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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, 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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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, 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?

30 review for People Kill People

  1. 4 out of 5

    Carlene Inspired

    Not sure when I'll be ready to read any book about gun violence, but it's Ellen Hopkins and I read everything she writes so maybe someday I'll be ready for this.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Not her usual verse novel style, although there are elements of it, but Hopkins still manages to break hearts, minds and characters. :)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

    3.5 stars but rounding down to 3 for Goodreads rating system. This book was ok. I'll be the first to admit I was not the intended target audience. But honestly I would not want my young teen who would have been to read this. For me the story was strong and interesting so that's where the stars were earned. As for for the style, let's just say I was NOT a fan. It wasn't so off putting that I couldn't finish. I just do not care for poetry or verse. Since receiving the book I realize that is the au 3.5 stars but rounding down to 3 for Goodreads rating system. This book was ok. I'll be the first to admit I was not the intended target audience. But honestly I would not want my young teen who would have been to read this. For me the story was strong and interesting so that's where the stars were earned. As for for the style, let's just say I was NOT a fan. It wasn't so off putting that I couldn't finish. I just do not care for poetry or verse. Since receiving the book I realize that is the author's style so I decided to not judge it down harshly because of it. I figure most who read this after release will have the chance to pick the book up and thumb through before deciding if this style suits them. 3* (3.5) / 4.00* In compliance with FTC guidelines------I received this book free from a Goodreads Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. The content of this review is not influenced by that fact. The feelings expressed are solely mine. I sincerely appreciate the chance to read and review this book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    This isn't my favorite Hopkins book, but still masterfully written. The pacing felt slightly slower, and I felt like the ending was rather predictable with some of the characters (Daniel's actually surprised me though). I enjoyed the epilogue, where we got to see the futures of all of the characters, something Hopkins doesn't usually do. The message of this piece is very powerful, of course, and reflects contemporary issues today that we as people must face. And sadly, this might continue to be This isn't my favorite Hopkins book, but still masterfully written. The pacing felt slightly slower, and I felt like the ending was rather predictable with some of the characters (Daniel's actually surprised me though). I enjoyed the epilogue, where we got to see the futures of all of the characters, something Hopkins doesn't usually do. The message of this piece is very powerful, of course, and reflects contemporary issues today that we as people must face. And sadly, this might continue to be a contemporary issue for some time, since there is so much debate over the topic. While not my favorite (my favorites are Identical and Burned), I still really loved this book!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Spencer

    absolutely incredible. hard to read at times because of the subject matter, but absolutely necessary.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    I guess I’m still looking for her signature style that has matured and graduated to a different level, especially with her adult novels and her personal politics. Though gun violence is a timely topic and yeomans work to do right. It works. It’s tragic. It’s lovely. You meet well-rounded characters and learn about different lives that are mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors. The ending is sad though not completely surprising. It’s important, but lacked the pacing and interest of something l I guess I’m still looking for her signature style that has matured and graduated to a different level, especially with her adult novels and her personal politics. Though gun violence is a timely topic and yeomans work to do right. It works. It’s tragic. It’s lovely. You meet well-rounded characters and learn about different lives that are mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors. The ending is sad though not completely surprising. It’s important, but lacked the pacing and interest of something like Tricks had with multiple characters and helping readers understand about sex trafficking. This had the element of gun violence but interwoven beauty of learning about and from the characters.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Heather Panella

    I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this at BEA 2018 and oh this book! Ellen Hopkins, you've torn my heart and given me so much to think about. People Kill People is smart, eloquent, beautiful, heartbreaking, and just plain old GOOD! It's a book that we desperately need right now; one that looks at the tough issues head on, makes them personal and relatable and forces you to confront them face to face. This book pulls no punches, takes no prisoners, and does not suffer fool on issues like gun co I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this at BEA 2018 and oh this book! Ellen Hopkins, you've torn my heart and given me so much to think about. People Kill People is smart, eloquent, beautiful, heartbreaking, and just plain old GOOD! It's a book that we desperately need right now; one that looks at the tough issues head on, makes them personal and relatable and forces you to confront them face to face. This book pulls no punches, takes no prisoners, and does not suffer fool on issues like gun control, mental health, youth homelessness, abuse, white supremacy, and immigration. Put this in the hands of all readers, but especially the ones who love and appreciate titles like The Hate U Give & Long Way Down. Hell, put them on display together and let the sheer power of these authors and their words loose in the world!

