American writer and poet Ellen Louise Hopkins began her writing career in 1990, first writing nonfiction books for children (not listed below) before becoming a young adult fiction writer.
She has written several books in verse, about teenage struggles such as drug addiction, mental illness, and prostitution. She exploded onto the New York Times’ bestseller list in 2004 with Crank, a novel written in free verse that was inspired by her daughter’s addiction to crystal meth.
How to read Ellen Hopkins’ Books in Order?
Read The Crank Series in Order
- Crank – This is a story about a monster. Not a dragon or a mythological beast, but a very real, very destructive monster–crystal meth–that takes hold of seventeen-year-old Kristina Snow and transforms her into her reckless alter-ego Bree.
- Glass – Crank. Glass. Ice. Crystal. Whatever you call it, it’s all the same: a monster. And once it’s got hold of you, this monster will never let you go. Kristina thinks she can control it. Now with a baby to care for, she’s determined to be the one deciding when and how much, the one calling the shots. But the monster is too strong, and before she knows it, Kristina is back in its grips. Once again the monster takes over Kristina’s life and she will do anything for it, including giving up the one person who gives her the unconditional love she craves — her baby.
- Fallout – Hunter, Autumn, and Summer-three of Kristina Snow’s five children-live in different homes, with different guardians and different last names. They share only a predisposition for addiction and a host of troubled feelings toward the mother who barely knows them, a mother who has been riding with the monster, crank, for twenty years. As each searches for real love and true family, they find themselves pulled toward the one person who links them together-Kristina, Bree, mother, addict. But it is in each other, and in themselves, that they find the trust, the courage, the hope to break the cycle.
Read The Burned Series in Order
- Burned – Pattyn Von Stratten is raised in a religious — yet abusive — family. When Pattyn’s father catches her in a compromising position, events spiral out of control until Pattyn ends up suspended from school and sent to live with an aunt she doesn’t know. Pattyn is supposed to find salvation and redemption during her exile to the wilds of rural Nevada. Yet what she finds instead is love and acceptance. And for the first time she feels worthy of both — until she realizes her old demons will not let her go. Pattyn begins down a path that will lead her to a hell — a hell that may not be the one she learned about in sacrament meetings, but it is hell all the same.
- Smoke – After far too many years of abuse at the hands of her father, and after the tragic loss of her beloved Ethan and their unborn child, Pattyn is desperate for peace. Only her sister Jackie knows what happened that fatal night, but she is stuck at home with their mother. Alone and in disguise, Pattyn starts a new life as a migrant worker on a California ranch. But is it even possible to rebuild a life when everything you’ve known has burned to ash and lies seem far safer than the truth?
Read The Impulse Series in Order
- Impulse – Three lives, three different paths to the same destination: Aspen Springs, a psychiatric hospital for those who have attempted the ultimate act-suicide. Vanessa is beautiful and smart, but her secrets keep her answering the call of the blade. Tony, after suffering a painful childhood, can only find peace through pills. And Conner, outwardly, has the perfect life. But dig a little deeper and find a boy who is in constant battle with his parents, his life, himself. Now they have a second chance, and just maybe, with each other’s help, they can find their way to a better life-but only if they’re strong and can fight the demons that brought them here in the first place.
- Perfect – For four high school seniors, their goals of perfection are just as different as the paths they take to get there. Cara’s parents’ unrealistic expectations have already sent her twin brother Conner spiraling toward suicide. For her, perfect means rejecting their ideals to take a chance on a new kind of love. Kendra covets the perfect face and body-no matter what surgeries and drugs she needs to get there. To score his perfect home run-on the field and off-Sean will sacrifice more than he can ever win back. And Andre realizes that to follow his heart and achieve his perfect performance, he’ll be living a life his ancestors would never understand.
Read The Triangles Series in Order
- Triangles – Three female friends face midlife crises in a no-holds-barred exploration of sex, marriage, and the fragility of life. Holly: Filled with regret for being a stay-at-home mom, she sheds sixty pounds and loses herself in the world of extramarital sex. Andrea: A single mom and avowed celibate, she watches her friend Holly’s meltdown with a mixture of concern and contempt. Marissa: She has more than her fair share of challenges-a gay, rebellious teenage son, a terminally ill daughter, and a husband who buries himself in his work rather than face the facts. All of them will learn the meaning of friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness.
- Tilt – As the adults pull away, caught up in their own dilemmas, the worlds of the teens begin to tilt. Mikayla, almost eighteen, is over-the-top in love with Dylan. But what happens to that love when Mikayla gets pregnant the summer before their senior year and decides to keep the baby? Shane turns sixteen that same summer and falls hard in love with his first boyfriend, Alex, who happens to be HIV positive. Harley is fourteen-a good girl searching for new experiences, especially love from an older boy. She never expects to hurdle toward self-destructive extremes in order to define who she is and who she wants to be.
Read The Tricks Books in Order
- Tricks – Five teenagers from different parts of the country. Three girls. Two guys. Four straight. One gay. Some rich. Some poor. Some from great families. Some with no one at all. All living their lives as best they can, but all searching…for freedom, safety, community, family, love. Five moving stories remain separate at first, then interweave to tell a larger, powerful story-a story about making choices, taking leaps of faith, falling down, and growing up. A story about kids figuring out what sex and love are all about, at all costs, while asking themselves, “Can I ever feel okay about myself?”
