Ellen Hopkins


Three teens are stuck in a world of lost and confusion. Seventeen year old Mikayla has to choose between her unborn baby or the love of her life. She realizes she is in this alone when her parents are no help to her either. Shane is deeply in love with his boyfriend, Alex but his life completely goes down hill after his four year old sister dies. His friends and family no longer knows who is and will do anything to help him. Harley is a fourteen year old girl who is trying to find the meaning of love. With her parents divorced and no one to help her, she learns things the hard way.

Beyond the Meaning

All three teens are surrounded by the false meaning of love. Whether its with themselves or with their parents. It seems like they are all obsessed with the idea of love and are desperately searching for it. They're stuck in the moment that they think will last forever. Which most teens are. Sometimes you fall in love with the wrong person and have to live with the consequences it came with. But eventually they learn that they don't have to depend on someone else for their happiness.


The most important word would be "choices." Mikayla, Shane, and Harley all made their own choice to land them where they are now. Mikayla made the choice to disobey her parents and do whatever she wanted with her boyfriend. Her poor choices left her pregnant at 17 and alone. But she made the best for her baby at the end when she stopped thinking about just herself. Shane made the choice of doing drugs and drinking. He made everyone who cared about him, worried because he didn't know how to handle things around him. He wouldn't let the people around him help. Harley made the choice of being sexually active at the age of 14. She was boy crazy and would do anything to please them.

“I hide hurt behind a fake smile. I wear it all the time. Everyone says how I always look so cheerful. Shows what they know I guess.”

This is a quote said by Harley. This is important because you never how someone truly feels on the inside. Its so easy for someone to hide their feelings and act like their happy when they are actually falling apart on the inside. The three teens in this story are all hiding hurt and have no one around them to help. Their life around them is slowly falling into pieces and have no idea how to deal with it. Except to fight it and try to stay strong.

"Because once you tilt the truth, it becomes a lie."

This is an important quote because in the story their are lies that being uncovered and lives that are becoming more difficult. Cheating and keeping secrets are breaking families apart. Lies that are making people realize how people truly are.

Plot Twist

One thing I would change in the book would be how Mikayla's mom acts. I would make her more of mom and less of woman who acts like she has no worries. She should be more involved and helpful with her three kids. She needs to stop thinking about herself and more about her family. She should have also been there more for Mikayla when she found out she was pregnant, when she needed her the most.


I would recommend this book to teenagers that are 15 or older. This book can be really intense at times but very intriguing. Its a really great book and hard to put down. To any teen it could be very relatable.