Saturday, January 7, 2012

Review: Identical by Ellen Hopkins

Publisher:Margaret K. McElderry
Publishing Date: August 26th, 2008
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Pages: 565 pgs
ISBN: 9781416950059

Rating: 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:
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.

My Review: 
I got this book at Chapters with some of my Christmas giftcards.  I picked this up because I really enjoyed Hopkins' Crank trilogy and this book didn't disappoint.  It is a tough book to read because it deals graphically with sexual abuse between a father and a daughter.  It focuses on the family dynamics and how the abuse has affected not only the victim but also the victim's sister, mother and the perpetrator himself.  I could  not put this down because it was so interesting to see how Hopkins is able to write so fluidly about such a disturbing topic.  The book, like Hopkins' other books, is told entirely in verse and I think that her writing style is genius.  When the book shifts from one sister to the other there is a line that is mirrored on bother pages.  I for one would have great difficultly trying to write like this.  I found myself wanting to yell at the mother in this book.  I wanted her to take her head out of her butt and take a real look at her family and demonstrate that she cared.  I do not want to spoil any of the plot line but I have to say that the ending blew me away.  I never saw it coming and it made the book all that much better.  While this book may be too much for some people to digest I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.  I would recommend reading this book if you can handle some disturbing scenes. 

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