Friday, 4 October 2013

Burned by Ellen Hopkins

by Ellen Hopkins

Summary: It all started with a dream. Nothing exceptional, just a typical fantasy about a boy, the kind of dream that most teen girls experience. But Pattyn Von Stratten is not like most teen girls. Raised in a religious -- yet abusive -- family, a simple dream may not be exactly a sin, but it could be the first step toward hell and eternal damnation.

This dream is a first step for Pattyn. But is it to hell or to a better life? For the first time Pattyn starts asking questions. Questions seemingly without answers -- about God, a woman's role, sex, love -- mostly love. What is it? Where is it? Will she ever experience it? Is she deserving of it?
It's with a real boy that Pattyn gets into real trouble. After Pattyn's father catches her in a compromising position, events spiral out of control until Pattyn ends up suspended from school and sent to live with an aunt she doesn't know.

Pattyn is supposed to find salvation and redemption during her exile to the wilds of rural Nevada. Yet what she finds instead is love and acceptance. And for the first time she feels worthy of both -- until she realizes her old demons will not let her go. Pattyn begins down a path that will lead her to a hell -- a hell that may not be the one she learned about in sacrament meetings, but it is hell all the same.
This is the first of Ellen's books I've ever read. I put off reading them because I didnt think novels written in verse were my kind of thing. This one proved me wrong. In the beginning I was annoyed by the format of it but it didnt take long to get too sucked into the story to notice.

I'm not sure what I thought of the book really. I know that I was addicted from first page to last, and I know that I haven't hated the ending of a book this much in, well, ever really. I knew going into it that it wasn't going to be happy, but I wasn't expecting it to happen the way it did and, unlike other people who were desperate for the sequel after an ending like that, I'm really not sure if I can read the next book (at least not right now--too raw, I'm not in the mood for painful books right now).

The book made me feel...angry, frustrated, claustrophobic, and devastated even imagining Pattyn's situation. There were some sweet moments too, but they were so thoroughly drowned out by the other stuff (and the contrast made the other stuff feel worse).

I guess that's why I'm not sure what I thought of the book--most of what it made me feel was so negative that it feels weird to say I liked/loved the book. But I think that was kind of the point--it's one of those books that are supposed to hurt.

And I'm just kind of rambling, sorry. I'd rate the book 4 stars out of 5.


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