Three teens, three stories—all interconnected through their parents’ family relationships. As the adults pull away, caught up in their own dilemmas, the lives of the teens begin to tilt….
Mikayla, almost eighteen, is over-the-top in love with Dylan, who loves her back jealously. 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. Shane has lived for four years with his little sister’s impending death. Can he accept Alex’s love, knowing that his life, too, will be shortened?
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.
Love, in all its forms, has crucial consequences in this standalone novel. (goodreads.com)
****Slight spoilers, especially toward the bottom****
Another great book by Hopkins. This book was about three teens who were all connected in one way or another and were all battling serious demons. Mikayla has to deal with her preganacy alone after her boyfriend tells her that she must choose between an abortion or him. Shane has recently come out of the closet and although he has a supportive best friend, and a great boyfriend (who happens to have HIV), his father is constantly drunk, and his mother has cut herself off from the world and her family, to care for Shane's dying four year old sister. Harley is fourteens and trying her hardest to find her place within her world. She desperately want's to feel like an adult and is making all the wrong choice.
My favorite character to read about in this book was Harley because man oh man have I been there, and I feel like Hopkins perfectly captured the voice and reasoning of girls in that age group. Although I, personally, never went so far as to make the physical changes to myself that Harley made or made the decisions that she did, but I remember desperately waning to. I wanted to wear the attractive clothing (which at the time were bell bottom jeans and belly shirts, remember that), and I could never understand what friends of mine were doing to attract so much male attention that I didn't do as well. Harley though she'd finally hit the jack pot when a guy began to show her to attention she desperately craved, but didn't realize that he was paying her the wrong type of attention because at that age you can rationalize almost anything, especially when it means getting something that you're always wanted.
Shane and Mikayla's story also resonated with me, but thinking about the hurt that Shane felt as his faith was shaken so terribly and he began to unconsciously toy with the idea of death makes my eyes hot. Mikayla's ending is still unknown to us, did she keep her baby, or set her up for adoption, was the adoption open or closed. We'll never know.
I think endings like the one in Tile are what I like the best about Hopkins. In the real world there is no "the end" life continues and we hare forced to make tough decisions all the time, it never ends. We have to take life one day at a time and hold on to the friends and family that keep us grounded and that help us to make the best decisions possible. Sometimes we slip up and wind up in a tough spot but we have to continue to put one foot in front of the other.