Review: Burned – Ellen Hopkins

May 3, 2013 4 Stars, Reviews 2

Title: Burned
Author: Ellen Hopkins
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Romance, Poetry
Pages: 532
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
My Rating: 4 Stars
"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."

Pattyn Von Stratten is 17. She can’t drive, she’s considered her father’s property, she’s forced to take care of her siblings, and she’s being forced into a ‘women’s role’ by her church and community. Pattyn is Mormon. After stepping out of line for the first time ever, Pattyn is sent to stay with her Aunt J on a ranch in Nevada. Both her and her father think there’s nothing for her to do there, that she can’t manage to get into any trouble, and that Pattyn will learn her lesson. However, instead she finds acceptance and knowledge from Aunt J, love from Ethan, and begins to question her religion.

Burned is a great coming of age book. It deals with many issues that many young girls face, such as abuse, religion, and first love. It was great to see how Pattyn changed throughout the book. In the beginning, she is so held back by things she doesn’t even understand, then as she learns acceptance and real love, she begins to question authority and religion, especially how corrupted her church seems to be. She grows so much throughout the plot that by the end she is practically another person. A better person.

The ending was a bit of a shock. I knew something awful was going to happen, but I didn’t quite expect that.

Overall: I loved this book. It’s a great read. I would recommend this to anyone who likes books that deal with real issues and life. Ellen Hopkins created, once again, a lovely story that tugs at the heart.


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About Jessica

Jessica is an twenty year old blogger who lives in Michigan. She's currently a junior in college. She's a full-time student and part-time employee. She loves to read young adult fiction, especially contemporary, romance, and dystopian. Feel free to drop by and say hi by leaving a comment on one of her blog posts- she'll be sure to reply!

2 Responses to “Review: Burned – Ellen Hopkins”

  1. Lisa

    I really like this book too. It’s my favorite by Ellen Hopkins and always has been. I’ve sort of lost my love of Ellen Hopkins through the years, but Burned will always be up there for me. I used to have a copy, but someone borrowed it and never gave it back. Boo. ):

    • socalmbutnot

      I am currently obsessed with Ellen Hopkins. My favorite is Identical, the end completely blew me away. I hate it when people never return borrowed books! My copy is tattered and wrinkled from having been dropped in the sink, but I bought it for a discount at a thrift store so I can’t really complain.

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