  8. 5 out of 5

    April

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Sadly, despite really loving other books by Hopkins, this one is not working for me. DNF. I read about 70 pages before realizing I was rolling my eyes on every single page. So, I flipped to the last 20 or so pages and skimmed those. I do not feel I missed anything of importance in the intervening 400 pages. Which solidifies that this was not a book I was going to enjoy. Which is disappointing as this had all the right markers of an intense tale I should have found to be dark but also super compe Sadly, despite really loving other books by Hopkins, this one is not working for me. DNF. I read about 70 pages before realizing I was rolling my eyes on every single page. So, I flipped to the last 20 or so pages and skimmed those. I do not feel I missed anything of importance in the intervening 400 pages. Which solidifies that this was not a book I was going to enjoy. Which is disappointing as this had all the right markers of an intense tale I should have found to be dark but also super compelling: gun violence and the debate around control vs responsible ownership vs people killing each other (or themselves) even without guns; racism and white nationalism; misogyny; and in general just human propensity towards violence. However, this combination may have been too much for these pages to take on. The tale starts with an older white man who buys a guy because he's afraid of "those Muslims" that just moved in down the street. But when he ends up shooting and killing his wife who came home early one night he sells the gun quickly for cash to get it out of his house and his memories. Then we follow the gun to its new teen dad owner and from there the story is basically alternating between narration by the concept of Violence and 6 intertwined teen characters in Arizona. The characters are all narrated in second person because, as Violence tells the reader, "this could be you too". But yeah; I never felt immersed in any of the characters despite this annoyingly awful narrative perspective usage because it all reads like some sort of deep-dive propaganda (which didn't even know WHAT is was trying to push you to believe?) and stereotypes. I mean; it was angling to get me to sympathize with these deeply racist characters but yet used lingo and scenarios and imagery that meant you never sank into the character even though it was written in a way to make you FEEL like that character. It was a huge disconnect for me. Not that you really wanted to "feel like" a nazi sympathizer but if that's the goal Hopkins had; to attempt to humanize such a character even a bit; it failed quite a lot. It just felt like it was trying too hard to be both No Message About Guns at All, We're Just Saying What IF Here and then also at the same time being all Guns Are Bad and Stuff Just Look (view spoiler)[The Toddler Shoots and Kills a Beloved Person and if You Didn't See This one Coming a Mile Away OMG... (hide spoiler)] . It just did not work for me at all. Which is a shame. Because, to me, it felt like there was a lot that could have been said here but it just missed the mark and became heavy-handed (but in a way that you weren't even quite sure WHAT that heavy handed message was supposed to be??) I was also a bit disappointed in how much prose there. I really enjoy the poetry style Hopkins usually uses and this slog of text did not, I feel, do her writing any favors.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nadine

    I’ve been an avid Ellen Hopkins fan since high school. Her books are always hard hitting, poignant, and unrelenting. Hopkins does not coddle her readers nor does she handle them with kid gloves. Her novels always feature triggering topics and People Kill People is no exception. Hopkins’ writing style is certainly not for everyone. She writes almost exclusively in verse. This choice allows readers to fully immerse themselves in the characters and situations since the act of writing in verse cuts t I’ve been an avid Ellen Hopkins fan since high school. Her books are always hard hitting, poignant, and unrelenting. Hopkins does not coddle her readers nor does she handle them with kid gloves. Her novels always feature triggering topics and People Kill People is no exception. Hopkins’ writing style is certainly not for everyone. She writes almost exclusively in verse. This choice allows readers to fully immerse themselves in the characters and situations since the act of writing in verse cuts the unnecessary descriptions that would otherwise bog down the story. So, I was surprised and a little disappointed that People Kill People doesn’t follow its predecessors. There are bits of verse sprinkled throughout, however most of the story is told through prose. However, this prose isn’t what is traditionally found in other novels. Instead, it’s choppy and to the point. I would have appreciated the novel more had it been written in Hopkins’ signature verse. The narrator throughout People Kill People is an unknown omnipresent being that I interpreted as the embodiment of dangerous impulses and/or chaos whispering to the characters their deepest and darkest thoughts. Some choose to listen, some choose to ignore, and some slowly embrace them. This choice is narration is easily one of the best aspects of the novel. I should have seen the ending of this novel coming a mile away. It’s set up so well that I feel a little stupid for missing it. Though it’s an obvious conclusion and a point that been made over and over, it’s still an important one to uphold. With gun reform and gun safety at the center of most debates on how to protect the most vulnerable in our society, People Kill People is a timely piece of writing that is unrelenting in its fight for gun reform. People Kill People takes readers into the minds of six different teenagers with various reasons for picking up a gun and altering the lives of everyone around them. Gun violence is at the forefront of this novel along with other various triggering topics, so use caution when approaching this read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Christina (Ensconced in Lit)

