Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Hopkins, Ellen. 2008. Identical.
If you're familiar with Ellen Hopkins' other novels (verse novels)--Crank, Burned, Impulse, and Glass--then you know what to expect from her newest novel, Identical. For those that aren't familiar, you may find yourself in a state of shock at the issues Hopkins' touches on in her novel: alcohol, drugs, cutting, eating disorders, suicidal thoughts (and attempts), and sex. And of course some may squirm at the language.
No doubt about it, her novels won't suit everyone's tastes. Yet her novels do have fans. And there's a reason--her novels are powerful, very very potent. Raw. Emotional. Very gritty. Very in-your-face. There's always a depth and complexity to the characters that make them compelling. (Even if you don't happen to *like* the characters. You can't deny that they're humanly drawn.)
Identical is a shocking book in many ways. It deals with secrets, lies, brokenness, betrayal. It has more than angst, it has burning and haunting pain on almost every single page. It focuses on a dysfunctional, abusive family with much to hide--the Gardellas. A father who's a district court judge. A mother who's running for Congress. Our narrators are two teen girls Kaeleigh and Raeanne. These two angry-and-bitter narrators share a common enemy: their father and mother.
I hesitate to say much more because really in this instance, the less you know going in...the better the book will read.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews