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Smoke Hardcover – September 10, 2013
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"Hopkins' riveting story line is full of the perpetual premonition of danger, and the simple free-verse format belies the complexity of both plot and craft...a compelling and thought-provoking read." ― Booklist
"The book is rife with real issues and demanding attention, leaving the reader to realize that when the smoke clears, redemption is always possible. In the end, voices are heard that refuse to be silenced and the empowerment that comes with the character’s decisions transcend the page and leave much to be discussed and contemplated among readers." ― VOYA, starred review
"Hopkins’s fans should and will clamor for this sequel." ― School Library Journal
- Publisher : Margaret K. McElderry Books; 0 edition (September 10, 2013)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 560 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1416983287
- ISBN-13 : 978-1416983286
- Reading age : 14 years and up
- Lexile measure : HL710L
- Grade level : 9 - 12
- Item Weight : 1.1 pounds
- Dimensions : 5 x 1.7 x 7 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #747,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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However, I think this may be my least favorite Ellen Hopkins book so far. It's not that it was BAD. No, Ellen never writes anything outright BAD. It's just that, it got very repetitive with flashbacks to the previous book. Now, I know that sequels need SOME flashbacks to the previous book, but it was overwhelming with how many flashbacks she put in there. And there were some parts where it fell flat.
-SPOILERS START HERE-
Like how, in the previous book, they put Caleb as this "good Christian boy" and how he has a crush on Pattyn. Yet, in this book, he's a rapist who wanted to take control of Jackie. It would've been nice if maybe this had been at least HINTED AT in the previous book. Also, there's one part where Pattyn asks "so what happened to me? what happened to Jackie?" when talking about how good Mormon girls are supposed to stay good Mormon girls. In the previous book it says NOTHING about Jackie going astray or questioning her Mormon faith or sexuality. Unless I've overlooked something. I'm pretty sure I remember Pattyn HIDING certain things from Jackie in the previous book because she knew that Jackie was still very much into the Mormon faith and not questioning anything about sex, or so it seemed. Again, it would've been nice if this was at least HINTED AT in the previous book.
Not just with references to the previous book though. There were also parts where the characters suddenly having a change of heart felt very FORCED and not fully developed. However, Ellen still does what she does best: grabbing the reader's attention and making them keep reading. Like I said, it's not a BAD book by any means, but it could've been better.
As for Jackie, Pattyn's once upon a time best friend and closest sister, her secrets are eating up at her as well. The night their father died, he had walked in on Jackie being raped by one of the boys from their church. He didn't believe it when she told him what happened and he began to abuse her. Hitting her, kicking her, telling her she was ruined and that she deserved what she got. Pattyn walked in with her gun and after an altercation, their father ended up dead. Although Jackie wants desperately to relieve herself of this terrible secret inside her, she's forced to keep quiet. By the bishop at the church, by her rapist's father, and even by her own mother. She has no friends and no Pattyn, no one to turn to, until she meets Gavin. He's a senior - and her math tutor - and he sees the beauty and honesty she carries inside her. He gives her the love she's been needing, but she's sure that once all of her secrets come out, he'll be on his way out the door.
SMOKE was phenomenal. I was a little worried because sequels aren't always what they're cracked up to be; but as always, Ellen Hopkins did not disappoint. This time around, she let us in, not only on Pattyn's side of things, but on Jackie's as well. With both girls speaking, you get the full picture of what's happening in their lives. There's a lot of turmoil within this novel, but the ending message is of hope. Not only that, but it gives a full and rounded story, which works so well coupled with the prequel - BURNED.
Overall (and as always) a superb read from Ellen Hopkins. Everyone needs to check out this book whether you enjoyed BURNED or not, it's fantastic. :) Look out for my next review!
This book is a sequeal to Burned. Burned wasn't my favorite of Ms. Hopkins book. Not because it wasn't well written but because the story was for me unrelateable. (Keep in mind I am an adult female and these books are written for teens and young adults.) My expectations for Smoke were not high. I was blown away. This was not where I expected Pattyn to go. The character I found whiney and weak in the first book has certainly come to age.
No spoilers here. I will recommend this book to any of Hopkins' fans. It will not disappoint.