“I blamed the Bible,
when its words were not at fault,
only the way they’re interpreted
by those too willing
to wield them like chain saws,
cutting others off at the knees.”
― Ellen Hopkins, Rumble

Warning: Spoilers and Possible Triggers Ahead

If you have seen my previous post about our new Book Challenge, I hope you’re trying it out for yourself. I just finished the book “Rumble” by Ellen Hopkins. I was able to check off the box for ‘Read a book with more than 400 pages.’ My copy of Rumble has 546 pages.

Before I go on I hope you paid attention to the warning above because this book is not for everybody. It talks about homosexuality, suicide, bullying, religion, gun violence, being in the military, and my favorite was banned books. If you’re fine with these I also want to mention if you’re not opened minded then maybe you should avoid this book as well. I will voice my opinion on some of these matters and you are always welcomed to share yours.

My first thoughts on this book was it’s boring, this is lame, although I just finished it I honestly can’t remember the beginning because it didn’t have much of an effect on me. But the rest surly did. The main character, Mathew, his younger brother killed himself. Because he was bullied for being gay. It’s now been a year and we are on a journey with Mathew as he is still healing from this.

I want to say my emotions were on a roller coaster while reading this but it was just a small one. I was angry and sad while reading this. My heart broke for his younger brother, Luke. I at first didn’t like Mathew and when I got more into the story I became more on his side.

Mathew has a girlfriend, her name is Hayden. Let’s just say I strongly dislike her. I wish someone would put this girl in her place! I believe her to be a horrible person. Hayden is very Christian, during her lunches some of the students have a youth group going on. Why don’t I like Hayden? Well, she doesn’t want to have sex, which is great that she wants to wait until she’s married. But Mathew isn’t trying to have sex with her, (because he respects her and her wishes.) Which upsets Hayden and she then went to tell people, (people she knows can’t keep a secret) that she believes him to be gay, like his brother. You can’t get upset when someone is trying to respect that you don’t want to have sex until you are married! You can’t! Reasons like that are why some men don’t respect women and then start to call us names. She’s ridiculous. As I just said she thought him to be gay like his brother. (I just ruined almost the ending for you.) No one knew his brother was gay until Hayden opened her mouth about it. Once she confided to her Christian group about it Luke began to get bullied. It first started by Hayden’s best friend who is also in her Christian group.

I’m not saying only the Christian group of kids bullied him. But they were the ones who started it. Religion became a big topic in the book. Because Mathew says it’s wrong for them to judge good people just because of the bible. Which I agree with. I support the LGBTQ community and I strongly believe people should never make someone want to die because of who they love. It’s not okay to hate and hurt someone over things like this. Yes, it’s just a book but it happens to real people. To real children. And they thought they were doing nothing wrong, they bullied this boy daily, but to all of those kids, it was okay.

I do wish this book would have at least had someone Christian in it that supported Luke being gay. Because I know people who love God but also love their gay cousin, sister, best friend, uncle or still support that random stranger. It would have been nice to have different viewpoints other than there is no God and God hates you.

I honestly thought for a while that Mathew was going to kill himself or kill someone. His parents relationship is horrible, his parents didn’t even know why they were still together. They do end up splitting up in the book. He didn’t get along with his parents either. But his dad bought him a gun, his uncle owns a shooting range. Mathew was angry during most of this book, he was trying to find blame for his brothers suicide. After he was done blaming the kids at school he started to blame himself. This led to him drinking at home and he took some pills at one point. It goes back, to the day of Luke’s suicide a couple times. Mathew believes if he would have supported Luke better none of this would have happened. He also tells himself if he would have gotten there sooner, took things more seriously, he would still be alive. He has this guilt all the way up until the end.

There’s not much but you see a little bit into one mans PTSD from being in the military. I wish there was more help for him. I wish there’s more help for people who are going through all of these.

I don’t want to ruin the entire ending, but thankfully Mathew doesn’t kill himself. He still ends up in the hospital, but it’s not his fault. This book was heartbreaking. If you’re like me, you’ll feel for everyone, except Hayden. He cheats on her and I got over that quick.

There’s my feelings and my summery about Rumble by Ellen Hopkins. I’d love to hear what other people felt about this book or any of her other books. I haven’t read any other’s but they’re now on my ‘To Be Read’ list.

~D