Burned by Ellen Hopkins

April 8, 2008
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Often overshadowed by Ellen Hopkin's more popular Crank and its sequel Glass, Burned is a book that deserves the spotlight.

Burned tells the story of Pattyn, a high school girl like any other. But there is a twist; she is a Latter Day Saint with an abusive, alcoholic father. Her, her sisters, and her mother are victims to his cruelty.

When Pattyn, the oldest daughter, begins to rebel against her father and her strict church's rule, her life is suddenly changed after she is discovered with a boy not of her religion. In an effort to punish Pattyn, her father sends her to his more liberal sister's ranch is Nevada.

Redemption. Pattyn finds redemption at her aunt's. For the first time in her life she is free. Free to grow, to be herself, and to love. In falling in love with a boy named Ethan, Pattyn blossoms and begins to feel that she doesn't have a designated duty to fulfill in the world. She can be her own person. But with the end of an amazing summer and the return of school comes Pattyn's departure from her aunt's and… tragedy.

In first getting Burned I was leery because of the poetry form in which it is written because I have never been a fan of poetry. Yet Hopkin's raw truth and honesty connected me to the book. She was able to write as if she was a teenager herself with clear language and insight into our thoughts, feelings, dreams, and doubts.

Burned is a gut-wrenching novel that makes all reader's examine the choices and freedoms in their lives.

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