Rumble

( 7 )

Overview

Does it get better? The New York Times bestselling author of Crank and Tricks explores the highly charged landscapes of bullying and forgiveness with brilliant sensitivity and emotional resonance.

Matthew Turner knows it doesn’t get better.

His younger brother Luke was bullied mercilessly after one of Matt’s friends outed Luke to the whole school, and when Luke called Matt—on the brink of suicide—Matt was too ...

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Rumble

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Overview

Does it get better? The New York Times bestselling author of Crank and Tricks explores the highly charged landscapes of bullying and forgiveness with brilliant sensitivity and emotional resonance.

Matthew Turner knows it doesn’t get better.

His younger brother Luke was bullied mercilessly after one of Matt’s friends outed Luke to the whole school, and when Luke called Matt—on the brink of suicide—Matt was too wrapped up in his new girlfriend to answer the phone. Now Luke is gone, and Matt’s family is falling apart.

No matter what his girlfriend Hayden says about forgiveness, there’s no way Matt’s letting those he blames off the hook—including himself. As Matt spirals further into bitterness, he risks losing Hayden, the love of his life. But when her father begins to pressure the school board into banning books because of their homosexual content, he begins to wonder if he and Hayden ever had anything in common.

With brilliant sensitivity and emotional resonance, bestselling author Ellen Hopkins’s Rumble explores bullying and suicide in a story that explores the worth of forgiveness and reconciliation.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

High school senior Matthew Turner has been reeling ever since the suicide of his bullied gay younger brother Luke and his parents haven't been doing any better. The chaotic family situation has made this young survivor an emphatic cynic about all things, an unforgiving attitude that not even his new girlfriend Hayden seems to be able to change. Sometimes, however, one unexpected event can change everything.... (P.S. Ellen Hopkins is the author of the reader and reviewer acclaimed Crank and Tricks.)

Publishers Weekly
06/16/2014
Hopkins again tackles hot-button subjects through free verse, taking on cyberbullying, censorship, the role of religion, and the difficulties of veterans returning from war. At the center of her overstuffed but well-constructed story is smart, opinionated 18-year-old Matt, who is struggling with anger and a disintegrating family following the suicide of his gay younger brother, Luke. Matt leans on his girlfriend, Hayden, for support, while raging against her religion and the evangelical Christians whose bullying he blames for Luke’s death. When Hayden’s father tries to get the school board to remove copies of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Matt counters that “Maybe if the kids who drove over the brink had read the right books, they would’ve understood that being gay doesn’t make you bad or even different.” A violent twist very late in the story leaves Matt with new, life-altering challenges—something that he makes peace with rather suddenly, given the circumstances. Still, Hopkins expertly documents Matt’s increasing ability to accept and love others in his life, and eventually himself. Ages 14–up. Agent: Laura Rennert, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Aug.)
Booklist
Hopkins’ many fans... [will find] catharsis and comfort in her portrayal of teens facing and surviving myriad societal problems. Fans wait eagerly for the next Hopkins book, and this one will be no exception."
VOYA, August 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 3) - Rachel Wadham
Matthew’s life has spiraled out of control ever since bullying led to his gay brother’s suicide. Unable to reconcile how Christians can express a love of God while being so hateful toward others with differences, Matthew cannot find much hope. A strained relationship with his girlfriend, who is influenced by her pastor father and the new youth minister, has Matthew questioning everything. As his parents’ marriage disintegrates, Matthew can only find solace in the arms of his old friend Alexa and at his uncle’s shooting range, until a deranged patron sets off a bomb and Matthew is caught in the crossfire, an experience which leads him along the path of understanding. Hopkins is well known for her ability to address difficult situations with skill and sensitivity, and this novel is no exception. The free verse is the perfect form to capture the intense emotions Matthew feels, many of which will connect with a wide audience of teens. However, the plot progression of this story is less than perfect, with unconnected pieces such as a book-banning sequence, and sudden changes in character motivation, such as when Matthew’s mother cannot face the breakup of her marriage but then quickly moves on to a new life. Additionally, while they are most likely well thought out, many of the line breaks which should put emphasis on words and thoughts seem arbitrary, especially when they end in prepositions or adjectives. Fans of Hopkins and those who will find solace in Matthew’s journey, however, will certainly connect with this novel. Reviewer: Rachel Wadham; Ages 12 to 18.
Kirkus Reviews
2014-06-10
Almost six months after his younger brother’s suicide, a high school senior slogs through tangled resentment and guilt.Matt’s world has never been rich with happiness, what with his cold parents who retreat “to their separate alcohol-soaked / corners.” Dad bitterly rues the one-night stand that created Matt and forced the marriage; their house “is a sponge, / absorbing regret until it can hold / no more and disillusionment drips // through the bloated pores.” Now Matt shoulders his own crushing regret. Luke was three years younger—Matt should have protected him from the homophobic and religious bullies; he should have told adults how depressed Luke was, even sneaking Mom’s Prozac, which can be dangerous for teens. He definitely shouldn’t have been distracted by his girlfriend on Luke’s last, desperate day. Now that very girlfriend seems to be “trading [Matt] in // for Jesus.” The sturdy, fast-reading free-verse poems—which sometimes shift into elegance—give a heavy sense of Matt’s anger and discomfort, as well as how he vacillates between decency and churlishness. Themes of combat-induced PTSD, Christian fundamentalist bigotry, forgiveness, and foreshadowed violence integrate deftly. The climax surprises in the best way. Brief but explicit acknowledgement of the It Gets Better campaign (and why it didn’t help Luke) grounds the contemporary setting.Readers devour Hopkins regardless, but this is strong and worthy. (Verse fiction. 14-18)
School Library Journal
08/01/2014
Gr 9 Up—Matt's gay brother Luke committed suicide because he couldn't take the bullying any more. Matt blames everyone for his brother's death: his friends, his dysfunctional parents, and the middle school teachers and counselors who did nothing to halt the torment Luke experienced daily. The protagonist's temper is perpetually balanced on a knife's edge, and it takes very little to push him into a rage. Matt's only peace comes when he is with his girlfriend, Hayden. However, she seems to be pulling away to spend more time with God and her youth group, many members of whom were Luke's worst bullies. Matt has no faith in an imaginary deity and no forgiveness for those who used their theology to justify their abuse of his brother. His hatred is eating him up inside, but he can't let it go or he'll have to confront the real reason for his anger. Hopkins's latest novel in verse is timely and poignant. Matt is a wonderfully faceted character that readers will alternately sympathize with and dislike. His actions are directly related to his emotional turmoil, and teens will understand his pain and admire his intellect, even while shaking their heads over his actions. The work doesn't gloss over uncomfortable or difficult topics. Hopkins's realistic, truthful approach to bullying, religion, and homosexuality make this a powerful story for even the most reluctant readers.—Heather Miller Cover, Homewood Public Library, AL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442482845
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • Publication date: 8/26/2014
  • Pages: 560
  • Sales rank: 317
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: HL730L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.20 (h) x 1.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Ellen Hopkins

