by Ellen Hopkins


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Love—good and bad—forces three teens’ worlds to tilt in a riveting standalone novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins.

Three teens, three stories—all interconnected through their parents’ family relationships. 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, 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 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 wrenching story from Ellen Hopkins.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416983316
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date: 02/11/2014
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 624
Sales rank: 105,767
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.80(d)
Lexile: HL590L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

Ellen Hopkins is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of fourteen young adult novels, as well as the adult novels Triangles, Collateral, and Love Lies Beneath. She lives with her family in Carson City, Nevada, where she has founded Ventana Sierra, a nonprofit youth housing and resource initiative. Visit her at EllenHopkins.com and on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter at @EllenHopkinsLit.

Read an Excerpt


  • Completely off its axis the night

    I hooked up with Dylan Douglas.

    It was New Year’s Eve—five

    months ago—so maybe part of that

    earth-sway had something to do with

    the downers, weed and cheap beer,

    a dizzying combo on an empty stomach.

    What I know for sure is, when he came

    slinking up like a cougar—all tawny

    and temperamental—something inside

    me shifted. Something elemental.

    I, probably the oldest prude in my whole

    junior class, transformed into vamp.

    When he smiled at me—me!—I knew

    I had to make him mine. I would

    have done anything. Turned out, all

    I had to do was smile back. Just like

    that, we belonged to each other.

  • Reading Group Guide

    A Reading Group Guide for

    By Ellen Hopkins

    About the Book

    Three teens—Mikayla, Shane, and Harley—hang by threads to their families and familiarity. As their worlds are tilted, the three must garner strength to forge ahead and readjust amid changing realities. Mikayla is hopelessly in love with Dylan; however, her parents disapprove of their romantic involvement and restrict their time together. Desperately in love, she defies their rules, but an unexpected event drives a wedge between the two lovers, and she is forced into making a difficult decision. Shane, a gay teen who feels abandoned, searches for love and his place in a family threatened by a dreaded and inevitable loss. Harley, a naive “good girl,” heads toward self-destruction as she wrestles with two broken parents who strive to overcome their divorce and build new lives of their own. Shadowing Ellen Hopkins’s earlier plotlines, the lives of this trio intersect and tumble toward a satisfying conclusion.

    Prereading Activities

    1. Identify a time of intense struggle either for you or someone you know and explain how you, or that individual, worked through that struggle. Who helped resolve the conflict and how?

    2. Think of an incident that occurred to someone you know, an event that shifted, or tilted, that person’s world, and their response to it. You may have been judgmental at the time. Discuss why it is easier to say what we “should have done” after the fact than to do the right thing in the moment.

    Discussion Questions

    1. Identify the three central characters in the story—Mikayla, Harley, and Shane. How are their lives similar? How are they different?

    2. What circumstance tilts Mikayla’s world on its axis and how does it impact her relationship with Dylan? With her parents?

    3. How does Mikayla’s view of Dylan change through the story and why? Is Dylan a responsible person? Why or why not? Support your answer with evidence from the text.

    4. Mikayla’s mother has questions about her own childhood, and Mikayla seeks to help her. How do her mother’s responses to her own history impact Mikayla’s decisions?

    5. Harley’s parents have divorced. Is one parent the “better parent”? If so, why? How is Harley’s relationship with each parent different and why?

    6. Identify the positive influences in Harley’s life. Identify the negative. Is Harley able to discern the difference? If she can’t, what is holding her back from that discernment? Explain.

    7. Harley’s behavior changes from that of a “responsible” teen to that of a young woman on the brink of self-destruction. Give examples of her downward spiral. Why does her behavior change? What does she want or need and why? Support your answer with examples from the text.

    8. Harley says of Lucas, “He’s not even all that nice to me.” Yet, she’s willing to do most anything he asks of her sexually. Why? Why doesn’t she just stop? What drives her behavior and what understanding does she have about herself?

    9. Shane is a gay teen who has come out; however, he still struggles with his identity and his sense of belonging. Describe his relationship with Alex. Why does the relationship hold such intensity? How is his relationship with Alex understood by his parents and how is it received?

    10. Characterize Alex using evidence from the text. Is he a likeable character? Is he a good influence on Shane? Why or why not?

    11. Describe Shane’s relationship with his parents. How does this relationship contribute to Shane’s turmoil and his depression? By story’s end, what chance do his mother and father have to reconcile their relationship with their son? Is one more likely to be successful than the other? Explain.

    12. How does Shelby’s illness affect Shane’s relationship with his mom? Why does it have that effect? What kind of impact does her death have on Shane, Mikayla, and Harley?

    13. Approximately every ten or twelve pages, the reader encounters a single black page with white text. Analyze several of these pages and the section of white pages preceding it. What does each black page contribute to the story? Why do you think these scenes are set in black?

