Identical by Ellen Hopkins

 

Told using free-verse, first-person narrative poetry, Hopkins relates the disturbing story of twins, Raeanne and Kayleigh, sisters plagued by a dark family secret. Following an alcohol-related car accident when the girls were young, the twins witness the dissolution of their family life, and the beginning of abuse. Each twin deals with the trauma in her own way – Kayleigh with denial, and Raeanne with rebellion – but the two must come together in the end to overcome their demons.

This is the kind of book that hits you straight in the face, no holds barred, no apologies. It’s incredibly heavy — like, really heavy — so if you have difficulty reading stories about family or child abuse, you may want to use caution with this one. The story of the twins literally haunted me for days – my stomach stayed in knots even after I finished reading. Hopkins is an amazing writer — her characters slide right off the page and into your life, and her stories refuse to loosen their grip on you. This book is no exception. I read it almost in one sitting, and could NOT stop thinking about it. Hopkins uses poetry to tell the narrate the novel, which only makes it more addictive to read. It’s simple, but doesn’t hold back. The twist in the novel took me completely by surprise — not easy to do! This is definitely not the book for you if you want a “warm fuzzy” read, but it is an incredible journey you won’t soon forget.

Rating: 5/5

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS), click here.

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