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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

REVIEW: The You I've Never Known by Ellen Hopkins

Ariel has always lived a transient life with her father, having been abandoned by her mother as a little girl.

Now seventeen and after years of new apartments, new schools, and new faces, all Ariel 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 with a baby on the way, 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.

Let me say I am a huge Hopkins fan. I love her writing style and that she is a fearless storyteller about painful and difficult topics.  The You I've Never Known is based in part on real life experience from the author, having her child kidnapped by her ex and not knowing her whereabouts for years.

This latest release will still appeal to readers but for me it wasn't my favorite of all her book released to date.  What is was lacking for me was an odd sense of pacing and closure. It is not until 60-70% through the book when I had the 'aha' moment to connect the narrative dots.  Even after that I wanted more to happen with the storyline and more of a resolution and consequences for characters, especially Ariel.

Overall, the quality is outstanding and will no doubt be one of 2017's top teen titles.

Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Follow the author on Twitter: @ElleHopkinsLit

#amreading #TheYouIveNeverKnown #EllenHopkins #YALit #teen