    All I could think of after reading this book was WOW. This is my first book I've read by Ellen Hopkins and I think the reason why I've stayed away from her books is not because I didn't think they would be good, but books are an escape for me and I too often see the dark underbelly of the world and so I knew it would be a trigger. But these books are so important and have been important to many people who needed them. This particular book is fantastic in structure, story, and characters. It is wri All I could think of after reading this book was WOW. This is my first book I've read by Ellen Hopkins and I think the reason why I've stayed away from her books is not because I didn't think they would be good, but books are an escape for me and I too often see the dark underbelly of the world and so I knew it would be a trigger. But these books are so important and have been important to many people who needed them. This particular book is fantastic in structure, story, and characters. It is written in third person omniscient as the voice of violence and guns, which is told in poetry form. The rest are the portrayals of several people who have the potential to kill. Each perspective is told in second person, which is the perfect point of view for this book. The whole point is to show that in someone else's shoes, you too may understand what drives a person to violence. I was completely in awe and in book hangover after this one. Everyone should read it. It's intense but worth it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Hightower

    This book was very disturbing to read but so necessary. Gun violence occurs on a regular basis. In the last few days while I was finishing this book a man with mental health issues legally bought a gun and shot people in a bank and a female police officer entered an apartment she mistook for hers and shot and killed the man inside. Each time this happens we ask questions like why did the person shoot? How did they get a gun? What was going on in their life to make them snap? Just as the author p This book was very disturbing to read but so necessary. Gun violence occurs on a regular basis. In the last few days while I was finishing this book a man with mental health issues legally bought a gun and shot people in a bank and a female police officer entered an apartment she mistook for hers and shot and killed the man inside. Each time this happens we ask questions like why did the person shoot? How did they get a gun? What was going on in their life to make them snap? Just as the author points out, it is not the gun that kills people. When used/stored properly, guns are safe for protection and hunting. It is people that cause the tragedies that have become a normal part of our daily lives. The focus needs to be on keeping guns out of the hands of people who should not have them. While reading the book, I found the words written in verse that went with each chapter even more disturbing than the story itself. Thank you #NetGalley for the ARC copy of #PeopleKillPeople.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Hager

    Like all of Ellen Hopkins' novels, this is intense.  We know from the onset (literally even before we start to read) that someone will die. We don't know who, or who will do the shooting.  And from the beginning, we know that some of these characters are completely awful. I feel guilty, but I was definitely hoping for one or two of the characters to be shot and killed. (Yes, I do console myself with the fact that they're fictional people. It helps. A little.) And all of the characters are flawed, Like all of Ellen Hopkins' novels, this is intense.  We know from the onset (literally even before we start to read) that someone will die. We don't know who, or who will do the shooting.  And from the beginning, we know that some of these characters are completely awful. I feel guilty, but I was definitely hoping for one or two of the characters to be shot and killed. (Yes, I do console myself with the fact that they're fictional people. It helps. A little.) And all of the characters are flawed, but a few are genuinely bad people.  The tension slowly increases throughout the book, and it starts to become almost unbearable within the last 50 pages. Highly recommended, but be aware that the ending is brutal. 

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    This book broke my heart. Full review on my blog.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Elena

    I'm always so incredibly impressed with Ellen Hopkins' ability to emotionally wreck me. She is seriously one of my favorite writers. She always writes about something relevant and hard to read, always writes for the education and betterment of people. And she does it so well. I love her stories, how well-written her characters are, and how absolutely beautiful her words are when they come together, whether in verse or in prose. I'll for sure read her books as long as she writes them.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jeweliana

    DNF. A book that does too much and not enough all at once. Violence is the personified narrator and while that was interesting at first, it just became annoying once you realized this voice was not going away. I believe I read through three narrators (in second person) and they were all grown white racist men. I hear there's one diverse character later on but I was not interested. Although these racist white men are written about in second person, as if you're 'slipping into their skin', unless yo DNF. A book that does too much and not enough all at once. Violence is the personified narrator and while that was interesting at first, it just became annoying once you realized this voice was not going away. I believe I read through three narrators (in second person) and they were all grown white racist men. I hear there's one diverse character later on but I was not interested. Although these racist white men are written about in second person, as if you're 'slipping into their skin', unless you're a goddamn racist, you're not going to be able to relate to these people. Being written in second person doesn't change that fact so it may as well be written in a less irritating POV, like first or third. I've always gotten some old timey Southern racist vibes from Hopkins' work so I'm honestly not surprised by this. I think a book about empathizing with racists could work, but not when it's written by a white person. And I wouldn't expect a YA writer of color to take on the task because POC dgaf about reading about racists.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jessica White

