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4.4 103
by Ellen Hopkins

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Love—good and bad—forces three teens’ worlds to tilt in a riveting standalone novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins.

Three teens, three stories—all interconnected through their parents’ family relationships. As the adults pull away, caught up in their own dilemmas, the worlds of the teens begin to tilt.


Love—good and bad—forces three teens’ worlds to tilt in a riveting standalone novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins.

Three teens, three stories—all interconnected through their parents’ family relationships. As the adults pull away, caught up in their own dilemmas, the worlds of the teens begin to tilt.

Mikayla, almost eighteen, is over-the-top in love with Dylan, who loves her back jealously. But what happens to that love when Mikayla gets pregnant the summer before their senior year and decides to keep the baby?

Shane turns sixteen that same summer and falls hard in love with his first boyfriend, Alex, who happens to be HIV positive. Shane has lived for four years with his little sister’s impending death. Can he accept Alex’s love, knowing his life, too, will be shortened?

Harley is fourteen—a good girl searching for new experiences, especially love from an older boy. She never expects to hurdle toward self-destructive extremes in order to define who she is and who she wants to be.

Love, in all its forms, has crucial consequences in this wrenching story from Ellen Hopkins.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this companion to Hopkins’s adult book, Triangles (2011), the author offers a gripping novel-in-verse about teens whose lives shift dramatically because of sex. High school junior Mikayla is in love, but her relationship with her boyfriend is tested when she gets pregnant. Shane, 16, is dating a boy with HIV and coping with his four-year-old sister’s incurable illness. Harley, a freshman, starts experimenting with drinking and drugs, as an older boy pressures her to have sex. Readers unfamiliar with Triangles may have trouble tracking the characters’ interlinked relationships, but Hopkins’s many fans will find plenty of authenticity, especially in Harley’s story (“I’m Running/ With a fast crowd and I’m not/ sure how I got here... I never expected to go/ this far”), and appreciate the author’s clever touches (the closing words/lines of the three narrators’ sections lead into single-page poems from the POV of other key characters). While these stories are not quite as compelling as those in Hopkins’s previous books, readers will likely move through this installment just as quickly. Ages 14–up. Agent: Laura Rennert, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Sept)
From the Publisher
"This will be recognizable territory to anyone who has read Hopkins’ earlier novels. . . . As a cautionary tale, however, this offers helpful insights into the continuing presence of HIV in teen lives and the urgency of making better choices in matters involving sex."—Booklist

"Brimming with shoes about to drop (some do, some don’t) and the drama her fans devour . . ."—Kirkus Reviews

