked the magic of when they were first together, and I feel like Hopkins captured that initial infatuation perfectly. I didn't find the tense-switching confusing, but I was desperate to know exactly how things went so wrong and that definitely kept me reading.

Like Hopkins' young adult books, many of which I have read and loved– including the Crank Trilogy and IdenticalCollateral is written in verse. The verse is complimented by poetry written by Cole, which added an interesting dimension to the story by giving insight into what he was thinking and feeling. As always, I thought Hopkins' verse flowed smoothly and was really easy and enjoyable to read.

However, while I did think Collateral was incredibly well-written, but I don't think I enjoyed it quite as much as I've loved Hopkins' young adult books. This has very little to do with the fact that she's writing older characters here, and more to do with some of the storyline that just rubbed me the wrong way. In general, Hopkins' writes the kind of books that make the reader think, and although she still mostly does that in Collateral it sometimes became too preachy for me to really enjoy it. At some points, it felt more like a message than a story. Ashley spends a lot of time talking about how the war Cole is fighting in is wrong, and the overall tone of the book is pretty negative. It also sometimes felt like Hopkins was simplifying things too much for the sake of the story, including Cole's story.

That said, I feel like many of my reasons for not falling completely in love with Collateral have to do with this book in particular, so it hasn't changed my adoration of Hopkins, nor the likelihood that I would pick up another novel by her again in the future– including adult titles.

Release Date: November 6th 2012  Pages: 496  Format: E-galley  Source: NetGalley/Publisher
Also by this Author (YA): Crank (Crank #1); Glass (Crank #2); Fallout (Crank #3); Identical; Burned (Burned #1)  Publisher: Simon and Schuster  Buy It: Book Depository

This is a review by ZoĆ«. You can find her here on Goodreads or on Twitter @strandedhero

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments make my day!