Impulse by Ellen Hopkins

Summary: Sometimes you don't wake up. But if you happen to, you know things will never be the same.

Three lives, three different paths to the same destination: Aspen Springs, a psychiatric hospital for those who have attempted the ultimate act — suicide.

Vanessa is beautiful and smart, but her secrets keep her answering the call of the blade.

Tony, after suffering a painful childhood, can only find peace through pills.

And Conner, outwardly, has the perfect life. But dig a little deeper and find a boy who is in constant battle with his parents, his life, himself.

In one instant each of these young people decided enough was enough. They grabbed the blade, the bottle, the gun — and tried to end it all. Now they have a second chance, and just maybe, with each other's help, they can find their way to a better life — but only if they're strong and can fight the demons that brought them here in the first place.

My thoughts: I was lucky enough to receive an audio copy of this for review, and I was glad I did. I don't have much experience reading free verse, and just hearing the book made me understand how novels-in-verse are to be read: just like regular books.

The story isn't at all hampered by the format; in fact, it flows even more beautifully. I ached for each character, even the bad guys. I cringed, I winced, I felt deeply. The voice actors were amazing, the intonation of characters spot-on.

No doubt this is a painful book, full of fear and wrongs, but the truth and beauty aid the telling of things that need told.

This is my first Ellen Hopkins book, and it's thrown her to the top of the favorite authors list.

Excellent book, not for the faint of heart, and would be awesome for discussion.