Author: Ellen Hopkins
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Realistic Fiction
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: August 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover (checked out from Johnson County Library)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
My review (published at Read, Run, Ramble):
Ellen Hopkins’s books are books I always have to pick up and read. I look forward to them and I impatiently await the next after finishing. I’ve been looking forward to Rumble for a very long time. Not only because it is a Hopkins book, but also because I knew the topic was Atheism and I knew Hopkins would handle it with a true and well-rounded voice. I wasn’t wrong.
Rumble tells the story of Matt Turner whose brother was bullied until he felt the only solution was suicide. The story details Matt’s fight to understand and come to terms with not only the guilt, but also the blame he feels because of the situation. And he’s trying to do so in relation to his faith, or in this case, lack thereof.
Surprisingly, as a determined atheist, he is dating a strong-minded Christian girl. The two’s beliefs are completely at odds which creates tension in the relationship more than once. I was frustrated for and with Matt on several of those occasions (and I’m leaving my beliefs completely out of this review, I just felt like being with someone who believes so differently would have been unbelievably frustrating and I could feel it in Hopkins’s writing).
As always Hopkins writes in beautiful and touching prose, pulling readers along on the journey. Feelings are definitely felt – good and bad. I enjoyed living in Matt’s world and head for a short while; he is one of my favorite Hopkins characters to date (and she creates some kick ass characters in my opinion so he’s not filling small shoes). Whether readers agree or disagree with Matt’s beliefs, they will be able to connect with him and enjoy his dialogue. Hopkins created him as an intelligent and well-spoken young man so while he might have some anger issues, along with some outbursts, he states his views strongly, competently, and admiringly.
This is one I’ll definitely recommend over and over. Hopkins is an amazing writer who brings to life characters and situations worth reading. Characters and situations that help us see the world around us with clearer eyes and perceptions. She writes books that mean something and that is pretty important in our world today!