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The Compulsive Reader: Burned by Ellen Hopkins

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Burned by Ellen Hopkins


Pattyn von Statten has been questioning a lot of things in her life lately: her religion, her parents' belief of a women's role in life, love. But these questions lead to her abusive father's anger, and when Pattyn begins to test her father beyond what he can handle, he sends her to her Aunt Jeanette's ranch in Nevada as punishment. But to Pattyn, the summer away is redemption. She finds freedom, love, and happiness. She finds her first love. But with fall comes her expected return home, and despite all of the wonderful things Pattyn has discovered, the pain and oppression of the past don't disappear.

I've read enough of Ellen Hopkins' novels to know that her books are powerful, brutally honest portrayals of teens stuck in tough spots in life, but yet this book managed to amaze me nonetheless. Pattyn is a character everyone can relate to; she's inquisitive and vulnerable, and what she wants most out of life is love and acceptance. Unfortunately for her, her family life is a complete disaster, and the abuse her family endures is often hidden or excused by their twisted religious beliefs. But despite these harsh and tragic elements, Burned also contains one of the sweetest love stories as Pattyn finds rare true love and learns what it means to be happy despite the confusing jumble of emotions she experiences. However, the happiness can't last forever, and when she's forced to return home, the following events will shock readers. The novel is wonderfully and scarily realistic, right down to the very end, and Hopkins' sophisticated and gripping poetry is perfect for the story. Burned is one book that will make you think long and hard.

Cover Comments: This cover keeps in with the theme of Hopkins' previous novels, and I like how the title looks like an actual burn mark. It's really simple, but really effective, even if it doesn't exactly mirror the content of the book.

9 comments:

~The Book Pixie said...

I've only read one of her books so far, Identical, and I really loved it. Ellen's novels are very powerful and honest which is what I love about them so much. Great review and I look forward to reading this.

~Briana

Ashley @ Ashley's Library said...

I have been wanting to read some of Ellen's work for a while. I might pick a copy of one of her books up next time I head to the library.

Interesting review!

Anne Shealy said...

Read this book last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. Came across a response I had written and pulled it out this week to model for my 7th graders how to write their responses to their indepedent reading. After reading my response, they were all dying to read that book. Unfortuntately, my copy is long gone. Never know what happens to most of the books on my bookshelf - they just walk away. But, that was definitely a good one.

Lauren said...

The ending is so painful...but powerful to read. All of Ellen Hopkins' books are amazing.

Identical was the first one I read by her, too.

celi.a said...

I haven't read any Ellen Hopkins, but I've been hearing about her all over the blogosphere recently...perhaps I need to get on this train? Great review!

Anonymous said...

loved it! :)It had such powerful words and a great plot line. I read all of Ellen Hopkins books and I truely enjoyed this one as well as the other. Ellen Hopkins is my favourite aurthor. After all the books I've read she seems to have the best books. They all have unique ways of telling a great story <3

Anonymous said...

loved it! :)It had such powerful words and a great plot line. I read all of Ellen Hopkins books and I truely enjoyed this one as well as the other. Ellen Hopkins is my favourite aurthor. After all the books I've read she seems to have the best books. They all have unique ways of telling a great story <3

Anonymous said...

i've read every book of hers that i kan get my hands on and i'm nvr disappointed :) she is truly, an amazing writer

Anonymous said...

I have read and own all of her books, absolutely amazing books, can't wait for fallout and perfect!