An excerpt from Impulse:

Without Warning

                      you’re traveling
                      a highway, the only road
                      you’ve ever known,
                      and wham! A semi
                      comes from nowhere
                      and rolls right over you.

                      you don’t wake up.
                      But if you happen
                      to, you know things
                      will never be
                      the same.

                      that’s not
                      so bad.

                      lives intersect,
                      no rhyme, no reason,
                      except, perhaps,
                      for a passing semi.
Impulse is the story of three young
people whose lives intersect in a psych
hospital, after separate attempted
suicides. It is about the things that
brought them there, but more about the
bond that forms between them. Can
they help each other move beyond
their personal demons?
Review from

Impulse deals with teen suicide—or, more accurately,
attempted suicide, since most of its characters end up
alive and better off than they were at the book’s
beginning.  The book is set at a psychiatric hospital for
teenagers, “a place no reasonable person would ever
want to go.”  The three main characters each have their
own problems and ideas about how they want to die.  
Bipolar cutter Vanessa, whose “demons…keep on
howling, like Mama, when she was in a bad way,” slit
her wrists.  Gorgeous, rich over-achiever Conner, who
believes that “trust is just another five letter word, one
that comes before not,” shot himself in the heart.  
Charismatic Tony, the homeless “boy with the hellfire
eyes,” intentionally overdosed to end a life of
unspeakable abuse.  At first, the three seem to have
“nothing in common except age, proximity, and a wish to
die.”  But as they discover each other’s innate decency
and share their histories of neglect and physical,
emotional, or sexual abuse, they forge bonds that
although deep and real may not be enough to save

Hopkins has said that her “books are not about the
things that happen to…characters, but rather about how
those characters react to those things.”  This is a perfect
description of
Impulse, a tragic yet hopeful, compulsively
readable journey into three bright and damaged kids’
interior lives.
Identical tackles perhaps
the most difficult subject matter
of all. It is about identical twins
whose father is sexually
abusing one of them.

I chose this subject matter
because the issue touched the
lives of three of my friends.
Today, they are successful,
beautiful women who you
would never believe this might
have happened to. I want
readers to know it is possible
to find a way beyond this
terrible place, into a brighter
An excerpt from Identical:

Mirror, Mirror

                      When I look into a
                      it is her face I see.
                      Her right is my left, double
                      moles, dimple and all.
                      My right is her left,

                      We are exact
                      Kaeleigh and me.
                      Mirror-image identical
                      twins. One egg, one sperm,
                      one zygote, divided,
                      sharing one complete
                      set of genetic markers.

                      On the outside
                       we are the same. But not
                       inside. I think
                       she is the egg, so
                       much like our mother
                       it makes me want to scream.
                      That makes me the sperm,
                       I guess. I take completely
                       after our father.
                      All Daddy, that’s me.

                      Good, bad. Left, right.
                      Kaeleigh and Raeanne.
                      One egg, one sperm.
                      One being, split in two.

                       And how many

Identical received starred reviews from Kirkus and
Publishers Weekly:

Hopkins’s gift with free verse reaches new heights in this
portrait of splintered identical twins. . . . Kaeleigh and
Raeanne maintain distinct voices throughout as they wrestle
with psychic damage and an astonishing, devastating
realization. Sharp and stunning, with a brilliant final page.
[starred review]
—Kirkus Reviews

Hopkins's verse is not only lean and sinuous, it also
demonstrates a mastery of technique. [starred review]
(Publishers Weekly )