Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Review: Smoke by Ellen Hopkins

**Spoilers for Burned below!**

Summary: Pattyn Von Stratten’s father is dead, and Pattyn is on the run. After far too many years of abuse at the hands of her father, and after the tragic loss of her beloved Ethan and their unborn child, Pattyn is desperate for peace. Only her sister Jackie knows what happened that night, but she is stuck at home with their mother, who clings to normalcy by allowing the truth to be covered up by their domineering community leaders. Her father might be finally gone, but without Pattyn, Jackie is desperately isolated. Alone and in disguise, Pattyn starts a new life, but is it even possible to rebuild a life when everything you’ve known has burned to ash and lies seem far safer than the truth?

Kim's Review: I love Ellen Hopkins' books so much. I've read all of her YA novels and have yet to be disappointed. Smoke is the sequel to Burned, and it's been at least a year since I read the first book, so I was worried I would be lost. However, Hopkins does a great job at explaining what happened, so going back and skimming through the first book was unnecessary. I really loved the plot and reading about the aftermath of the incident between Pattyn and her father. The author also kept the story entertaining and intriguing, especially considering that this sequel was never planned.

The characterization and emotions in this book are amazing; I felt so bad for Pattyn and Jackie. I also thought Hopkins did a great job at depicting how the incident affected the two girls mentally, giving both of them PTSD. I can't imagine having to relive that moment and have it running through your mind every day.

Again, this book was a fantastic sequel. I will never, ever stop endlessly recommending all of Hopkins' novels to every reader I come across. Her characters and stories are heart-wrenching, but absolutely amazing to read.

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