Review of ‘Collateral’ by Ellen Hopkins- what happens when a soldier comes home

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The affects of war,

Are hard to ignore.

Okay forget my amateur poetry for a second but “Collateral” by Ellen Hopkins, her second adult novel to date is a stunning story told in verse poetry. If there is an appropriate message I can get from this book is that military wives suffer just as greatly as their soldier boyfriends and husbands. Their war is a battle of hope. Grief. Mental anguish.

Ashley loves Cole. Cole is a Marine- the type Ashley swore she would never go out with. But how can she ignore his golden eyes, sweet poetry and the fact he is the most sensual/sexual person she has ever been with?

Soon, Cole must go off to war in Iraq and Afghanistan and slowly…little by little, a piece of who he is to her chips away. Hopkins does a beautiful job having Ashley’s voice within the pages and Cole’s poetry scattered throughout. In defense of Cole, what he has seen and done begins to color his poetry and perspective over the course of five years. In the book there are plenty of clues not voiced in the free verse as to his fidelity and how much damage he has really done to his “collateral”-a.k.a Ashley. (Read more of my review on Amazon)


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