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Having made the leap from YA to adult fiction with her novel in verse, Triangles (2011), Hopkins continues to tackle mature themes in the same form. A tale highlighting the stress military life places not just on soldiers but on those who love them, Collateral focuses on Ashley, a 19-year-old student, and Cole, a young marine. In a case of near opposites attracting, the two fall in love, and Hopkins uses her signature poetic style to chart the heightened emotions of their relationship during the separation and anxiety of four deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the pair's subsequent joyful reunions. As Hopkins alternates between past and present, readers witness the unraveling of a once promising romance, with Cole growing increasingly hardened and Ashley confronting doubts about a future with a man she realizes she barely knows. When a sympathetic professor befriends Ashley, she becomes even more confused. Hopkins' resolution of this triangle is a little too neat and feels rushed, but her point is well made: collateral damage in war often extends to soldiers' families.--Wetli, Patty Copyright 2010 Booklist
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YA author Hopkins's (Triangles) second adult novel examines the effects of war on those serving in the military as well as their spouses and loved ones back home. Ashley is not yet married to her Marine, Cole, but she is still deeply affected by the changes that war has brought to their relationship and to Cole's mental health. Since meeting and falling in love with Cole, Ashley has planned her life around his military career. Over the course of the novel readers start seeing the effects Cole's frequent deployments have on his psyche. Hopkins examines the difficulties often overlooked in military marriages, such as limited communication, infidelity, worry over injury, loneliness, and the physical and mental issues of returning veterans. -VERDICT Though the story will appeal to many readers (including those interested in romance, beach reads, military life, and poetry) the fact that the book is written in verse might scare away less-than-confident readers. Recommended.-Brooke Bolton, North Manchester P.L., IN (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Bestselling author Hopkins turns her signature free verse style to modern war and its fallout for her second adult novel (after Triangles). College student Ashley Patterson meets Cole Gleason, a Marine, in a bar; they fall in like, in lust, in love. Their relationship spans the ups and downs of five years and four deployments. Cole's experiences in the war zone, what he has to do to survive, and how it translates to the home front define the relationship, as Ashley struggles to build a life simultaneously with and without him: "Semper Gumby. Always flexible." She works with veterans at the VA hospital: "A few showed me their ramblings. I could/ fix their grammar. But not their memories." Free verse from two perspectives (using different fonts; san serif for Cole, serif for Ashley) mixes with earnest, often sorrowful poems written by Ashley and Cole: "Ask/ a soldier// what he believes in./ He'll tell you God. Country./ The patient hands of death-." The link between war and poetry is nothing new, and, over almost 500 pages, Hopkins turns the sum of her disparate parts into a clear narrative that is uplifting and heartbreaking, but also familiar and a little too easy, featuring characters grappling with the serious issues of our time. Agent: Laura Rennert, the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.