    14. How do the lives of the three central characters intersect at the end of the story? How is each character’s conflict resolved?


    1. Research government statistics on AIDS and HIV in the following areas: 1) number of people in the US living with HIV; 2) the growth rate of the infection; 3) the death rate. How have statistics changed over the last decade? While still a deadly disease, what promising treatments have evolved?

    2. LGBTQ organizations and support groups have given voice to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, and queer individuals and others who question their sexual orientation. Identify resources in your community for individuals interested in becoming part of such organizations or those who want to learn more about supporting individuals who feel alone and/or are marginalized.

    3. Research Planned Parenthood. What resources does this organization provide for teens and women? What other services can you find for young people facing difficult decisions about parenthood?

    4. During economic downturns, funding for social services are slashed. Hold a fundraising/awareness event for a local organization or club that supports an issue that impact teens.

    Guide written by Pam B. Cole, Professor of English Education & Literacy Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA

    This guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.

    This guide was written to align with the Common Core State Standards (www.corestandards.org).

    Customer Reviews

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    Tilt 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 106 reviews.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I suggest you shut up. Ive read every single one of ellen hopkins books, and i dont regret them one bit. Shes a talented author, who writes about serious real-world issues. Shes amazing at what she does. These books are phenominal. Ill be a fan of hers until I die. She writes these things because she can, and because these are things that appeal to mist anyone. Ajd i niticed you dont recommend it to 12-14 year olds, but say its okay for 16 and up. What about me? Im 15. If you dont like these books, you obviously dont get the message she sends out, and yiu have bad taste in genre.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    HOPKINS did it again! I've read all her books and this one is just as amazing. It goes along with Triangles (even tho TILT starts where it was middle of TRIANGLES) so definatly read Triangles first.
    Nicole_67 More than 1 year ago
    One of the greatest author's out there. Ellen Hopkins is an outstanding writer. I've read every single one of her books. Yes, these books are intense. There's  sex, drug use, cursing, the whole 9 yards. But those elements are what make them so raw, real , and captivating. If you are too immature to handle it, don't leave the book a bad review. These books leave you speechless in the best way possible.
    laura24 More than 1 year ago
    The was one of the better books I have read and I feel this was an honest portrayal. Shane, Mikayla and Harley come from homes that are broken. They try to find love they don't have at home. Their lives are changed throughout the book.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    ive started reading ellen hopkijs novels and welll theyvare so real they dont make up some childish romance and i just love how the format is in beautiful poetry some people say it is disgusting but that means you are just too immatyre to handle real stuff.
    kb1997 More than 1 year ago
    I love Ellen Hopkins books so much!! I picked up the first one in the series at school in the library because it stood out to me.  I started to read it and I instantly got hooked. I finished the book that night after school. I also think I read maybe 2 or 3 more in the series (hard to remember; read it a couple years ago). HANDS DOWN ELLEN HOPKINS IS ONE OF THE BEST YOUNG ADULT AUTHOR OF  ALL TIME!!!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I can never put this book down sadly to say this reminds me of people i know today
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I'm 16, and the looming threat of deseases and teen pregnancy are everywhere. I finished the book in less than a day, and couldn't stop reading. It makes you reconsider your own past decisions. I really hope there will be a sequel.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book was amazing even though by the end I was crying like a little girl. It gives the reader a bitter taste of reality andrealize that every story doesn't have a happy ending. Either way its in my top ten next to the book theif!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book was absolutely ahmazing. I couldn't put it down from the second that I started reading it. Ellen Hopkins does a wonderful job of captivating you and pulling you into the story so deeply and so quickly that you have no choice but to keep reading! As if you'd want to do anything else! I am someone who just flies through books, particularly love stories while looking for love myself, and I have to say that this is one of, if not THE best book I've come across so far. I'd recommend it to anybody and everybody, because I feel like this is a book where all people can connect to in some way. I will be waiting at the edge of my seat for a sequel, I can hardly wait! Ellen Hopkins, this is WONDERFUL, give us more!!!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Im in love with this book. Ellen is a very talented writer and i agree with many of u she writes about real world topics. I enjoy romantic novels but i loved this one! Im 12 i understood the book but i wouldnt suggest reading it untill atleast 8th grade. Make it a point to read this book. Ive also eard that the rest of ellens books are amazingly writen too.
    JennieOhJennie More than 1 year ago
    Ellen Hopkins never fails to make a good story by addressing controversial topics and real life situations. I think this book is so moving (like every one of her books) because it touches on things that could happen to any of us! This book is about teenagers, but I'd recommend it to anyone. I also loved how it connects to her other book Triangles but is still a wonderful book and understandable on its own. I love Ellen Hopkins's books and would tell anyone to read them!!!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Tilt is an amazing book I loved it. I loved the story plot. Just amazing
