IDENTICAL by Ellen Hopkins | Review

Amazon | TBD | Goodreads

565 Pages

Do twins begin in the womb?
Or in a better place?

Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical down to the dimple. As daughters of a district-court judge father and a politician mother, they are an all-American family—on the surface. Behind the facade each sister has her own dark secret, and that’s where their differences begin.

For Kaeleigh, she’s the misplaced focus of Daddy’s love, intended for a mother whose presence on the campaign trail means absence at home. All that Raeanne sees is Daddy playing a game of favorites—and she is losing. If she has to lose, she will do it on her own terms, so she chooses drugs, alcohol, and sex.

Secrets like the ones the twins are harboring are not meant to be kept—from each other or anyone else. Pretty soon it’s obvious that neither sister can handle it alone, and one sister must step up to save the other, but the question is—who? 


I think one of the hardest things in a book for me to get over in a novel is rape. I feel it’s a very difficult subject to write about without making me put the book down and just scream — what gives you the right? 

I had an experience like this with a novel called Push by Sapphire which infuriated me to no end by describing, in extremely graphic detail, the rape of a child. So, going into this book by one of my favorite authors, I was slightly hesitant. It was one of the only books I hadn’t read by her yet, and I almost wonder if it was because I just never got around to it or because I was nervous I would hate it.

Well, I will say, that I am very happy to report that I, in fact, did not hate this. I feel it handled the topic extremely well.

As with most of her books, this is in verse. I feel it added a certain something to the text and scenario that prose wouldn’t have been able to do. Where we would have normally had great detail of graphic scenes in prose, in fact, we just had Hopkins doing what she does best – creating amazing characters.

Also, as always, I did not see the twist coming in this one. I don’t remember where I was, but it really hits you in the face unexpectedly, in a good way.

The reason I do have to take a star away is that I feel it could have been a good forty pages longer to really explain what happened after, as I felt the ending was very rushed.

Overall, though, I really enjoyed this.

Rating:



How do you feel about novels dealing with subjects such as rape? Have you read any Ellen Hopkins? Let’s chat in the comments!

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Top Ten Tuesday |Authors I’d Love to Meet

Bijou Media

This is my first ever TTT, which is run by That Artsy Reader Girl!

This week’s theme is Authors I’d Love to Meet! I’m pretty sure if I met any of these people I’d just be a blubbering mess, but here we are.


SJM JK SJ PR Ellen Hopkins
Sarah J. Maas Jay Kristoff

Shirley Jackson

(1916-1965)

Patrick Rothfuss Ellen Hopkins
JD Jenn Bennett Tana French BL RR

J.D. Salinger

(1919-2010)

Jenn Bennett Tana French Barry Lyga Rick Riordan

*D connotes Deceased

  • Sarah J. Maas: I was devastated when I found out her final tour for the Throne of Glass series wasn’t going to include any stops near me. I’ve been reading Throne of Glass since the third book was released, and I would just love to have a chat with her.
  • Jay Kristoff: Not only are his books fantastic, he seems like a super fun guy to be around.
  • Shirley Jackson (D): I feel like we’d have some very deep conversations, and it saddens me we’ll never have them.
  • Patrick Rothfuss: HAVE YOU READ THE KINGSKILLER CHRONICLE
  • Ellen Hopkins: She is probably, currently, my most read author, and I have yet to meet this woman.
  • J.D. Salinger (D): I don’t know if it saddens me more that I will never meet him now, or that I probably would have never met him when he was alive, either.
  • Jenn Bennett: Starry Eyes got me out a reading rut, and I just feel she’d be really fun to have a drink with (this also goes for Kristoff).
  • Tana French: Oh, my. Thinking of meeting her makes me shaky.
  • Barry Lyga: Jasper Dent was a huge part of my high school years, and I’d love to tell him that in person.
  • Rick Riordan: I’m still upset about the cliffhanger at the end of Mark of Athena, and I’d just like to have some words with him about that.

Are any of these your favorite authors? What are some authors you’d like to meet? Let’s talk in the comments!

PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE by Ellen Hopkins (ARC Review)

People Kill People

Amazon | Goodreads

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I have been a fan of Ellen Hopkins’s work for awhile now (mostly when I was in early high school). When I saw she was releasing the book People Kill People, I took a shot in the dark, asked for an ARC, and about 2 weeks later a (signed) ARC of People Kill People came in the mail!

Synopsis:

A gun is sold in the classifieds after killing a spouse, bought by a teenager for needed protection. But which was it? Each has the incentive to pick up a gun, to fire it. Was it Rand or Cami, married teenagers with a young son? Was it Silas or Ashlyn, members of a white supremacist youth organization? Daniel, who fears retaliation because of his race, who possessively clings to Grace, the love of his life? Or Noelle, who lost everything after a devastating accident, and has sunk quietly into depression?

One tense week brings all six people into close contact in a town wrought with political and personal tensions. Someone will fire. And someone will die. But who?

Review:

One thing about Hopkins’s work is that she always has these super intense characters – always something messed up in all of their lives. Well, this book is no exception. And, I’m going to admit, when I was a little younger, I used to eat that stuff up. But, when I started this novel, I wasn’t feeling it at first. I was like how is it that all of these characters have some intense thing going on with them? Isn’t this playing the stereotype?

 For example, the list of some of the characters’ issues included:

  • Teen pregnancy
  • Being a part of a white-supremacist group
  • Having a parent deported

The list goes on. And, so, in the beginning, I was a little shocked that all of these characters with such deep issues could all be related to each other somehow, and it did off-put me. But, as the work got deeper, I started to like it more and more, and realized that this all intentional.

So, the whole premise behind this is you know someone is going to die, you just don’t know who. The novel goes at an example of how putting firearms in the wrong people’s hands can lead to catastrophe. While I, obviously, won’t spoil the ending here, let me just say that I did not see the ending coming. And sometimes that’s good and sometimes…not. But, in this case it was phenomenal. Because of the ending, it brought the entire point she was trying to make into perspective, and shot this book up, rating wise.

Without these characters and their deep flaws, it’s hard to put everything into focus. In terms of political standpoint, some of them are hard left, some are hard right, some don’t really have an opinion about gun rights, but once that gun goes off, everyone has the same opinion: it should have never happened and what can we do to prevent this in the future(?)And, I think that is the exact point Hopkins was trying to make.

Another thing I like about this book is that the majority of it is written in second person, which is something you don’t see a lot of and is something that was exceeding well written and something I enjoyed.

In the end, whether you’re hard right or left on gun rights, this is a fantastic book to read. I’m honored to have gotten the chance to read this before it hit the shelves.

Final Rating:

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