Impulse Summary & Study Guide

Ellen Hopkins
This Study Guide consists of approximately 40 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Impulse.
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Impulse Summary & Study Guide Description

Impulse Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Impulse by Ellen Hopkins.

"Impulse" is a free verse novel by Ellen Hopkins and focuses on the recovery and second chance of three suicidal teenagers to make their lives right. The novel begins with Conner being admitted to Aspen Springs, a recovery hospital. Conner has attempted suicide following his breakup with his girlfriend, Emily. Tony and Vanessa are two teenagers already in residence at Aspen Springs. Tony attempted suicide by overdosing on Valium after the death of someone named Phillip; and Vanessa has attempted suicide by cutting her wrists following a breakup with her boyfriend. Vanessa also secretly worries that she may have inherited her mother's psychotic tendencies.

Over the following weeks, the three teenagers become friends with one another and they learn more about each other. Apart from the breakup with Emily, Conner's pain comes from his parents who are perfectionists and who expect nothing less than perfection from Conner. Conner relates how he never had a close relationship with his mother, and was molested as a child by his nanny, Leona. Furthermore, Emily, Conner's former lover, was a teacher twice his age. Tony relates how when he was young, he was raped by his mother's boyfriend, and was sent to prison for shooting and killing her boyfriend. In prison, to survive, Tony exchanged sexual favors with other males to get by. Vanessa's father is overseas, serving in Afghanistan, leaving Vanessa's grandmother to cope with her daughter-in-law, Vanessa, and her little brother, Bryan. Vanessa finds her mother has attempted to overdose one day, but doesn't call for help. Vanessa, reeling from a breakup with her boyfriend Trevor, and unstable following an abortion Trevor induced, is driven to suicide.

The culmination of their time in recovery is a wilderness survival camp. Conner, Vanessa, and Tony attend at the same time. By the end of the novel, Tony discovers that is actually not gay, because he and Vanessa have fallen in love with one another. Vanessa discovers that there are medications to control her mental disorder, and that her father has been granted a stateside stationing. But Conner's parents don't change. He steps off a cliff to commit suicide.

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This section contains 358 words
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