    Disclaimer: this book deals with sexual abuse, suicidal ideation, and gun violence. Now, that that's been said.... lets get down to business. Ellen Hopkins took a chance on this book, and wrote in a new and unique way. Instead of her usual free verse poetry style, she led us straight into the skin of the characters with poetry sprinkled throughout. But the amazing thing that she did..... She made violence the narrator. Which is amazing. People Kill People is told through 6 POV's: Rand, Silas, Daniel Disclaimer: this book deals with sexual abuse, suicidal ideation, and gun violence. Now, that that's been said.... lets get down to business. Ellen Hopkins took a chance on this book, and wrote in a new and unique way. Instead of her usual free verse poetry style, she led us straight into the skin of the characters with poetry sprinkled throughout. But the amazing thing that she did..... She made violence the narrator. Which is amazing. People Kill People is told through 6 POV's: Rand, Silas, Daniel, Cami, Noelle, and Ashlyn. Of course, each of their lives overlap in one way or another in classic Hopkins style. Each of their stories are sprinkled with whispers of violence. The idea that they could even think of committing a crime is something they all regularly struggle with. So lets break down all the characters. Rand: 19 years old, married to Cami, father to 3 year old Waylon. Aspiring police officer. Violence is the voice of his childhood. The abuse he endured while growing up has shaped him to become a police officer....but only to get revenge on the man who hurt him. Silas: Teen leader of the TradYouth white supremacist group, regularly uses derogatory terms to explain his "white is right" motto. Violence rears his ugly head towards anyone who is "illegal" and Silas uses it to his advantage. Daniel: Homeless, Honduran, and half brother to a white supremacist. His mother was deported which caused his father had to announce his secret life to his actual family, who didn't handle it so well. Once his father died, his new family showed their true colors. Which caused violence to slither into Daniel's psyche and make him beyond paranoid of people leaving him. Cami: 19 years old, married to Rand, mother to Waylon. Stay at home mom life just wasn't the life she was hoping for. She wasn't ready for this life. But when a robbery goes wrong and all her money is stolen, she's suddenly in debt to a very important man. A man that her husband doesn't know she's in business with. Violence shows up (in my opinion) as a way of protecting her and Waylon on their daily errands. Noelle: Overweight, disabled teen trying to find her voice in the world. After her accident, she lost all of her hopes and dreams. She could never do the things she wanted again and that caused for some serious depression. You guessed it, that's how violence found a way into her life. Ashlyn: Turned on by violence, deals in sexual acts to get the things she wants and needs in life. But when she meets up with her cousin, Tim, she gets caught up in the TradYouth lifestyle. But she's not quite sure what she wants. Violence snuck in during a house party and left her in a jail cell. I completely loved the way Ellen Hopkins wrote this book. It was new, exciting, and definitely had me flipping through the pages. However, I didn't click with the characters as much as I usually do in her books. Now don't get me wrong, the story was FANTASTIC and extremely relevant in our current society. But that's obviously what she was trying to do.. she put more development into the story and the connections in the story than she did in the characters themselves. This review and reviews of all things Ellen Hopkins can be found at A Reader's Diary!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Karen Barber

    A simple message...though other factors may aid the process, it’s people who kill people. This contemporary read allows us insight into the lives of a lot of characters, each of whom has reason to be angry/to want to hurt people/to feel like they need the protection of a gun. We have a family grieving after a shooting; a young family finding their feet; White Supremacist supporters; a young man determined to take revenge on his old Scout Master and a young boy who’s made homeless after the death A simple message...though other factors may aid the process, it’s people who kill people. This contemporary read allows us insight into the lives of a lot of characters, each of whom has reason to be angry/to want to hurt people/to feel like they need the protection of a gun. We have a family grieving after a shooting; a young family finding their feet; White Supremacist supporters; a young man determined to take revenge on his old Scout Master and a young boy who’s made homeless after the death of his father, amongst others. These characters are connected, and all have things to fear/things they want to change. Told partly in verse form, this will not appeal to everyone. There’s a deliberate attempt to personify the gun and lend it an element of seduction. With violence as the narrator, this book attempts to challenge the belief many Americans have that they should have the right to bear arms. As someone who doesn’t share this belief, and who is appalled by the steady stream of horror we see after yet another shooting, I felt the way this was presented will certainly get people thinking. Ultimately, though, little changed and I don’t feel the key incident towards the end of the book will be enough to drastically change many views. Towards the end things felt rushed, and I felt certain stories were left too vague for my liking.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kiki Cole

