New Release: People Kill People, by @EllenHopkinsLit

People Kill People

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Someone will shoot. And someone will die.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins tackles gun violence and white supremacy in this compelling and complex novel.

People kill people. Guns just make it easier

A gun is sold in the classifieds after killing a spouse, bought by a teenager for needed protection. But which was it? Each has the incentive to pick up a gun, to fire it. Was it Rand or Cami, married teenagers with a young son? Was it Silas or Ashlyn, members of a white supremacist youth organization? Daniel, who fears retaliation because of his race, who possessively clings to Grace, the love of his life? Or Noelle, who lost everything after a devastating accident, and has sunk quietly into depression?

One tense week brings all six people into close contact in a town wrought with political and personal tensions. Someone will fire. And someone will die. But who?

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If you’d like to buy a copy of this book, you can find it on:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo  | iBooks

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About the Author:

Ellen Hopkins is the New York Times bestselling author of CrankBurnedImpulseGlassIdenticalTricksFalloutPerfectTrianglesTilt, and Collateral. She lives in Carson City, Nevada, with her husband and son. Hopkin’s Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest pages get thousands of hits from teens who claim Hopkins is the “only one who understands me”, and she can be visited at ellenhopkins.com. 

Like most of you here, books are my life. Reading is a passion, but writing is the biggest part of me. Balance is my greatest challenge, as I love my family, friends, animals and home, but also love traveling to meet my readers. Hope I meet many of you soon!

Find out more:

Novels in Verse

I can’t remember if I’ve brought this to the blog in the past or not, so I’m going to assume it was just on Facebook and/or Twitter. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about VERSE NOVELS!

What’s a verse novel? Maybe you know them as “novels in verse”. There are a few terms to use, but they all boil down to one obvious thing: They are novels written in verse (poetry) instead of prose (what everything else is written in).

Why do I enjoy them so much? That should be somewhat obvious. I’m a poet. I enjoy poetry. And you also know I enjoy novels in general. Once I discovered the magic of joining the two forms, I was hooked.

I first read a verse novel back in grade school. It was Karen Hesse’s OUT OF THE DUST. I remember talking about the fact that it’s written in blank verse, but that fact dissolved in my memory shortly after. I remember enjoying the story, but that was all. That is, until I rediscovered the form a few years back in Sonya Sones’ writing. I found out about her book WHAT MY MOTHER DOESN’T KNOW. I read it. Enjoyed it. Got hooked. I’ve since read all of her books (except one, because I don’t want to be without more of Sones to read) and from there, branches out into other authors work.

I have to admit that I’ve stuck mostly to Young Adult verse novels. It’s not completely by choice, though, partly it is. There seems to be a larger amount of verse novels for YA readers out there, compared to those for “adult” readers. I also think it’s a marketing thing because I’ve discovered a few adult titles are marketed as being poetry, but lacking take about the story aspect. Probably a few reasons for this, but I won’t speculate here. But back to my mention of YA novels. I think most of my recent YA reading has actually been done with verse novels. YA is already a pretty accessible type of book for anyone to get into, but adding in the verse form makes it even more so. And not in a bad way. I think it makes them “easier” to read while opening the story up to having a deeper message, emotional response, etc. Verse forces the author to be limited in word choice (in most cases), and I feel this makes every word used count that much more. The books may be fast reads, but I feel that I’ve gotten more out of them at times than prose novels because of the lack of words and focus on what really needs to be said.

On a less critical, and more fun note, I also like when authors play with the visual form in their verse novels. One author who does this in many different ways in all her novels is Ellen Hopkins. Her text isn’t restricted to the left side of the page. It’ll jump to the right, middle, and everywhere in between. The text placement lends to the reading of the lines and what’s being conveyed. Some of the connection between text and text placement can go over my head, even, but I don’t think her books would be as powerful if they were all left-aligned. That works for other authors, and there’s nothing wrong with that either. But at times, poetry needs to push itself across a page, be different, and stand out.

I hope I’m not alone in my love of verse novels. I do know a few of my readers have experience with them. Maybe some of you haven’t explored that part of the book world yet. I’m here to help. I’d like to close this post out with a list of verse novels I’ve enjoyed. Some of them are as recent as this week…and I’m planning on grabbing a few more from the library soon. They’re addicting!

#NationalPoetryMonth Challange!

That’s right: I’m CHALLENGING YOU! As we all know, April is National Poetry Month (international if you want to say. It’s spread pretty far by now.) I like to celebrate it on A Life Among the Pages, and this year is no different. Bringing awareness to poetry and new poetry to readers is always a great goal, even if just one more person gets into poetry. It’ll still be a win. So let’s kick this month off by bringing back a graphic you may remember from last year…

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Poetry Month FB Banner

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Remember that? Either way, you’ll be seeing a lot more of it this month.

Now that that’s out of the way, here’s what I’m challenging everyone reading this to do: Read a book of poetry. Simple enough right?

I challenge each and every one of you to go out and find a book of poetry that you think you’ll enjoy. Then read it. It could be a single poet collection. It could be a multi-poetry anthology. And if that’s a little too much for you, maybe try easing yourself in with some single poems you find online. As long as there’s an attempt to try to read more poetry, that’s all that really matters.

I know many of my readers read poetry even if it’s occasional. But maybe some of you would like a few suggestions. I’m not sure if I’m good at suggestions, but I’ll try by listing some of my favorite collections that I’ve read and some poets, as well.

A few verse novel suggestions might help those not ready to dive right in.

And here is a list of Indie poets you might have seen on the blog in the past. They’re definitely worth checking out. I’ll link a collection into each name.

I don’t really know where to steer anyone looking for an anthology. I own so many and many have overlapping selections. You can’t really go wrong with one. Read a few poems from them and if it seems like it’ll click with you, that’d probably be a great choice.

ALSO, as a little self-promotion and a help for you (maybe), you may notice the prices on my ebooks have dropped. For the month of April, on Amazon (since 99.9999999999% of my five sales each year come from there)…

From Where I Stand is only $1.23

and

Winter’s Homecoming and other Poems is only $0.99

AND, because I want to be generous, if anyone would like to read one of these collections/chapbooks but can’t afford to buy one…let me know. If you’re serious about reading it (and hopefully leaving an honest review when you’re done), send me a message and I’ll hook you up. I can give out Smashwords coupons for you to grab it for free. You can get it in any format through them. I’m here to spread poetry and that’s what I’ll do my best to do!

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Have I tired your eyes out yet with all this reading? One most big of housekeeping to do and then you can run off.

STORY TIME FRIDAY and PROSE VERSE BABEL…let’s get them going this month! A lot of poetry has been featured on STF so far, but we’ll keep that going if we can this month. PVB hasn’t been alive in a LONG time. Let’s fix that.

So I’m asking for you all to help by contributing. Find out more on how to submit work to each here:

Story Time Friday

Prose Verse Babel

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Ok folks. That’s all for now. Help spread the poetic word and come back often to the blog for most poetry fun all month!

#Review: Crank, by @EllenHopkinsYA

Title: Crank (Crank #1)
Author: Ellen Hopkins
Rating: 5/5 stars

“In Crank, Ellen Hopkins chronicles the turbulent and often disturbing relationship between Kristina, a character based on her own daughter, and the “monster,” the highly addictive drug crystal meth, or “crank.” Kristina is introduced to the drug while visiting her largely absent and ne’er-do-well father. While under the influence of the monster, Kristina discovers her sexy alter-ego, Bree: “there is no perfect daughter, / no gifted high school junior, / no Kristina Georgia Snow. / There is only Bree.” Bree will do all the things good girl Kristina won’t, including attracting the attention of dangerous boys who can provide her with a steady flow of crank.” (description from Goodreads)

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Last year I discovered the verse-novel writing style through a few of Sonya Sones books. Through further searching, I found out about Ellen Hopkins, and in turn, the Crank books. I was pleased what I found within the covers of this book.

I’m amazed at just how much weight this book can hold, yet compared to a normal prose novel, there is a significantly smaller word count. Hopkins takes her worse seriously and provides a heavy, dark atmosphere to Kristina’s/Bree’s narrative as she goes down a path of drugs, first loves, and more. There’s little to no happiness in this book, yet there’s a beauty in how the lines of each poem keep the reader glued with their nose in the book. I kept reading wanting more and more, even when seeing it was only going to get darker.

I don’t think I’d have gotten as strong of a reaction to Crank were it to be a prose novel. There’s something about the way verse allows an author to tell a story with such raw emotions and bluntness that even the most well-written of prose has a hard time doing. This is why I keep going back to verse novels, and will be continuing on with this series very soon.

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You can grab a copy of this book from:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo

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About the Author:

Ellen Hopkins is the New York Times bestselling author of CrankBurnedImpulseGlassIdentical,TricksFalloutPerfectTrianglesTilt, and Collateral. She lives in Carson City, Nevada, with her husband and son. Hopkin’s Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest pages get thousands of hits from teens who claim Hopkins is the “only one who understands me”, and she can be visited at ellenhopkins.com.

Like most of you here, books are my life. Reading is a passion, but writing is the biggest part of me. Balance is my greatest challenge, as I love my family, friends, animals and home, but also love traveling to meet my readers. Hope I meet many of you soon!

Find out more: