Saturday, April 29, 2017

Y is for The You I've Never Known by Ellen Hopkins #atozchallenge

How do you live your life if your past is based on a lie? A new novel in both verse and prose from #1 New York Times bestselling author, Ellen Hopkins.

For as long as she can remember, it’s been just Ariel and Dad. Ariel’s mom disappeared when she was a baby. Dad says home is wherever the two of them are, but Ariel is now seventeen and after years of new apartments, new schools, and new faces, all she wants is to put down some roots. Complicating things are Monica and Gabe, both of whom have stirred a different kind of desire.

Maya’s a teenager who’s run from an abusive mother right into the arms of an older man she thinks she can trust. But now she’s isolated with a baby on the way, and life’s getting more complicated than Maya ever could have imagined.

Ariel and Maya’s lives collide unexpectedly when Ariel’s mother shows up out of the blue with wild accusations: Ariel wasn’t abandoned. Her father kidnapped her fourteen years ago.

What is Ariel supposed to believe? Is it possible Dad’s woven her entire history into a tapestry of lies? How can she choose between the mother she’s been taught to mistrust and the father who has taken care of her all these years?

In bestselling author Ellen Hopkins’s deft hands, Ariel’s emotionally charged journey to find out the truth of who she really is balances beautifully with Maya’s story of loss and redemption. This is a memorable portrait of two young women trying to make sense of their lives and coming face to face with themselves—for both the last and the very first time.

My Review:

I love Ellen Hopkins. She brings poetry into modern story telling. Seriously her work is AH-MAZING!! Her books tend to veer to the dark, the dirty and the real. She doesn't shy away from abuse, chemical or physical. Honestly her style reminds me of Go Ask Alice, except in verse. 
Her characters are always broken in some way or another. But even at their worst Hopkins finds a way to draw the reader in and make them care for them. In The You I've Never Known she does it again. While Ariel and Maya are probably some  of the cleaner main characters I've met in her books, they are still both so real. Maybe not always making the best choices, but still real. Watching her characters evolve is just amazing. Through her use of first person pov the reader really gets pulled in,
Combined that with the poetry and the way the poems are formatted to the page. Although Maya's story is in standard form and I felt drawn into her head as well.  But I really love the way the pages are set up. 
The twists and turns that populate Hopkins other books are present in Never Known as well. Some I suspected. Others I never saw coming. I won't give anything away. Whether you've read her work before or not, I don't want to take that away. 
I love Ellen Hopkins. Her books are raw. She doesn't shy away from the uncomfortable in hopes of making her characters lives easier for her readers to view. If you haven't read any of her work I definitely recommend doing so. Don't be scared off by the poetical format. Also don't read any of her books without tissues.   

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