    This book had a lot of offensive but true topics. I would say that it was good but it could’ve been better, maybe a little bit more well executed, because I got the feeling that it was a bit hard to read because I am for certain things like pride and immigration. I think the cast of characters wasn’t as diverse as I would’ve liked it to be but the fact that it takes place in Arizona makes sense for the fact that there was only one diverse character pretty much but there was someone who had epile This book had a lot of offensive but true topics. I would say that it was good but it could’ve been better, maybe a little bit more well executed, because I got the feeling that it was a bit hard to read because I am for certain things like pride and immigration. I think the cast of characters wasn’t as diverse as I would’ve liked it to be but the fact that it takes place in Arizona makes sense for the fact that there was only one diverse character pretty much but there was someone who had epilepsy which tied mental issues into it. I Would say that for certain audiences this book is more necessary but for those who don’t agree with gun violence or who don’t agree with anti-immigration it’s not really a novel for those type of people because it’s more of a book to be aware of how bad those things are instead of the good of them. The plot twist at the end I think was the best part about it because I wasn’t expecting that and it was really eye-opening this novel just to see how bad certain areas are with guns and the regulations on owning a gun.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Krissy Hamrick

    I will admit this book caused some INTENSE anxiety. Which is why it took me longer than usual to finish. However, it was such an important topic to address. It may make you uncomfortable, but the ugly truth often does. The title really says it all. People. Kill. People.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Thea (All About Books)

    Putting don for now. Will try again when I'm in the right mood.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie

    Wake up call for sure. Excellent book by the author.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    What do you say about a talent and a passion like Ellen Hopkins? You say, "Thank you, World." This book reads differently from others of her books...usually each character speaks for him or herself in first person poetry...here...the first person narrator is a gun. And all the seductive power of believing guns give you power.... The character narrations are prose pieces that invite us to slip into someone else's skin...in second person, we learn what motivates, what frightens, what enrages our you What do you say about a talent and a passion like Ellen Hopkins? You say, "Thank you, World." This book reads differently from others of her books...usually each character speaks for him or herself in first person poetry...here...the first person narrator is a gun. And all the seductive power of believing guns give you power.... The character narrations are prose pieces that invite us to slip into someone else's skin...in second person, we learn what motivates, what frightens, what enrages our young characters. We learn of the old wounds that have never been healed. We know the gun destroys an older couple at the very beginning, and we know a young person has bought the weapon illegally...and we meet our cast, without knowing who has the gun...and the gun isn't telling...the poetry interludes between each character's pages just reminds us that really it doesn't matter WHO has the gun...because the means for destruction go far beyond a physical weapon. As usual, social issues weigh our young people down...some are already dealing with the trauma of sudden, violent death. All are damaged. Doing the best they can...Rand and Cami are barely adults and already parents...Silas is flirting with white supremacy...Daniel is motherless and now fatherless, tossed out by his stepmother like trash. Noelle is dealing with the aftermath of a gun attack that has left her traumatized and damaged. And in the center, connecting all these? Grace. Is her name an accident? Not with Ellen Hopkins in charge. The action centers around a DACA demonstration and a counter demonstration...as characters get closer, and violence is expected, the tension rises...but the suddenness of the tragedy is totally unexpected. I moaned aloud when I learned who had the gun, and what happens next. The last poem is profound...and needs to be part of all conversations about violence... Thank you, World, for Ellen Hopkins.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Let me just start by saying that this should probably be marketed as a horror book because it left me shaking. Maybe because I have a baby and maybe because his name is Silas but JEEZ. I don’t want to spoil anything because I received an ARC, but here’s a few things: —We all know that Hopkins had a way with words but whoa. Each word seems perfectly chosen. There’s nothing flowery, nothing extraneous—just the perfect words to get the story across while also kind of punching you in the gut at the Let me just start by saying that this should probably be marketed as a horror book because it left me shaking. Maybe because I have a baby and maybe because his name is Silas but JEEZ. I don’t want to spoil anything because I received an ARC, but here’s a few things: —We all know that Hopkins had a way with words but whoa. Each word seems perfectly chosen. There’s nothing flowery, nothing extraneous—just the perfect words to get the story across while also kind of punching you in the gut at the same time. Also, that last poem? Chilling, my reading friends. Made my skin crawl. —As person who really doesn’t enjoy second-person perspective, this one didn’t bother me. Probably because each perspective was one so foreign to my own, so like, I had to step into the characters’ shoes to relate. It was unpleasant, but powerful. Also, Violence as the speaker of several poems? Terrifyingly genius. —This book is relevant. Really, really relevant. It might take on a little *too* much, but the storytelling doesn’t feel forced or preachy. Final verdict: I will not read it again because once was definitely enough. But I’m glad I read it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jordan (pagetravels)