- Traffick – Eden, the preacher’s daughter who turns tricks in Vegas and is helped into a child prostitution rescue; Seth, the gay farm boy disowned by his father who finds himself without money or resources other than his own body; Whitney, the privileged kid coaxed into the life by a pimp and whose dreams are ruined in a heroin haze; Ginger, who runs away from home with her girlfriend and is arrested for soliciting an undercover cop; and Cody, whose gambling habit forces him into the life, but who is shot and left for dead. And now, these five are faced with the toughest question of all: Is there a way out?
Read The Love Lies Beneath Novels in Order
- Love Lies Beneath – Tara is gorgeous, affluent, and content living alone in her flawless San Francisco mansion. That is, until she meets Cavin Lattimore-the charming surgeon who sweeps her off her feet following a ski accident in Lake Tahoe. But as her recovery progresses and her love life flourishes, Tara notices some suspicious incidents. Housebound and on crutches, Tara depends on Cavin-perhaps to a dangerous degree-as she juggles difficult relationships with her envious sister and best friend, her irritable brother-in-law, and her estranged mother. However perfect Tara’s life may have appeared before, new events are starting to expose what lies beneath.
- A Sin Such as This – Tara thought she was finally settling down when she married the handsome Dr. Cavin Lattimore. But in a matter of weeks, Tara has reluctantly gone from rich, single San Francisco professional to Lake Tahoe housewife managing her niece’s whiplash moods, while resisting her stepson’s tantalizing sexual advances. Adding to the family drama is her younger sister, Melody, who’s having a serious marital breakdown. Now Tara wonders if the misdeeds of her past are about to catch up with her-and if she can ever outrun them.
Read Ellen Hopkins’ Stand-alone Novels
- Identical – Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical down to the dimple. As daughters of a district-court judge father and a politician mother, they are an all-American family — on the surface. Behind the facade each sister has her own dark secret, and that’s where their differences begin. For Kaeleigh, she’s the misplaced focus of Daddy’s love, intended for a mother whose presence on the campaign trail means absence at home. All that Raeanne sees is Daddy playing a game of favorites — and she is losing. If she has to lose, she will do it on her own terms, so she chooses drugs, alcohol, and sex. Secrets like the ones the twins are harboring are not meant to be kept — from each other or anyone else. Pretty soon it’s obvious that neither sister can handle it alone, and one sister must step up to save the other, but the question is — who?
- Collateral – The last thing Ashley ever expected was to end up a military wife. But Cole doesn’t match her stereotype of the aggressive Marine. He’s passionate and romantic, and their relationship evolves into a deeply felt, sexually charged love affair that survives four deployments. Cole desperately wants Ashley to marry him, but when she meets another man, a college professor, she begins to see what life might be like outside the shadow of war.
- Rumble – Does it get better? Matthew Turner knows it doesn’t get better. His younger brother Luke was bullied mercilessly after one of Matt’s friends outed Luke to the whole school, and when Luke called Matt-on the brink of suicide-Matt was too wrapped up in his new girlfriend to answer the phone. Now Luke is gone, and Matt’s family is falling apart. As Matt spirals further into bitterness, he risks losing his girlfriend Hayden, the love of his life. But when her father begins to pressure the school board into banning books because of their homosexual content, he begins to wonder if he and Hayden ever had anything in common.
- The You I’ve Never Known – For as long as she can remember, it’s been just Ariel and Dad. Ariel’s mom disappeared when she was a baby. Now, Ariel is seventeen and all she wants is to put down some roots. Complicating things are Monica and Gabe, both of whom have stirred a different kind of desire. Maya’s a teenager who’s run from an abusive mother right into the arms of an older man she thinks she can trust. But now she’s isolated with a baby on the way, and life’s getting more complicated than Maya ever could have imagined. Ariel and Maya’s lives collide unexpectedly when Ariel’s mother shows up out of the blue with wild accusations: Ariel wasn’t abandoned. Her father kidnapped her fourteen years ago.
- People Kill People – 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?
- Closer to Nowhere – For the most part, Hannah’s life is just how she wants it. She has two supportive parents, she’s popular at school, and she’s been killing it at gymnastics. But when her cousin Cal moves in with her family, everything changes. Nothing is how it used to be. She knows that Cal went through a lot after his mom died and she is trying to be patient, but most days Hannah just wishes Cal never moved in. For his part, Cal is trying his hardest to fit in, but not everyone is as appreciative of his unique sense of humor and storytelling gifts as he is. Humor and stories might be his defense mechanism, but if Cal doesn’t let his walls down soon, he might push away the very people who are trying their best to love him.
- What About Will? – Twelve-year-old Trace Reynolds has always looked up to his older brother Will. But when Will was knocked out cold during a football game, resulting in a brain injury–everything changed. Now, sixteen months later, their family is still living under the weight of “the incident,” that left Will with a facial tic, depression, and an anger he cannot always control, culminating in their parents’ divorce. Afraid of further fracturing his family, Trace begins to cover for Will as he escalates to stealing money and ditching school. But when the brother he loves so much becomes more and more withdrawn, Trace realizes some secrets cannot be kept if we ever hope to heal.
- Sanctuary Highway (coming soon) – The United States government, now called the Confederation, has redefined what it means to be “American.” The parameters are narrow; the exceptions few. In danger and on the run, two teens who fall outside the “correct” Confederation designation must join forces on a thousand-mile journey north for safety. But survival means relying on strangers and not everyone is who they appear to be. Who do you turn to when the only person you can trust is yourself, and one wrong whisper can be the difference between freedom and imprisonment, life and death?
Ellen Hopkins’ Short Stories
Grim – Short stories collection inspired by classic fairy tales written by authors of young adult. Include the story Before the Rose Bloomed: A Retelling of the Snow Queen by Ellen Hopkins.