ARC Book Review: The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins
veronica | When Simon & Schuster sent me Ellen Hopkins’ newest novel, The You I’ve Never Known, to read, I was a bit skeptical. Yes, I totally judged a book by its cover and flipping through the pages quickly I noticed that some chapters were written in verse….I had preconceived notions. I dreaded having to read it and was so sure I’d hate it. I am ever so glad that I was wrong.
We meet young Ariel and her father, the only parent she’s ever known, travelling from place to place, never having the opportunity to set down roots, Ariel craves stability, deep friendship and the ability to stake her own place, figure out who she is. Then we meet Maya, a teen desperate to escape the clutches of her abusive mother that she falls into the arms of the first man she meets.
For her entire life, Ariel is told that she her mother left her and is no good. She’s constantly told that as her father, he sacrificed everything to raise her. One part abuser but mostly master manipulator, her father has made Ariel depend on him and won’t ever let her forget it.
I’m not sure the last novel that left me so happy to have read it, Ellen Hopkins knocked it out of the park with this one. Through verse, you are immediately drawn to and invested in Ariel. Knowing how her father is, you can’t help but root for her as she figures out her true self despite him.
Part coming of age, part finding oneself, The You I’ve never Known is a book everyone should read, not just for those in the LGBTQ community. And please do, you won’t regret it!
january 24, 2017