The Horn Book Guide
"By turns poised and visceral."
"Graphic, bitingly honest, and voluminous verse."
VOYA - Beth Karpas
This novel-in-verse switches voice from one poem to the next, from the four-year-old girl who cannot speak, to the twenty-something accompanying her mother to meet a sister she never knew. Most, however, are teenagers: the gay boy, his teen lover, the pregnant girl, her lover, her sister, her best friend, the boy trying to steal her virginity, and on. Some have one poem which furthers the plot as it inexorably follows their lives. Some have many poems, central characters whose internal thoughts are as much the engine of the story as their actions. One would think the range of characters would be enough of a challenge, but the author also tackles a wide range of traditional teen fiction dramas: teen pregnancy, HIV, illness, adoption, physical abuse, sexual abuse, divorce, rape, stepfamilies, abortion, religion, death. And yet somehow, everything flows together. What should feel like a contrived soap opera, feels real—sad, sorrowful, but very real. The "tilt" of the title may refer to this book's position as a companion novel to the author's adult book, Triangles. It may also refer to the way the reader feels, as she is tilted from one story to the next through the poems. It also refers to the physical construction of some outstanding poems in the book, ones which can be read linearly, but which have some words pulled out of lines, to be read vertically for yet another view. This is a long book, but the poetry makes the pages fly, and it is well worth buying, reading, and sharing. Reviewer: Beth Karpas
Children's Literature - Enid Portnoy
Teens often have a difficult time expressing their emotional ups and downs, especially when they are searching for a companion to help them understand how they are feeling and reacting interpersonally. When comparing new companions with their own parents’ choices for a mate, the differences may be confusing. This book is a collection of adolescent writings about the difficult and often stressful decisions teens make in their search for a compassionate person to help them find the right answers. They experience love and loss, pats and blows to their egos and desires. Parents might want to read this thick book before handing it over to their adolescents. Many of the situations and feelings discussed may be tough to confront. Topics include school problems, student-teacher relationships, grievances about parents, and getting in trouble with the law. As one student suggests, it is not possible to fix some of the relationships, but this book may help start a discussion of delicate and private feelings related to relationships and how to handle them. The book is written in a poetic style, yet it does not mince words to give readers a sense of the deep pain young people often feel. The book is a companion to Hopkins’ TRIANGLES. It is narrated by three young teenagers dealing with such topics as teen pregnancy, adoption, and chronic illness. A reading group guide is included as an addendum, to encourage libraries and reading groups to invite teenagers to speak and listen to each other. The book is not for the faint of heart, or for those who never thought to ask teenagers about how they view their lives. It almost feels like a private diary of three different young people whose lives are tilting. The main characters are brutally honest and direct when describing their intimate problems which appear to be insurmountable. Reviewer: Enid Portnoy; Ages 14 up.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—A companion to Triangles (Atria, 2012), Hopkins's recent foray into adult publishing, Tilt fleshes out the stories of the children of Marissa, Andrea, and Holly. Mikayla cannot imagine loving anyone more than Dylan, yet when she becomes pregnant she begins to understand the limits of that love. Shane finally feels fully himself with Alex, but when mortality bears down on him in the form of Alex's HIV and his own terminally ill sister, it all becomes overwhelming. Harley wants nothing more than to be noticed by guys, even if it turns her into someone even she can no longer recognize. In Hopkins's usual style, the characters' lives are described in graphic, bitingly honest, and voluminous verse, all attributes her fans have come to expect and love. In that regard, they won't be disappointed. Yet this title might not work quite as seamlessly for those who chose not to follow her into the realm of midlife issues in Triangles. The mothers' stories weave in and out frequently enough to impact the narrative, yet because they are not fully developed here, they lend a feeling of loose ends hanging in the background. Ultimately, though, readers will care most about the clear, anguished voices of the teens.—Jill Heritage Maza, Montclair Kimberley Academy, Montclair, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
Less artistically sharp than most of her oeuvre, this newest from Hopkins will nonetheless hook fans with its addictive pain and quick-turning pages. Mikayla, almost 18, sneaks out to have lots of sex with her boyfriend. Shane, 16, falls for his first boyfriend, who's HIV-positive. Harley's a 13-year-old late bloomer (for this community) striving not to be. How many real issues can one book hold before soapiness ensues? Alcohol, drugs, rape, infidelity, emotional disconnection, terminal illness, homophobia, teen pregnancy--etc. Threads among the three protagonists (Shane and Harley are cousins; Harley's best friend is Mikayla's sister) expand into a web of multiple narrators from greater Reno, which dilutes focus. Conversely, it supplies a potent variety of first-person perspectives, from Shane's 4-year-old sister Shelby, unable to walk or speak because she has spinal muscular atrophy, to weed-seller Lucas, prowling for "virgin meat." Hopkins' fast-paced, free-verse poems, conveying bare shards of thought, work best for characters who are dissociated (Impulse, 2006; Identical, 2008); here, as in Perfect (2011), the characters are more bored, angry and struggling than dissociated, so the format's a mismatch for--and gives mixed messages about--their level of emotional presence. Brimming with shoes about to drop (some do, some don't) and the drama her fans devour, this will (and should) point them toward Triangles (2011), an adult-aimed version from the protagonists' mothers' perspective. Why not? (Verse fiction. 12-18)

Product Details

Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.80(d)
HL590L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 Years

Read an Excerpt


  • Completely off its axis the night

    I hooked up with Dylan Douglas.

    It was New Year’s Eve—five

    months ago—so maybe part of that

    earth-sway had something to do with

    the downers, weed and cheap beer,

    a dizzying combo on an empty stomach.

    What I know for sure is, when he came

    slinking up like a cougar—all tawny

    and temperamental—something inside

    me shifted. Something elemental.

    I, probably the oldest prude in my whole

    junior class, transformed into vamp.

    When he smiled at me—me!—I knew

    I had to make him mine. I would

    have done anything. Turned out, all

    I had to do was smile back. Just like

    that, we belonged to each other.

