This month, we have a little something special for you: in anticipation of Ellen Hopkins’s latest YA, The You I’ve Never Known, coming out later this month, we’re designating January as the Month of Ellen Hopkins! If you’ve ever wondered what all the fuss is about (and there is MUCH to fuss about with Ellen’s powerful books), this is your chance to read some of her best works!
Ellen doesn’t pull any punches and is well known for writing about “tough stuff.” This week’s read, Burned, is certainly no exception: with religion, abuse, drugs, sex, and more, sixteen-year-old Pattyn Von Stratten’s story is utterly compelling and riveting. Here’s a little more about Burned:
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.
In this riveting and masterful novel told in verse, Ellen Hopkins takes readers on an emotional roller-coaster ride. From the highs of true love to the lows of abuse, Pattyn’s story will have readers engrossed until the very last word.
Week two will be Tricks, and the week after will be Crank. Meanwhile, we’ll be posting Ellen Hopkins-related content throughout the month including an Ellen Hopkins sweepstakes that you won’t want to miss. This is all leading up to the release of her newest novel, The You I’ve Never Known, on January 24th which we’ll be featuring an extended excerpt throughout the last two weeks of January!
We’re super excited about this new book because it has a ton of elements from Ellen Hopkins’s writing that we’ve come to love and appreciate, but it’s also a very different style for her. This is the Ellen you’ve never known. So whether you’re an Ellen-loving veteran or new to her work, you’ve got to give The You I’ve Never Known a try. Get yourself pumped for it by reading her earlier work these next few weeks! Go ahead and start today with Burned!