Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Review: Identical

Identical – Ellen Hopkins – Margaret K. McElderry Books 
The “Facts”:  Paperback and Audio Book, 565 pages, approximately 1 week to finish
Summary: (Taken from Goodreads): Do twins begin in the womb?

Or in a better place?

Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical down to the dimple. As daughters of a district-court judge father and a politician mother, they are an all-American family -- on the surface. Behind the facade each sister has her own dark secret, and that's where their differences begin.

For Kaeleigh, she's the misplaced focus of Daddy's love, intended for a mother whose presence on the campaign trail means absence at home. All that Raeanne sees is Daddy playing a game of favorites -- and she is losing. If she has to lose, she will do it on her own terms, so she chooses drugs, alcohol, and sex.

Secrets like the ones the twins are harboring are not meant to be kept -- from each other or anyone else. Pretty soon it's obvious that neither sister can handle it alone, and one sister must step up to save the other, but the question is -- who?
My Review: First of all, if you don't know who Ellen Hopkins is, you need to go out and pick up one of her books. I really don't think you can go wrong with any of them. 
Ellen Hopkins is THE must-read author in my library. In fact, I had one of her books go 'missing' this year! I can hardly keep them on the shelves, and Crank was continuously on a wait list. (Seriously, that book came out in 2004!) 
Sadly, I had never picked up any of her books because I wasn't sure I would like a book written in verse. When I first started my job at the school, I figured it was time to step it up, and read what was popular with my students, and I am glad I did.
Identical is one of those books that will stick with you. It will make you think, say 'what?' and haunt you for days after reading it. I STILL find myself thinking about it, when I read this book earlier in the month!

This book is told through the eyes of twins, and focus' mostly on addiction. Addiction to drugs, to love, to that 'safe' feeling. The twins, with their parents, were in a car crash very early in their lives which changed their family dynamic, drastically. One twin is addicted to drugs, and pushed from her parent's love, craves that which is taboo. The other is overly-close with her father, and wants her mother's attention more than anything.
Each sister has at least one secret, one vice. That is the Ellen Hopkin's way. She is not afraid to tackle the big ideas, the taboo ideas, the subjects that leave you with a feeling of senselessness.
Does that explain anything? Probably not. The easiest thing I can say about this book is that it will haunt you, in it's easy to read but striking verse form, and it's unseen twists and jolts. You will either love it, for these reasons, or hate it for the same reasons. For me, this was love. 

Rating: 5 stars

This book deals with many taboo and triggering subjects, such as incest, self-harm, and drug use among others.

No comments:

Post a Comment