  • Meet the Author

    Ellen Hopkins is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Crank, Burned, Impulse, Glass, Identical, Tricks, Fallout, Perfect, Tilt, and Smoke, 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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    Tilt 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 103 reviews.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I suggest you shut up. Ive read every single one of ellen hopkins books, and i dont regret them one bit. Shes a talented author, who writes about serious real-world issues. Shes amazing at what she does. These books are phenominal. Ill be a fan of hers until I die. She writes these things because she can, and because these are things that appeal to mist anyone. Ajd i niticed you dont recommend it to 12-14 year olds, but say its okay for 16 and up. What about me? Im 15. If you dont like these books, you obviously dont get the message she sends out, and yiu have bad taste in genre.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    HOPKINS did it again! I've read all her books and this one is just as amazing. It goes along with Triangles (even tho TILT starts where it was middle of TRIANGLES) so definatly read Triangles first.
    Nicole_67 More than 1 year ago
    One of the greatest author's out there. Ellen Hopkins is an outstanding writer. I've read every single one of her books. Yes, these books are intense. There's  sex, drug use, cursing, the whole 9 yards. But those elements are what make them so raw, real , and captivating. If you are too immature to handle it, don't leave the book a bad review. These books leave you speechless in the best way possible.
    laura24 More than 1 year ago
    The was one of the better books I have read and I feel this was an honest portrayal. Shane, Mikayla and Harley come from homes that are broken. They try to find love they don't have at home. Their lives are changed throughout the book.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    ive started reading ellen hopkijs novels and welll theyvare so real they dont make up some childish romance and i just love how the format is in beautiful poetry some people say it is disgusting but that means you are just too immatyre to handle real stuff.
    kb1997 More than 1 year ago
    I love Ellen Hopkins books so much!! I picked up the first one in the series at school in the library because it stood out to me.  I started to read it and I instantly got hooked. I finished the book that night after school. I also think I read maybe 2 or 3 more in the series (hard to remember; read it a couple years ago). HANDS DOWN ELLEN HOPKINS IS ONE OF THE BEST YOUNG ADULT AUTHOR OF  ALL TIME!!!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I can never put this book down sadly to say this reminds me of people i know today
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I'm 16, and the looming threat of deseases and teen pregnancy are everywhere. I finished the book in less than a day, and couldn't stop reading. It makes you reconsider your own past decisions. I really hope there will be a sequel.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book was amazing even though by the end I was crying like a little girl. It gives the reader a bitter taste of reality andrealize that every story doesn't have a happy ending. Either way its in my top ten next to the book theif!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book was absolutely ahmazing. I couldn't put it down from the second that I started reading it. Ellen Hopkins does a wonderful job of captivating you and pulling you into the story so deeply and so quickly that you have no choice but to keep reading! As if you'd want to do anything else! I am someone who just flies through books, particularly love stories while looking for love myself, and I have to say that this is one of, if not THE best book I've come across so far. I'd recommend it to anybody and everybody, because I feel like this is a book where all people can connect to in some way. I will be waiting at the edge of my seat for a sequel, I can hardly wait! Ellen Hopkins, this is WONDERFUL, give us more!!!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Im in love with this book. Ellen is a very talented writer and i agree with many of u she writes about real world topics. I enjoy romantic novels but i loved this one! Im 12 i understood the book but i wouldnt suggest reading it untill atleast 8th grade. Make it a point to read this book. Ive also eard that the rest of ellens books are amazingly writen too.
    JennieOhJennie More than 1 year ago
    Ellen Hopkins never fails to make a good story by addressing controversial topics and real life situations. I think this book is so moving (like every one of her books) because it touches on things that could happen to any of us! This book is about teenagers, but I'd recommend it to anyone. I also loved how it connects to her other book Triangles but is still a wonderful book and understandable on its own. I love Ellen Hopkins's books and would tell anyone to read them!!!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Tilt is an amazing book I loved it. I loved the story plot. Just amazing
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Great book, and great read highly recommended if you a fan or love her books!!!
    Anonymous 4 days ago
    Wonderful book. I was 13 when i read it and im 15 now. Ive been through a ton of things i shouldnt of had to go through and was getting into things to mature for my age. I can relate to this story a lot. The sex and bad relationshps are relatable to me and a lot of others out there. I reccomend reading if youre young so this can open your eyes and let you see how to handle bad situations. Most teens may not me mature enough for this book though. It is very graphic and has language. But as a 13,14,and 15 year old girl, it was very eye opening and made sense.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    mamelotti96 More than 1 year ago
