Written by: Ellen Hopkins
# of pages: 546
My Rating: 2/5
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Read in August 2014
Summary according to goodreads
Matthew Turner doesn’t have faith in anything.
Not in family—his is a shambles after his younger brother was bullied into suicide. Not in so-called friends who turn their backs when things get tough. Not in some all-powerful creator who lets too much bad stuff happen. And certainly not in some “It Gets Better” psychobabble.
No matter what his girlfriend Hayden says about faith and forgiveness, there’s no way Matt’s letting go of blame. He’s decided to “live large and go out with a huge bang,” and whatever happens happens. But when a horrific event plunges Matt into a dark, silent place, he hears a rumble…a rumble that wakes him up, calling everything he’s ever disbelieved into question.
I received a copy of this novel to review, but that does not affect my opinion.
This is an author that I usually love, and that made this one of my most anticipated books of this year. It is unfortunate that I must say this is my least favourite of her novels. If I had known what this book was about before I picked it up I probably would not have read it, but I do prefer to go into books "blind". From experience with her other novels I expected something dark, but this was very different.
In my opinion, this novel was too focused on religion when it should have been more about Matt. He was a character that was dealing with a lot mentally, and instead I felt as though no one was helping him. I did not like his girlfriend, Hayden, because I felt she preached at him and did nothing to help him emotionally. She was too dramatic, assuming, and had a "holier than thou" attitude, which really got on my nerves.
In fact, I can't say that I related, or even enjoyed any of the characters. Matt's parents were not connected enough to him, his school friends were not nice and, as I mentioned, I disliked Hayden very much. I can understand the way his parents handled the situation, in some way, because it is not easy to deal with the loss of a child. What did not help my opinion on the novel was the growth of a plot, or any character development until the last 75 pages. I feel that this story continued in a straight line from the beginning to the end, with no rises or falls.
Overall, I would not recommend this novel for any looking to read Ellen Hopkins for the first time, but instead to someone who has read her works and is interested in a religious-based plot. As disappointed as I was with this novel I am still grateful to Simon & Schuster for the copy, and will probably read more of Ellen's novels.