July 17, 2009

Burned by Ellen Hopkins

Burned by Ellen Hopkins
Date Started: July 15, 2009 Date Finished: July 17, 2009

Summary: Pattyn is the oldest of seven daughters from a religious but abuse family. Her father gets drunk and often beats their mother. Their mother stands by submissively because that is the woman's role in this particular religion. Pattyn starts to question herself and everything she's ever believed in when she starts dating a jerk named Derek. After having somewhat of a mental breakdown, Pattyn is sent to live with her Aunt in the wilds of Nevada. There Pattyn finds acceptance and love, only to have to return back home a few months later to a home even more chaotic than before.
Likes: I liked the story's format. It skipped all the frills and purple prose that we sometimes find in prose poetry. The story was straight to the point without dodging around the issues of sex, relationships, and other highlights in Pattyn's growth from sheltered religious girl to liberated woman. The characters were believable and the situation was very realistic. Certain parts were a little bit vague, but they didn't require a lot of detail.
Dislikes: The ending was sad and a little bit off. A part of me wishes to see what would happened had the story been allowed to play out for just a few pages more. A part of me wishes that it wasn't as sad as it should have been or could have been. It almost seems like the ending was done for shock value and although it was sad, it's sadness wasn't played up as well as it could have been. There just needed to be a little bit more to continue the story instead of leaving the reader hanging.
Overall: I really like prose poetry format. It's a bit refreshing to read and amazing for the clarity of thought and depth of story contained in such small poems. It's inspiring. At some point, I want to try my own hand at it. Ellen Hopkins is known for her prose poetry novels and the story Crank, was the first one. I believe I've read another one before, but I can't remember. I want to read the other two novels of hers as well.

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