    I have been hearing about and seeing Tilt and Ellen Hopkins for the longest time, and I finally came across her books when I was at the library recently. I picked up Tilt and Tricks to start off with. Have any of you read Ellen Hopkins? Which books of hers do you recommend? I have always been intrigued to read her books, because she writes in verse/prose. However, I will admit that it did take me a bit to get used to her writing style, but once I did I flew through the story. Keeping all the characters straight was also a bit tricky for me. You have the three main narrators: Mikayla, Shane, and Harley. They were easy to keep track of, but then all the minor characters were thrown in, such as all the parents, siblings, family members, and friends. Everyone was connected to each other, so then you had to remember if they were distant cousins or if their parents were close friends. Mikayla's story centered around her belief that she had found the love that everyone searches for in their life. She thought her life was perfect: great grades, awesome boyfriend, cushioned lifestyle. That belief all changes when she finds herself to be pregnant, and Dylan wants nothing to do with being a family of three. We stand on the sidelines as we watch the internal war of keeping her child or aborting the baby in order to keep Dylan in her life. As Mikayla moves further into her pregnancy the decision becomes harder and harder. Her story shows how pregnancy can happen to anyone, whether you are in perfect shape, have great grades, and a nice inheritance or poor as heck and average in every other department. Shane falls in love with Alex, who informs him that he is HIV positive. Instead of leaving him, he embarks on a relationship with Alex, who becomes someone he could never imagine being without. Shane's home life isn't in the best shape. He has a four year old sister who has Type I spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), which means she can't eat, move, or talk. Her death is always on the horizon. His mom devotes all of her time to taking care of Shelby. Shane's father is absent most of the time, but when he isn't he's passed out drunk or making homophobic remarks. Shane falls into depression, which leads to alcohol abuse and self-medicating in order to dull the pain of not being fully intimate with the boy he loves and not having the proper attention he wants from both of his parents. His story focuses on how dealing with issues your own way can lead to a frightening outcome. Harley's story focuses on the constant pressure that girls feel to please boys. The pressure to look hot and sexy, so boys will pay attention to them and "love" them. She falls in with a boy named Lucas, who has a goal to take her virginity. He doesn't care about her like she thinks he does, but she still does everything he tells her to do. She slowly realizes this isn't want true love is, but finds that she is in too deep when she finds how easily Lucas can persuade her by whispering sweet nothings in her ear. Her story reiterates the message that you do not need to change anything about yourself (clothes, body size, personality traits) for anyone, especially for those who claim to love you. Tilt was a raw read. There were times I was shaking with anger and other times where I wanted to break down with the characters. Hopkins does not sugar coat anything, but instead brings awareness to reality.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Tiltiour rank order (ranks at next res): &star<_>~ Too young to have kits. <br> &star&star<_>~ Too young to have kits. <br> &star&star&star<_>~ Too young to have kits. <br> &starf<_>~ May have a mate. <br> &starf&starf<_>~ May have kits. <br> &starf&starf&starf<_>~ May have kits and adopt kits. <br> &hearts<_>~ Highly privledged. <br> &hearts&hearts<_>~ Medcats cannot have a mate/highly privledged. <br> &hearts&hearts&hearts&starf<_>~ Leader. <br> &star&hearts<_>~ Too old to have kits.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    All though Ellen's book ]s are considered &quot;controversial&quot;, they have an extremely important message. If you are immature and can't look past the older themes, you really need to put this book down. Why read a book with such a powerful message if you're going to look past the message? I don't think that people should say people ages 12-14 shouldn't read it, every kid is different. I'm fourteen and I have enjoyed every book from her that I read. And one thing is for SURE, you will never catch me going near meth.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book was just amazing
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Awesome book
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Is this a series and if so what are the other books?
    acorley84 More than 1 year ago
    Tilt - Life...Decisions...Consequences For a more in depth review, please visit my blog, Chorley Chronicals!!  I must admit that I was totally surprised with this book! I don't know if I just hadn't really payed much attention when I originally read the Synopsis or what, but I was expecting this something sweet novel, and that is certainly not what I got! However, I was pleasantly surprised! The only thing that I am slightly disappointed in, is the Publisher's Synopsis gives a pretty vivid description of the book, so it doesn't leave too much to the imagination. So I guess that I am happy that I didn't pay much attention to it until after the fact. There were a whole lot of characters throughout this book, which as an audiobook, made it quite difficult to keep up with, especially in the beginning, however, I was really quite appreciative of the many different narrators, which helped me define which character was which! The story was told through the point of view of all the different characters, and I enjoyed that! I liked going back and forth from what one to the other to the other thought about what was going on! It was very entertaining! I felt a variety of emotions while listening to this book! It took me back to my younger days, remembering what it was like to be a teenager again, dealing with relationships of all sorts, from that with parents, to friends, to boyfriends/girlfriends. That's a tough time in one's life and I believe that Tilt is the perfect portrayal of that fact! I also think that the title fits the story perfectly! This is a story of life, and the choices one makes, and consequences that follow choices! The narrators did a wonderful job of portraying the characters they were playing! I was especially impressed with Kirby Heyborne and his portrayal of Shane! He really captured Shane's emotions and delivered a stellar performance!! I also felt that the voice fit each character well! I could have pictured Harley as a ready to hit the world 14 year old, and Mikayla, an almost 18 year old that knows it all, and Shane, the misunderstood homesexual 16 year old! I believe they had perfect casting for the narrators! This was my first book by Ellen Hopkins, but I must say that I was impressed! I didn't feel like I was reading a Juvenile Fiction book and actually thoroughly enjoyed listening to this title! It was an easy listen, that I managed to finish in one day's time! I was impressed with how much I liked this book, especially given that it is considered YA/Juvenile Fiction! I will pursue other titles from this author in the future!