Ellen Hopkins is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of eleven young adult novels, as well as the adult novels Triangles and Collateral. She lives with her family in Carson City, Nevada, where she has founded Ventana Sierra, a nonprofit youth housing and resource initiative. Visit her at EllenHopkins.com and on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter at @EllenHopkinsYA. For more information on Ventana Sierra, go to VentanaSierra.org.

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Read an Excerpt

Rumble


  • Between the gray of consciousness

and the obsidian where dreams

ebb and flow, there is a wishbone

window. And trapped in its glass,

a single silver shard of enlightenment.

It is this mystics search for. The truth

of the Holy Grail. It is this believers

pray for. The spark, alpha and omega.

It is this the gilded claim to hold

in the cups of their hands. But what

of those who plunge into slumber,

who snap from sleep’s embrace?

What of those who measure their

tomorrows with finite numbers, cross

them off their calendars one by

one? Some say death is a doorway,

belief the key. Others claim you only

have to stumble across the threshold

to glimpse a hundred billion universes

in the blink of single silver shard.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2014

    Ellen Hopkins first disapointment.

    I love e.h. shes an amazing author and this was written very well as always. But i expected this to hit more on religion then love or loss and for that i am very disapointed. It felt like every other teen romance shes written about. Lets have more thrills like Impulse or Idenical because frankly right now i am bored.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2014

    As always, Hopkins is an amazing writer. The story goes through

    As always, Hopkins is an amazing writer. The story goes through teen bullying, strong religions viewpoints and thoughts of the afterlife. Hopkins always leaves me speechless with her novels. Definitely recommend.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2014

    I already know

    With Ellen Hopkins being the only author that can catch my attention with her books, I already know this book will be AWSOME

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2014

    ***SPOILERS AHEAD*** Let me start off by saying that I have ador

    ***SPOILERS AHEAD*** Let me start off by saying that I have adored each and every one of Hopkins' YA novels to date. I have reread each multiple times over and hold many of them dear to my heart. Rumble, however, has made me lose all respect for Hopkins as an author. With the ending of Rumble, it is clear to see that this is an author who compensates shock value for a fitting ending. It doesn't need to be a happy one, but blowing Matt up? After 500 pages of mourning the loss of his dead brother? As a person who has lost a younger sibling to suicide, this book touched me perhaps more than any other Hopkins novel. I was so invested in Matt's story, in his pain, and every single page I rooted for him that he would someday find closure and acceptance regarding Luke. I thought maybe, with the conversations with his uncle, Luke would show up in Matt's dreams to speak with him. But no. Matt aches for his favorite person in the world, who he will never be able to hug again. And then he becomes deaf and blind. Just like that, with 20 pages left. [And by such a minor character, obviously only thrown in there to justify the rushed ending]. It didn't have to end like that. There was no reason for it to end like that. But Hopkins lacks creativity, and only has the ability to tell tragic tales. Can't come up with a way to wrap up your story? Throw in a random explosion. Disgusting. Unnecessary. Perhaps I will consider reading Hopkins again in the future but the ending of this book has left a pit in my stomach and frankly I don't understand what any of you will get from reading this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2014

    Hopkins Never Fails To Disappoint!

    Just finished the book and Had to instantly tell others how amazing this story is. I have read nearly all but two off Ellen Hopkins books, and I must say, this one will probably become my favorite. This is a Must Read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2014

    Anoynomous

    This is my favorite author. Another amazing story! Hoping there is another novel coming out soon! :)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2014

    Love them all

    Love them all

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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