Identical by Ellen Hopkins
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Pub. Date: August 26, 2008
Age Level: 16+/YA
In the latest hard-hitting YA novel by the New York Times bestselling author, 16-year-old identical twin girls must come to terms with their abusive father.
Kaeleigh and Raeanne are 16-year-old identical twins, the daughters of a district court judge father and politician mother running for Congress. Everything on the surface of their lives seems Norman Rockwell perfect, but underneath run deep and damaging secrets.
Kaeleigh is the good girl-her father's perfect flower, something she has tried so hard to be since she was nine and he started sexually abusing her. She cuts herself and vomits after every binge, desperate to feel something normal. Raeanne uses painkillers, drugs, alcohol, and sex to numb the pain of not being Daddy's favorite. Both girls must figure out how to become whole, but how can they when their world has been torn to shreds?
Writing in her characteristic narrative poetry style, Ellen Hopkins shows once again how well she knows today's teens and the issues that matter to them.
Identical was a gripping and emotional lyricism beyond compare of any book that I have come across in my many years of reading.
I admit that this book was not an easy read. At first, I didn’t really know what to make of the format in which it was written. I thought it somewhat bizarre but once I got further into the book, I grew to love and understand it. Also, this is definitely not the kind of book to pick up if you are looking for a fun and light read. Identical delved deep into the mind and emotions of a sexually abused girl and her experiences. This book also addresses highly sensitive issues such as self mutilation, drug abuse, eating disorders and more. The details were often graphic and, to some, may be a little tough to stomach. This wasn’t my first child abuse book so I didn’t have quite as hard a time as others might would.
The characters were very well developed and authentic. The story itself was beautifully and realistically written. Though most of the book is spent building up to the climax, it was well worth the wait. With a jaw-dropping turning point and a strong and powerful ending, Identical was hands down one of the most suspenseful and enticing books I’ve ever read.
This was my first Ellen Hopkins’s book and it definitely won’t be my last. I do plan to eventually read this book again. As for recommending it, I don’t feel that it is something everyone could read. I do believe, however, that it is something everyone should read. This is a difficult book and I understand that not everyone has the capacity to read some of the material. The weak of heart and stomach should be wary when selecting this book as their next read. With that said, I recommend this to everyone and leave it up to you to decide if you can handle it.
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Identical by Ellen Hopkins
Posted by ~The Book Pixie at 8/18/2009 06:33:00 AM