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Monday, April 11, 2011

My Thoughts: Identical by Ellen Hopkins

Kaeleigh and Raeanne are 16-year-old identical twins, the daughters of a district court judge father and politician mother running for Congress. Everything on the surface of their lives seems Norman Rockwell perfect, but underneath run deep and damaging secrets.

Kaeleigh is the good girl-her father's perfect flower, something she has tried so hard to be since she was nine and he started sexually abusing her. She cuts herself and vomits after every binge, desperate to feel something normal. Raeanne uses painkillers, drugs, alcohol, and sex to numb the pain of not being Daddy's favorite. Both girls must figure out how to become whole, but how can they when their world has been torn to shreds?

I know I'm late on the Ellen Hopkins band wagon but Oh. My. Goodness. Identical was an AMAZING book, and I don't know why it took me so long to read. It had been on my book shelf for a couple months and finally I decided to pick it up and read it. I wasn't sure about it being written in verse, I didn't know if I was going to have a hard time with that or not. But honestly is was fine. It read like a book, not a poem, but the verse writing gave it the effect it needed. I didn't like the book in the beginning, because I was royally disturbed by it's content. But as I continued to read, the writing took over and I fell in love.

The plot is utterly disturbing, and completely heartbreaking. Kaeleigh is a sweet girl who is being exploited and abused in the worst possible way, and she has no way to deal with it, no one to talk to, no one to tell. Her mother is a absent politician (who I felt sorry for, but by the end I hated her so much, I wanted to scream), Her sister, her twin Raeanne knows what's happening to Kaeleigh but seems almost mad, jealous (its messed up I'm telling you). Raeanne deals with the dysfunctions of home life with drugs, alcohol and sex. But the life that these two girls have, the family they have, it's amazing that one of them isn't already dead.

The end.... I was totally SHOCKED!!! For those of you who have read this book, I was totally not expecting what I got. Usually I am good and figuring out how things are going to work out, but not this time. I found myself going "What?" and rereading what had happened. Totally worth it boys and girls. If you have not read this book, read it.

One thing though, I would not recommend this book to anyone under the age of 16, at the back of the book it says 14 and up, but I DO NOT AGREE. The content is heavy, not just the drugs, and alcohol, but the sex and abuse is not necessary for kids to read. Wait a few years. It'll be better for you and your mental state if you wait.

This is a must read, I promise you will not be disappointed.  I am planning on reading a few more by Ellen Hopkins, although I will not be reading the Crank series, I hate drugs with a passion, it hurts my soul how destructive they are, and I can't put myself through the heartbreak that I am sure can be found in that series.  But she has a few more that I will read, and I will be sure to tell you all about them. 

Happy Reading Everyone!


  1. This sounds really good. I've never heard of this author before but I'm going to go and look it up now.

  2. I love Ellen Hopkins books and I agree the ending of Identical is pretty shocking. I've read three other books of Ellen Hopkins that weren't part of the Crank series and I feel the need to warn you they're all pretty heartbreaking.

  3. I've only read one Ellen Hopkins books, but from what I read, I need to read more...probably starting with this one.

  4. Hmm, I might give it a go but it doesn't really sound like my kind of thing. I'm glad that you enjoyed it though.

  5. Straight to my TBR list! I'm definitely reading this one! Thanks, great review! :)

  6. Wow. This book sounds amazing, but I just can't handle this kind of intense, so it won't be on my tbr list at any time.

  7. Woha! You really like this one. Interesting, it's new book for me. Oh I love those books that shock you at the end! :)

  8. I remember a few years ago I was obsessed with finding books by Ellen Hopkins but I never saw them at my local book stores. I love how dark and intense her books sound and it's unique that she writes her stories in verse.

  9. Oh my, this is indeed sounds like a heavy book. I'm intrigue but couldn't sure if I could stomach a story of an abusive father and uncaring mother, though. I probably going to scream halfway the book!

  10. An excellent review, but this doesn't sound like a book for me. I'd rather escape depressing reality than wallow in it.


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