    1.5/5 I honestly am not entirely sure exactly how I feel about this but what I do know is it has some serious issues that I can't really get over.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Stacy Fetters

    "Contemplate. What’s required to become the catalyst for death? A moral compass, sprung and spinning haywire? Antifreeze, flowing through your veins. Or, perhaps, nothing more than circumstance?" I’ve hard the hardest time coming up with a rating for and I’m going to have an even harder time writing a review. Ellen Hopkins comes at you hard, gripping your throat, making your heart beat frantically as she fills you in on what’s going on in the world. The truth that flows through is terrifying, hea "Contemplate. What’s required to become the catalyst for death? A moral compass, sprung and spinning haywire? Antifreeze, flowing through your veins. Or, perhaps, nothing more than circumstance?" I’ve hard the hardest time coming up with a rating for and I’m going to have an even harder time writing a review. Ellen Hopkins comes at you hard, gripping your throat, making your heart beat frantically as she fills you in on what’s going on in the world. The truth that flows through is terrifying, heartbreaking, and something that will stay with you forever. This is her heaviest book to date and I think everyone should read this. Usually, you get one side to a story and here we see many different parts. From pro to anti, the information stares you down and fills you in. At first, I seemed to get lost at who was who but it easily settles itself out when things get heavy. The characters all have a uniqueness that differentiates one from the rest and it slides into a comforting familiarity. The story is so gripping that I couldn’t stop reading. This book is brilliant and important. Just remember to be a part of the solution and not the problem.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alex's Reads & Reviews

    This is an incredibly conflicting read for me, it was the exact opposite of what I expected, but it still satisfied me? This one's tough to rate, but here we go - my 6 step rating system. TW: Racism, sexism, epilepsy, suicide. 1) Writing Style - this book is written in partly poetry, which was beautiful and though-provoking, clearly Hopkins' area of expertise, and makes me want to pick up her other stories written exclusively in poetry. However, the majority of the book was written in collective f This is an incredibly conflicting read for me, it was the exact opposite of what I expected, but it still satisfied me? This one's tough to rate, but here we go - my 6 step rating system. TW: Racism, sexism, epilepsy, suicide. 1) Writing Style - this book is written in partly poetry, which was beautiful and though-provoking, clearly Hopkins' area of expertise, and makes me want to pick up her other stories written exclusively in poetry. However, the majority of the book was written in collective fade-ins and fade-outs from different characters - essentially chapters, but slightly different. This was all, including the poetry, second person speaking from the gun to one of the characters of the gun speaking directly to you which made the story incredibly dark and hauntingly brilliant. Overall decrease: None. 5 stars in this category. 2) Characterization - This is the biggest drop in points overall because, even with six characters to work with, Hopkins made them all unlikeable. Although multiple of them, such as Silas, Daniel, and maybe even Ashlyn, were supposed to be unlikeable, the other three were equally as awful. Plus, the too many perspectives were all similar and made it confusing. All the guys in the story were misogynistic and controlling, so I wasn't a huge fan of any of them. However, Cami and Ashlyn just seemed, to a certain extent, rebellious and rude. The only person I was at all a fan of was Noelle and I by no means loved her. Plus, Silas and Ashlyn were both very racist and this was never addressed as a negative thing. On a whole this book was rather objective, but more on that later. Silas's perspective just felt like reading from a racist dude and it was frustrating and difficult, possibly Ellen's goal. However, not caring for any of these characters made this tough to enjoy. Plus I can't even remember if we heard from Grace or not...I'm going with no (but don't quote that). I kind of liked her, I think I liked every character who wasn't one of the main six! Overall decrease: 1. 4 stars at this point. 3) Plot/ Storyline - LOVED the plot of this! Totally did not see the who killed who thing coming and was just overall super surprised by this story! Loved the twist and really appreciated the whole plot arc. Not much to say here! Overall decrease: None. 4 stars at this point. 4) Interest - Once again, a tough category. I think I overall cared about what happened but there were a couple things that offset me. It felt like each couple in the story and then the two side characters each had their own totally separate story and I cared about Cami and Rand's but not about Daniel's or Silas's. And this book was just not what I was expecting. It felt more like a book built for entertainment purposes than one commenting on gun violence. I was looking for something more emotionally intense than what I got. Overall decrease: 0.5 stars. 3.5 stars at this point. 5) General Errors - So, here we have a couple things. I think one of the things that kept me from connecting with each character was that just when they started to seem nice, their section would end with something about how they could or would kill someone, were a bad person, did drugs, or something of the sort. It left me with a bitter taste in my mouth for each person and far less happy to come back to them in the future. Plus, sometimes the second person POV could be a bit jarring. Finally, there were too many super similar characters and the whole thing was just confusing. Plus I felt that this talked about sexism, racism, and immigration, but not at all about guns and gun violence which was totally the opposite of what this book advertises! **Warning: People Kill People is FAKE NEWS** Overall decrease: 0.5 stars. 3 at this point. 6) Feeling - I think how you feel about a story should totally count in its rating, and in this case, 3 seems totally accurate. Liked certain elements, was just not into others. This book ended up being just ok. Alex's Reads & Reviews.

