Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Review: THE YOU I'VE NEVER KNOWN by Ellen Hopkins

by Ellen Hopkins
Publication Date: January 23, 3017
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 608
Purchase Amazon | B&N


How do you live your life if your past is based on a lie? A new novel in both verse and prose from #1 New York Times bestselling author, Ellen Hopkins.

For as long as she can remember, it’s been just Ariel and Dad. Ariel’s mom disappeared when she was a baby. Dad says home is wherever the two of them are, but Ariel is now seventeen and after years of new apartments, new schools, and new faces, all she wants is to put down some roots. Complicating things are Monica and Gabe, both of whom have stirred a different kind of desire.

Maya’s a teenager who’s run from an abusive mother right into the arms of an older man she thinks she can trust. But now she’s isolated with a baby on the way, and life’s getting more complicated than Maya ever could have imagined.

Ariel and Maya’s lives collide unexpectedly when Ariel’s mother shows up out of the blue with wild accusations: Ariel wasn’t abandoned. Her father kidnapped her fourteen years ago.

What is Ariel supposed to believe? Is it possible Dad’s woven her entire history into a tapestry of lies? How can she choose between the mother she’s been taught to mistrust and the father who has taken care of her all these years?

In bestselling author Ellen Hopkins’s deft hands, Ariel’s emotionally charged journey to find out the truth of who she really is balances beautifully with Maya’s story of loss and redemption. This is a memorable portrait of two young women trying to make sense of their lives and coming face to face with themselves—for both the last and the very first time.

My Thoughts

At this point, it's pretty much a given that I will read any book by Ellen Hopkins. She writes the kind of books that speak to me. She shares truths with honesty and thoughtfulness. Hopkins has crafted a stellar story in THE YOU I'VE NEVER KNOWN. 

What I liked:
  • The verse narrative and the prose to establish each of the the girls' stories. The transition from reading Ariel's story to Maya's story wasn't distracting. That can happen sometimes when the styles of writing change.
  • The parallel's in Ariel's and Maya's stories and how their paths cross.
  • The friendships - Ariel had people come into her life who were important to her and who cared for her in just the right moment when she needed them. They helped who to realize who she was and showed her the true meaning of friendship and love. 

Favorite Quote:
(from the second poem, "Home", in THE YOU I'VE NEVER KNOWN)

"Home   is someone
              or two who accepts you
              for the person you believe 
              you are, and if that happens
              to change, embraces the person
              you ultimately find yourself to be."

That quote right there let me know that this was going to be a powerful story.

What draws me to Ellen's books - exposing ugly truths, leads me to why I continue to read them - the possibility of hope. Reading THE YOU I'VE NEVER KNOWN is an experience in itself. I loved it!

Disclaimer:  I received this ARC as part of the Irish Banana Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any way other than the ARC provided. Thoughts and opinions are my own.


Ellen Hopkins is the New York Times bestselling author of CrankBurnedImpulseGlassIdenticalTricksFalloutPerfectTrianglesTilt, and Collateral. She lives in Carson City, Nevada, with her husband and son. Hopkin's Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest pages get thousands of hits from teens who claim Hopkins is the "only one who understands me", and she can be visited at ellenhopkins.com

Like most of you here, books are my life. Reading is a passion, but writing is the biggest part of me. Balance is my greatest challenge, as I love my family, friends, animals and home, but also love traveling to meet my readers. Hope I meet many of you soon!

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Tumblr

Tour Schedule:
Week 1:

Week 2:


3 Finished Copies of THE YOU I'VE NEVER KNOWN (US Only)

1 comment:

  1. I love that poem and want to remember it always. It's an awesome reminder of what family and friendship should be for everyone.


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