What I like most about Ellen Hopkins' books is her ability and willingness to cover the tough topics and to do it so well and with so much truth and clarity. Impulse is no exception to that statement.Three troubled teens meet at Aspen Springs - similar yet so different, flawed yet so perfect, unlikely friends yet so quickly linked. Writing, once again, in verse Hopkins takes readers on a journey through the lives of these three teens. Parents who push harder than they love, parents with mental disorders as well as addictions, parents who ignore the pleas and cries for help from their own child - what is to come of the children born to these parents?Relationships are at the core of this novel - the good, the bad, and the ugly. In this work of fiction, Hopkins expertly displays how relationships shape who one becomes, who one hopes to be, and who one has been in the past. In addition, it begs the questions, Can one overcome the self built out of those relationships? Can a person truly become someone different? Can one learn to love when love has always been forsaken, ripped apart, or withheld? Can a broken heart be rebuilt?Vanessa travels between her worlds of blue and white with a steel companion, while Conner seeks acceptance, value, and love in the arms of forbidden relationships, and Tony accepts a violently forced lifestyle as his own, never having the chance to explore, understand, and choose for himself. There were portions of these characters' lives to which I could relate and others that I don't even want to fathom making this a poignant and gripping read. One with an ending that will leave readers both saddened and uplifted at the same time. I highly recommend this book and all of Hopkins' work.