  27. 4 out of 5

    BookishGeek

    I read a lot of books about gun violence. Not because I am big into the second amendment or my firearm rights - on the contrary, I am very much an anti-gun person. But with gun violence ever on the rise in America, I feel it's very important to carefully let our teenagers, our young adults and new adults alike, understand what society is doing, what some of this fighting really is all about. Ellen Hopkins is known for her no-nonsense, unflinching takes on certain hot-button topics that other YA a I read a lot of books about gun violence. Not because I am big into the second amendment or my firearm rights - on the contrary, I am very much an anti-gun person. But with gun violence ever on the rise in America, I feel it's very important to carefully let our teenagers, our young adults and new adults alike, understand what society is doing, what some of this fighting really is all about. Ellen Hopkins is known for her no-nonsense, unflinching takes on certain hot-button topics that other YA authors would't touch with an 8 1/2 foot pole, including but not limited to hard drugs, abuse disguised as religion, prostitution - the list goes on. She is also the sweetest woman in the world who sent me an ARC of this book from her very own personal stash, and I my inner high schooler flailed like she was 15 again. Rating:  How I'd Describe This Book to a Friend I really had to sit with this book for a hot minute after I finished it, just to let it digest. This is a whopper, potentially the Moby Dick of YA books about gun violence. Unlike most traditional "YA gun violence" books, though, it does not take place in a school shooting. Rather, there is no clear-cut perpetrator, nor victim. At least, not until past page 400. We meet six POV characters, and cycle through each one's thoughts and emotions. Chapters are broken up by Hopkins' trademark poetry, and what might be the most interesting aspect of this one is the narrative style. People Kill People is told in second person - a rarity for just about any book, much less YA. But similar to The Book Thief, we have an abstract concept narrating the story to us: violence. These characters are like us - and in so many ways, they aren't at all. We meet Cami and Rand - a couple who got pregnant way too young and married as babies themselves. Now they are nineteen years old, with a four year old and struggling with the weight that most people don't feel until their late twenties, if ever: how do I keep my family afloat? We meet Noelle, a girl who struggles with binge eating as her only form of control after being hit with a stray bullet while her father was driving. Grace, Noelle's BFF who is more into boys than she used to be, and Grace's clingy, vaguely terrifying boyfriend Daniel. We also have Silas - a white nationalist whose mother is dating a Jewish man and whose father is dating a woman from Mexico. Silas cannot stand either of those things. The game - though I hesitate to call it a game - we are going to play, we're told early on, is this: someone dies. Who? Who shoots them, and why? We dip in and out of their heads enough - put in their shoes with all of the "you" directives - that it's anybody's guess. And the answer surprised me - I didn't see it coming, to be honest. The Bottom Line Hopkins has done something that is not always easy to do - she combines two very important hot-button topics (white nationalism and gun control) into one narrative, and still keeps it approachable for her teenage readers. A lot of the reviews I've been reading rate this book low on the totem pole, saying it's offensive. It might be, but only because the subject matter is offensive. It's uncomfortable to sit in the shoes of someone you know you wouldn't be able to stand in reality, isn't it? But that's how we grow. This book is disturbing. It's thought-provoking, powerful and earnest in its sincerity. It is not a fluff piece to read in an airport. It is meant to be digested slowly, piecemeal. I highly recommend it, but don't go into it expecting to be anything it's not - it deserves its very own impressions. "Like a god I am nothing without you but I am relentless I know you can hear me and sooner or later you'll heed my call."

