"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."- summary from Amazon
I am a huge fanboy of Ellen's books and have read every single one of them (including her two adult novels), so this review will be pretty much a bunch of gushing. What I love about her books is that each story is so different and focuses on such different characters, experiences, and settings. This is told from a boy's perspective, which she's done now a few times though I don't think she's done it for a whole book (the ones I'm thinking of are multiple POV books she's done, like Impulse, Tilt, and Smoke). She does a wonderful job with Matt's voice and his inner anger and turmoil toward most of the world and faith in general.
There's a lot of interesting arguments both for and against faith, as well as different applications of faith (Matt's girlfriend, her dad, and church youth group apply it the wrong way, lol). The most intriguing application deals with a book being challenged (The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky)- there's not a whole lot of page time given to this thing going on but Hopkins makes sure that it still packs a punch in the message behind it. Religion has no place in determining a school reading list.
The only thing that bothered me mainly had to do with the summary (which she didn't even write, so it's not really a problem with her at all, lol). I kept expecting this "horrific event" to happen for the longest time, so I kept being like "oh, maybe this is when it will happen." or "Oh, I bet
Overall though, another great read from Hopkins and I am eager to read more of her books. If you haven't read her (and regardless of if you enjoy verse or not), please go out and do so now! And if you have read her before, be sure to check out this newly released book!
FTC: Received ARC from publisher (thanks to Ellen and Siena!). Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.