Rumble

Rumble

4.3 17
by Ellen Hopkins
     
 

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Does it get better? The New York Times bestselling author of Crank and Tricks explores the highly charged landscapes of bullying and forgiveness in this “strong and worthy” (Kirkus Reviews) novel.

Matthew Turner knows it doesn’t get better.

His younger brother Luke was bullied mercilessly after one of Matt’s

Overview

Does it get better? The New York Times bestselling author of Crank and Tricks explores the highly charged landscapes of bullying and forgiveness in this “strong and worthy” (Kirkus Reviews) novel.

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 powerful story that examines the value of forgiveness and reconciliation.

Editorial Reviews

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.)
Children's Literature - LeAnn Deel
Some stories start or end with a bang, but this book slowly builds into an emotionally wrought rumble: another lyrical free verse novel, courtesy of poet Ellen Hopkins. This book touches on many of the same topics Hopkins has tackled in previous novels, including LGBQT themes, bullying, and suicide. Eighteen-year-old Matt is having a tough time comprehending his brother Luke’s suicide. Luke was gay and bullied by supposed Christian classmates. Since Luke’s death, Matt’s life has been in shambles. He tries to lean on his girlfriend Hayden for support, but Matt soon realizes the relationship is doomed. Matt must also deal with his parents’ divorce, loss of friends, and his breakup with Christian zealot, Hayden. Matt starts acting out in self-destructive ways, experimenting with alcohol and promiscuity. His torrent of pain reaches a final crescendo at the end of the novel when a violent event occurs. Instead of letting the tragedy break him, Matt finds strength in Luke’s memory and kindness and decides to rebuild his life one piece at a time. The controversial themes of religion, bullying, suicide, and homosexuality are Hopkins’s signature, but this novel fails to inspire. The subject matter remains bleak and dark throughout, even though Matt forgives his enemies. The story makes for a painful read, despite the poetic eloquence and skill Hopkins harnesses. The somewhat uplifting ending is the novel’s only saving grace. Reviewer: LeAnn Deel; Ages 12 up.
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)
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."
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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442482845
Publisher:
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date:
08/26/2014
Pages:
560
Sales rank:
188,663
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.20(h) x 1.90(d)
Lexile:
HL730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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.

  • Meet the Author

    Ellen Hopkins is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of eleven young adult novels, as well as the adult novels Triangles, Collateral, and Love Lies Beneath. 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 @EllenHopkinsLit.

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    Rumble 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    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.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    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.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    ***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.
    MariahEllis 16 days ago
    RUMBLE, by Ellen Hopkins, tells the story of Matthew Turner, who no longer has faith in anything. Bullying led his younger brother to suicide, his parents hardly pay attention to him or each other, and he is starting to second guess the relationship he has with his beautiful Hayden. Most of all, Matt does not have faith or believe in some god, creator, or supernatural all-knowing being. If there were such a thing, then why would he let Matt suffer so much? Due to all of the recent events, Matt decides to just go with the flow. Whatever happens will happen, and there is nothing he can do about it. But how do you go through life without believing in anything, without your brother whom you loved, and without parents to help and guide you? Matt has all but given up when a horrific tragedy shakes his world even more and causes a rumble that will force him to rethink all the choices and beliefs that he has cast aside. Once again, Ellen Hopkins has blown me away. Her writing is beautiful, and I found myself deeply invested in the characters she created. RUMBLE made me think about my personal beliefs and some of the decisions that I have made. Hopkins, whose books are written in verse, mixed up her writing style to include excerpts from an essay the main character, Matt, had written. RUMBLE was a little different from the other books that Hopkins has released. Though she still pushed Matt to his limits, this novel was not as dramatic or graphic as some of her others have been. I have read and enjoyed every book this author has published, and without a doubt, RUMBLE has taken the place of being my favorite. Favorite line: "Anyway, be very careful of the blame game. It can get you into all kinds of trouble. And it's always possible that you're wrong."
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Loved it!
    Laine-librariancanreadtoo More than 1 year ago
    Matthew Turner has seen the impossible. He has experienced most people's nightmares. And he seems to be holding up okay. He is still going to school, still has a girlfriend, so why worry? Except Matthew turned in an Essay for his Senior class and everyone jumps up thinking the worst. All because he doesn't have faith  anymore. All because he wrote an essay that deals with not believing in God and in a small town that's kind of hard to do. (Trust me, I live in a small town with 5 church's in just about every corner, I know.) Because he has no faith, and now everyone knows this, they believe that he is going to lose his lid. He doesn't believe he will but you never know. Things in his life starts to change after he wrote that essay. Things like his family isn't quite the family as he thought he had; his girlfriend seems to be hiding things from him...for quite some time; and even himself seems to have changed. Into what...not even  his therapist can figure that out; he evens sees how his town which seems to be all uppity up with the Lord seems to have a hand in  the nightmare that he witnessed.  His younger brother hanged himself in his room where Matthew found him all because of the number one thing that hit ALL people of various sizes and ages....bullying. A nasty habit every school kid goes through. Some of them push through and make  it out okay. Others end up like Matthew's brother. But the real question is why did his younger brother, who was smart and athletic  led to suicide? What was the pressure point for him? How can Matthew move on? How can anyone that has dealt in that situation?  And how can you NOT put the blame on someone who is supposed to give us love? All of these questions are answered by Ellen Hopkins, who we all love and admire with her words in poetry about real life situations  that our children are going through on a day to day basis. It may seem hopeless to find a way to help them out, but in the end, with Faith, there is always a way. Always.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I never expected the story the end the way it did. Every one of her books always mesh together in the end in a twisted yet astonishing way that just makes so much sense.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Absolutely loved this one. I have read nearly all of Hopkins books and this has got to be one of my all time favorites. (Right up there with Burned/Smoke) Some of her books are almost too unbelievably tragic. For example most people get into her books through the Crank trilogy but in my opinion those are probably the worst of hers I've read. This book shows how not everything is as stable or unstable as you might picture it. It really is just an amazing book.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Another excellent story fron Ellen Hopkins. Good read.
    ClarissaLA More than 1 year ago
    There are so many young people who commit suicide due to being bullied. When the suicide is committed, their families and friends are the ones who suffer with so many questions and possible guilt. In this book, Ellen hits so many areas of what teenagers and adults deal with on a daily basis, such as, a teen being bullied because he was gay, beliefs & nonbelief's in Faith & God, troubled relationships between the parents, troubled relationships between parents and children, and sex.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Well written book with great points and story line with a message inside of it. Love all of her books!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    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!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This is my favorite author. Another amazing story! Hoping there is another novel coming out soon! :)
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I want to read this, but $11 for a BOOK!?
    Keijon23 More than 1 year ago
    Love them all
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    With Ellen Hopkins being the only author that can catch my attention with her books, I already know this book will be AWSOME