Ellen Hopkins is an American freelance writer. She is mostly famous for her verse novels, or narrative poetry in which a novel-length narrative is told through the medium of poetry. All of which are about everything crapsack in the teenage world. All of her books are serious Doorstoppers. Debuted with Crank, a novel based on her daughter's experience with crystal meth.
Her work contains examples of
- Abusive Parents: In pretty much every book.
- Bury Your Gays: In Rumble, the entire book revolves around the protagonist dealing with his brother's suicide. Luke was Driven to Suicide by classmates, most of his older brother, is mentioned about twice without it relating to gayngst, and was basically Too Good for This Sinful Earth. He's not Matt's dead brother—he's Matt's dead gay brother.
- Department of Child Disservices: Summer of Fallout goes through several foster homes after her grandparents die and was sexually abused in one of them.
- Deus Angst Machina: Impulse, Glass, and Tricks.
- Diabolus ex Machina: The Downer Ending of Burned has no direct connection to the story's issues (religion-based parental abuse and teenage sex) and comes out of almost nowhere.
- Downer Ending: Burned, Glass, and partially true with Impulse and Tricks.
- Drugs Are Bad: Subverted in Crank and Glass, but comes close to crossing the line a few times.
- Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Played straight with Mikayla in Triangles; averted with Vanessa in Impulse.
- Freudian Excuse: All protagonists in all of her stories have one. Always. However, subverted into just being depressing backstories in most cases.
- Ill Girl: Shelby in Triangles and Tilt.
- Missing Mom: Kristina of Crank and Glass is this to the three narrators of Fallout.
- One-Word Title: As can be seen above, the majority of Hopkins' novels.
- Prison Rape: Is implied to have happened to Tony from Impulse on several occasions in juvie.
- Rape and Switch: Tony in Impulse, Cara in Perfect, possibly with Alex from Triangles and Tilt.
- Rape as Backstory: Ginger in Tricks, in a particularly twisted way: her mother sold her to several different men over the course of her childhood. Also Alex in Triangles and Tilt: He was raped by his step-father's brother and contracted HIV from him.
- Rape as Drama: In Crank, Impulse, Identical, Tricks, and Perfect.
- Social Services Does Not Exist: Well, they exist in Fallout; they just don't do poor Summer any good at all.
- Someone to Remember Him By: Subverted in Burned, as both Ethan and the child die.
- Teen Pregnancy: Kristina in Crank, Pattyn in Burned, Alex in Tricks, Mikayla in Triangles and Tilt. Implied with Autumn in Fallout but never outright confirmed.
- There Are No Therapists: Averted in Impulse, as it takes place in a mental institution. Also averted with Identical. Played straight for all the other books.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: at least one a book.
- Waking Up Elsewhere: Burned, Impulse, Identical, Tricks, and Rumble.