Published by: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Published on: September 10, 2013 (originally published on March 28, 2006)
Poetically beautiful. I just adore Ellen Hopkins writing and she takes you on an emotional journey with this story. I wanted to cry, scream and in anger throw the book across the room, it just makes you feel so many emotions.
Pattyn and her family are Mormons but their family life is anything but holy, they live in the fear of their drunk abusive father. Pattyn alongside her closest sister and best friend, Jackie help take care of their five younger sisters. Their mother is described as being lazy and lost in reality TV. I suppose she finds it as a way to cope with the abuse at the hands of her husband.
Pattyn is sixteen and she has developed a crush on fellow student Justin a non-Mormon. Her body starts to become awakened by this crush and in her dream state has sexual encounters with Justin. This leads her to be confused and begins questioning god and her religion. She finds escape in books that her religion has banned from reading. A chance encounter with Justin and his friends leads to a relationship with Derek, a friend of Justin. Their relationship is short-lived as they are discovered by her father in a not so innocent situation. After this discovery and a few outbursts Pattyn is sent to live with her Aunt Jeanette for the summer.
Upon moving in with her Aunt Jeanette, Pattyn finds out what it means to be a part of a loving household instead of living in fear. When summer comes to an end and she will have to face reality and go back home but how will she cope being back in a place of violence.
As a female it made me so angry to read about how Pattyn’s dad and Bishop Crandell viewed women. They see women as inferior to men and are basically property to men. Oh and that women are really good for one thing and that is to have children. Is your blood boiling too? Mine sure is. This also doesn’t sit right with Pattyn and she starts to question her fathers behavior, she also begins to resent her religion.
I liked Pattyn, she is an outspoken strong character who really just wants to be loved and there is not a whole lot of love in her family. This really shows in her conflicted feeling toward her dad, she hates what he does but can’t help but loving him and wanting in return to be loved by him. She does end up finding that paternal love in her Aunt.
I enjoy reading about the relationship between Pattyn and her Aunt J. They go from being practically strangers to that of a mother daughter relationship. With living with her Aunt she is able to be just a regular teenager and not have all the many responsibilities she had back home.
I did find the romance to be an insta-love, especially on Ethan’s part. His is a college student I found it a little hard to believe that he took one look at Pattyn and fell in love. Other than that I did still like their relationship I found it to be a sweet romance.
I am not going to spoil the ending for you guys, all I will say is that it was gut wrenching and I was not expecting that at all. I am interested to see where the second book goes from here. I do own it so will be reading it next.
I hope you all enjoyed reading my review and that it has piqued your interest. Please pick it up and give it a chance. If you have read this book let me know your thoughts.