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Great book, and great read highly recommended if you a fan or love her books!!!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I've loved Ellen Hopkins' books since I was in high school, so finding one I haven't read yet was a treat. This book is a wild ride, I could hardly put it down. I definitely recommend it to any Hopkins fans, or fans of realistic dramas.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Love all of her books
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    My least favorite of Ellen Hopkins books. The plot was predictable and hard to slog through. The characters didn't make an impression and their choices were so easy to guess that the book felt like a giant waste of time to me.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Wonderful book. I was 13 when i read it and im 15 now. Ive been through a ton of things i shouldnt of had to go through and was getting into things to mature for my age. I can relate to this story a lot. The sex and bad relationshps are relatable to me and a lot of others out there. I reccomend reading if youre young so this can open your eyes and let you see how to handle bad situations. Most teens may not me mature enough for this book though. It is very graphic and has language. But as a 13,14,and 15 year old girl, it was very eye opening and made sense.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    mamelotti96 More than 1 year ago
    I have been hearing about and seeing Tilt and Ellen Hopkins for the longest time, and I finally came across her books when I was at the library recently. I picked up Tilt and Tricks to start off with. Have any of you read Ellen Hopkins? Which books of hers do you recommend? I have always been intrigued to read her books, because she writes in verse/prose. However, I will admit that it did take me a bit to get used to her writing style, but once I did I flew through the story. Keeping all the characters straight was also a bit tricky for me. You have the three main narrators: Mikayla, Shane, and Harley. They were easy to keep track of, but then all the minor characters were thrown in, such as all the parents, siblings, family members, and friends. Everyone was connected to each other, so then you had to remember if they were distant cousins or if their parents were close friends. Mikayla's story centered around her belief that she had found the love that everyone searches for in their life. She thought her life was perfect: great grades, awesome boyfriend, cushioned lifestyle. That belief all changes when she finds herself to be pregnant, and Dylan wants nothing to do with being a family of three. We stand on the sidelines as we watch the internal war of keeping her child or aborting the baby in order to keep Dylan in her life. As Mikayla moves further into her pregnancy the decision becomes harder and harder. Her story shows how pregnancy can happen to anyone, whether you are in perfect shape, have great grades, and a nice inheritance or poor as heck and average in every other department. Shane falls in love with Alex, who informs him that he is HIV positive. Instead of leaving him, he embarks on a relationship with Alex, who becomes someone he could never imagine being without. Shane's home life isn't in the best shape. He has a four year old sister who has Type I spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), which means she can't eat, move, or talk. Her death is always on the horizon. His mom devotes all of her time to taking care of Shelby. Shane's father is absent most of the time, but when he isn't he's passed out drunk or making homophobic remarks. Shane falls into depression, which leads to alcohol abuse and self-medicating in order to dull the pain of not being fully intimate with the boy he loves and not having the proper attention he wants from both of his parents. His story focuses on how dealing with issues your own way can lead to a frightening outcome. Harley's story focuses on the constant pressure that girls feel to please boys. The pressure to look hot and sexy, so boys will pay attention to them and "love" them. She falls in with a boy named Lucas, who has a goal to take her virginity. He doesn't care about her like she thinks he does, but she still does everything he tells her to do. She slowly realizes this isn't want true love is, but finds that she is in too deep when she finds how easily Lucas can persuade her by whispering sweet nothings in her ear. Her story reiterates the message that you do not need to change anything about yourself (clothes, body size, personality traits) for anyone, especially for those who claim to love you. Tilt was a raw read. There were times I was shaking with anger and other times where I wanted to break down with the characters. Hopkins does not sugar coat anything, but instead brings awareness to reality.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Tiltiour rank order (ranks at next res): &star<_>~ Too young to have kits. <br> &star&star<_>~ Too young to have kits. <br> &star&star&star<_>~ Too young to have kits. <br> &starf<_>~ May have a mate. <br> &starf&starf<_>~ May have kits. <br> &starf&starf&starf<_>~ May have kits and adopt kits. <br> &hearts<_>~ Highly privledged. <br> &hearts&hearts<_>~ Medcats cannot have a mate/highly privledged. <br> &hearts&hearts&hearts&starf<_>~ Leader. <br> &star&hearts<_>~ Too old to have kits.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    All though Ellen's book ]s are considered &quot;controversial&quot;, they have an extremely important message. If you are immature and can't look past the older themes, you really need to put this book down. Why read a book with such a powerful message if you're going to look past the message? I don't think that people should say people ages 12-14 shouldn't read it, every kid is different. I'm fourteen and I have enjoyed every book from her that I read. And one thing is for SURE, you will never catch me going near meth.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book was just amazing
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago