BURNED by Ellen Hopkins

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Hey guys! 🙂 So I just reread BURNED by Ellen Hopkins. Now, this was my third time reading it, but since I hadn’t done a book review on it, I figured I would do that.

 

Pattyn Von Stratten is the oldest of seven girls, born and raised in a Mormon household, they have been taught to fear and revere God and any other male they come into contact with. Of course, a fear of males is easy when your father likes to drink his demons away and focus his anger on your mother. Because their mother accepts the abuse and doesn’t fight back, the girls feel powerless to do anything about it. They don’t even feel as though they can tell anyone because it’s seen as “a woman’s role” to respect her husband’s wishes….even if that means submitting to him when he is obviously wrong. 

Pattyn also feels powerless to something else….boys. A seventeen year old girl, she wants to know what it feels like to be kissed, touched, loved. She’s excited by the prospects of it, and her wants are just about met when she meets Derek; a non-Mormon boy who is everything she’s not supposed to be and who does everything she is not supposed to do. Now, she knows she’s not in love with him and she also never has sex with him, but that doesn’t stop her from getting caught in a very compromising position with Derek in the woods, by her father of all people. Her father, in a rage, threatens Derek and forces Pattyn to come home. Afterwards, Derek breaks up with her, spreads lies about her, and gets back with his ex, Carmen. Pattyn is royally pissed and ends up busting a window and Carmen’s nose. This gets her sent to live on a farm with her father’s estranged sister for the summer in order to “exorcise the demons that have {apparently} possessed her” according to the bishop of their church.  

Pattyn is nervous to be in a different place with people that she doesn’t know too well, but that all changes almost as soon as she gets there. With her aunt, she finally finds someone who understands her and who understands how insane and frightening her father is. She begins to question everything she’s ever learned and known and she starts to search for answers. She also finds the “forever love” (that she never really thought would exist) in a man named Ethan. Ethan enables Pattyn to see who she really is and what she can do. He helps her believe in herself and to believe in a love between soul mates, the kind that lasts forever. Pattyn finds a perfect family on this farm and at the end of the summer, when she has to go home to her own dysfunctional family, she’s frightened that she’ll lose everything she’s gained…

 

So I adore this book. Actually, that’s probably redundant by the fact that I admitted to this being my third time reading it. Haha. But it’s true. It’s always interesting to get inside the mind of someone who has such a different life than what I’m used to, to try and look at the world through their eyes. Ellen Hopkins always manages to write her characters in a way that lets the reader connect with them. In BURNED, it gets to the point where you’re so invested in what happens to Pattyn, that you can feel the outpouring of love and happiness when she’s with Ethan and with her aunt, and her sadness and fear (and you feel fear, yourself) at what might happen once she’s forced to return home. BURNED is a powerful, emotional novel that makes you question your own life and that also makes you hope that you never lose what you have. It’s truly stunning. 

 

**Sidenote, I’ll be reviewing the sequel to BURNED, SMOKE, next time. 🙂 That was part of the reason I needed to reread BURNED. haha. It’ll be my first time reading SMOKE, so let’s all get excited! 😀 

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