From the New York Times bestselling author of Triangles comes an exquisitely told story about a young woman torn between passionate first love and the gripping realities of war.
Meet Ashley, a graduate student at San Diego State University. She was raised in northern California reading poetry and singing backupin her best friend’s band. The last thing she ever expected was to end up a military wife. But one night, she meets a handsome Marine named Cole. He doesn’t match the stereotype of the aggressive military man she’d always presumed to be true; he’s passionate and romantic, and he even writes poetry. Their relationship evolves into a deeply felt, sexually charged love affair that goes on for five years and survives four deployments. Cole desperately wants Ashley to marry him, but when she meets another man, a college professor, with similar professional pursuits and values, she begins to see what life might be like outside the shadow of war.
Written in Ellen Hopkins’s stunning poetic verse style, Collateral captures the hearts of the soldiers on the battlefield and the minds of the friends, family, and lovers they leave behind. While those at home may be far from the relentless, sand-choked skies of the Middle East and the crosshairs of a sniper rifle, they, too, sacrifice their lives and happiness for their country at war. And all must eventually ask themselves if the collateral damage it causes is worth the fight.
Loving Any Soldier
Is extremely hard. Loving a Marine who’s an aggressive frontline marksman
is almost impossible, especially when he’s deployed . . .
. . . Cole’s battalion has already deployed twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan. Draw-down be damned, Helmand Province and beyond
looks likely for his fourth go-round. You’d think it would get easier. But ask
me, three scratch-free homecomings make another less likely in the future.
Bestselling author Hopkins turns her signature free verse style to modern war and its fallout for her second adult novel (after Triangles). College student Ashley Patterson meets Cole Gleason, a Marine, in a bar; they fall in like, in lust, in love. Their relationship spans the ups and downs of five years and four deployments. Cole s experiences in the war zone, what he has to do to survive, and how it translates to the home front define the relationship, as Ashley struggles to build a life simultaneously with and without him: Semper Gumby. Always flexible. She works with veterans at the VA hospital: A few showed me their ramblings. I could/ fix their grammar. But not their memories. Free verse from two perspectives (using different fonts; san serif for Cole, serif for Ashley) mixes with earnest, often sorrowful poems written by Ashley and Cole: Ask/ a soldier// what he believes in./ He ll tell you God. Country./ The patient hands of death . The link between war and poetry is nothing new, and, over almost 500 pages, Hopkins turns the sum of her disparate parts into a clear narrative that is uplifting and heartbreaking, but also familiar and a little too easy, featuring characters grappling with the serious issues of our time.