Wow, this book was so freaking angsty. Which I normally don’t have a problem with! I will freely admit that I do love me some angst. But this book…it was just on a whole other level. It was kind of like those “issue books” that people talk about (like how The Fault in Our Stars is a cancer “issue book”). Except, this book? This book had all the issues. Like, every. Single. One. Let’s just take a second here and let me list all of the things that happened during this book:
- Suicide attempt
- Deadbeat father
- Some kind of really awful disease that was never clearly explained what it was
- Incestual rape/child molestation
- Gay kid struggling to be accepted
- Another deadbeat father
- Drug use
- Drug use
- Drug use
- Teen pregnancy
Did I get all of them? I honestly think I’m missing a few. But just…ummm….wow. I can’t be the only one who thinks that this is kind of nuts for ONE book.
I did honestly like it quite a bit, but reading it was definitely an overwhelming experience. I think that it’s something that I probably really would’ve enjoyed if I’d read it in high school. I loved how Hopkins just puts it all out there. There’s a lot of things in this book that aren’t usually discussed in YA, so it was great to just have this really open and honest emotional read, of a type that is very rare in this genre. The fact that Hopkins doesn’t shy away from tackling the “big issues” is an awesome thing about this book…I just think that maybe it was a little too much angst for me. And that’s saying something!
But there are so many things to love about this book, if you can forget the fact that it’s basically a soap opera. One of my favorite things about it was its theme. At first I didn’t really understand how it all fit together. Everything was kind of a jumble and it didn’t really seem like there was much connecting any of the characters or bringing each of the perspectives together. But as the book continues, the story starts to fit together and you realize that it’s actually a commentary on all sorts of different relationships involving love. Tilt covers so many different types of love — parental love, sibling love, marital love, puppy love, teenage love, self-love, gay love…it’s all in there. And it’s beautiful!
I also loved how well we really got to know each of the characters, even the characters that we didn’t get a perspective from. And the fact that it focused on the adult relationships in the book was great, too. Not a lot of YA includes the parents of the teenagers, but each of the parents each had their own individual story to tell, just like the kids. I found myself strongly connecting emotionally with each of the characters, and I’m actually kind of sad that this book is over! I got very attached to them all and really enjoyed reading each and every one of the perspectives. Luckily, this book is a companion novel to Hopkins’ adult book Triangles. I liked Tilt so much that I just reserved a copy of it from my library! I can’t wait to get back into this world.
Overall, Hopkins’ writing style is just amazing. I was truly dumbfounded by how gorgeous, yet extremely readable, her poetry is. It felt just like reading a regular novel, except it flowed so well and actually created a deeper emotional resonance than just normal words. It was all so personal and human. I loved it so much! This was my first experience with Hopkins, but after reading Tilt, I know that it most certainly won’t be my last.