Girls*Heart* Books: Review: Burned by Ellen Hopkins

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Review: Burned by Ellen Hopkins

Burned #1
Ellen Hopkins
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books

I felt angry, frustrated. I felt like I didn't belong, not in my church, not in my home, not in my skin.

Raised in a religious--yet abusive--family, Pattyn Von Stratten starts asking questions--about God, a woman's role, sex, love. She experiences the first stirrings of passion, but when her father catches her in a compromising position, everything spirals out of control. Pattyn is sent to live with an aunt in the wilds of Nevada to find salvation and redemption. What she finds instead is love and acceptance--until she realizes that her old demons will never go away. (from the paperback edition)

Burned is a book. Obviously. Said book (a lovely, innocent little paperback) got itself chucked across the room of my place of work, skidded all the way to the dog-bed display, and startled a very unaware customer much. While I was embarrassed, I do not regret it. Burned deserved the harsh smack of concrete after that ending. >.<

Burned is the story of Pattyn Von Stratten, the eldest of seven daughters, and the daughter of an absent mother and a drunk father, in her mormon household. I am not a mormon, myself, so I am not positive about how the religion was portrayed. However, the abuse in the home was palpable, leaping off the page and making me shudder at more than one point. This is written beautifully, even if it darker than a cave at midnight on a new moon.

I will tell you all, this book is not to kindle hope, or some sense of peace that things really do get better. Burned made my skin crawl, made me feel sick and want to leap in and hug Pattyn and Jackie and Ethan (hullo) and everyone, with a blunt smack that no, I can't. Damn. Hopkins has made me cry in PUBLIC again.

No, I am not telling you the ending. But I am going to hint that it will leave you DYING to hear something more, even though it is definite. I'm very glad I got Burned so late in the Hopkins game, because I might've plum lost my head if I had to wait 7 years (yes, YEARS) to get ahold of the sequel (Smoke, coming out sometime in 2013 :3)... *shudders* That is a disheartening concept. 

If you think you have the stomach to handle this gut-wrenching story, I definitely recommend it to ANYONE looking for a good cry. A good, long, cry... And then a serious book hangover... And then bursting into random fits of RAGE... 

Ahem. Great read!

My Rating:

Ellen Hopkins is the New York Times bestselling author of Crank, Burned, Impulse, Glass, Identical, TricksFallout, Perfect, Triangles, Tilt, and Collateral. She lives in Carson City, Nevada, with her husband and son.

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