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Actual rating: between a 3.5 and 4 stars. I kept wavering and didn't know if my "lower" rating was because of my feeling about the subject matter. The writing was good enough that it made me feel disturbed, which I guess is a good thing. I wasn't always a fan of the 2nd person POV-the entire book is narrated by what I guess is violence, and the 6 main characters are used with 2nd person. Violence is talking to the reader as if we are them. This made it feel a bit jarring and uncomfortable at tim Actual rating: between a 3.5 and 4 stars. I kept wavering and didn't know if my "lower" rating was because of my feeling about the subject matter. The writing was good enough that it made me feel disturbed, which I guess is a good thing. I wasn't always a fan of the 2nd person POV-the entire book is narrated by what I guess is violence, and the 6 main characters are used with 2nd person. Violence is talking to the reader as if we are them. This made it feel a bit jarring and uncomfortable at times, and I felt like it limited the character's development (there was little of THEM in the story narrative; rather it was all of violence's perspective, which made them feel a bit flat/forced). This is a story about violence, and what happens when you let the need for revenge, closure, vengeance, and physical power overcome you. Each character has a different reason for thinking they might need a gun, and each has a different reaction to the time when bullets go flying. All of the storylines intersect, leading to a culminating rally for easier paths to legal immigration and the protestors and counterprotestors who will be there. Each person is lying, both to themselves and their friends, meaning the reader has to ferret out the truth behind the walls. This was a complicated look at a complicated issue. Gun violence, immigration rights, and family dramas all play out within the 6 main characters. This is one that I would recommend to readers who like gritty drama, with a very realistic and contemporary look at relevant issues. Appropriate for grades 10 and up due to language, violence, references to sexual content, and drugs.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kayla Brunson

    ARC provided via Edelweiss for an honest review. “See, I’ve got this theory. Given the right circumstances, any person could kill someone. Even you.” Rating this book was hard but trying to come up with a review was so much harder. I didn't rate this book and I honestly don’t even think that this review will make that much sense, but here goes. I wanted to read this book because it’s about gun violence and that’s something going on in America today. This book is more interactive in a way. You ge ARC provided via Edelweiss for an honest review. “See, I’ve got this theory. Given the right circumstances, any person could kill someone. Even you.” Rating this book was hard but trying to come up with a review was so much harder. I didn't rate this book and I honestly don’t even think that this review will make that much sense, but here goes. I wanted to read this book because it’s about gun violence and that’s something going on in America today. This book is more interactive in a way. You get to take a walk in their shoes all the while, you are trying to figure out the ending. Who was the one who pulled the trigger? Its told between two formats. One that’s almost like poetry and then the POV of the characters. I honestly wasn’t a fan of the poetry format. It features topics about stereotypes, racism, hatred, and violence. Also, the second amendment is very talked about here. The main reason my rating is so low is because there is a ton of offensive content here! I can understand why it was written, but I’m not the person who likes that in my books. Especially to that degree. While I did get the point of the book, it has some offensive content that I don’t really think I would be able to get over. This is about important issues so I do think people should read it, just take the content into consideration. ** Quote was taken from an ARC and is subject to change upon publication. Blog | Instagram | Twitter

  30. 4 out of 5

    Erikka

    Again, Hopkins finds her finger firmly on the pulse of a major national issue and, in her own inimitable fashion, she addresses it constructively and thought-provokingly. Violence narrates this tale, introducing you to a cast of characters in second person--a young family, a victim of gun violence, a few white supremacists, a homeless boy, and a girl tied to all of them in various ways. As you slip in and out of bodies and minds, you see how violence shapes a person and what would drive a seemin Again, Hopkins finds her finger firmly on the pulse of a major national issue and, in her own inimitable fashion, she addresses it constructively and thought-provokingly. Violence narrates this tale, introducing you to a cast of characters in second person--a young family, a victim of gun violence, a few white supremacists, a homeless boy, and a girl tied to all of them in various ways. As you slip in and out of bodies and minds, you see how violence shapes a person and what would drive a seemingly normal person to murder. But who pulls the trigger at the end is the ultimate mystery. Gun violence in this nation is a hot topic and one without clear solutions. As Hopkins points out at the end, violence will find a way, but guns just make it easier. I was raised by a family of gun nuts, and still to this day like to target shoot. That being said, if the option was give away my guns in exchange for no more deaths at the trigger, they'd be out of my hands and my house in a second. I would gladly give up a sport I enjoy for the safety of others, no question. Hopkins explores many paths, though she leaves solutions up in the air. Who truly knows the right answer? Maybe the solution to gun violence is exactly what Hopkins does in this book: addressing it plainly and openly and encouraging discourse. I'm interested to see the final formatting of this book, as the arc I received from Edelweiss had some issues.

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