Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Pub. Date: August 2008
Age Range: Young Adult
Kaeleigh and Raeanne are 16-year-old identical twins, the daughters of a district court judge father and politician mother running for Congress. Everything on the surface of their lives seems Norman Rockwell perfect, but underneath run deep and damaging secrets.Kaeleigh is the good girl-her father's perfect flower, something she has tried so hard to be since she was nine and he started sexually abusing her. She cuts herself and vomits after every binge, desperate to feel something normal. Raeanne uses painkillers, drugs, alcohol, and sex to numb the pain of not being Daddy's favorite. Both girls must figure out how to become whole, but how can they when their world has been torn to shreds?
Ellen Hopkins has a natural gift for writing so poignantly you don't just read the words on paper, you become the words she so eloquently delivers.
Hopkins writing style is so naked & sincere it simply steals your breath away. Identical is told in free verse & sometimes that form of free verse utilizes pictures or poems w/i poems to convey it's message -- simply brilliant.
I knew where Hopkins was going w/ the storyline & it made me ache inside. I was not just an outsider looking in but was experiencing all the heart wrenching emotions Kaeleigh & Raeanne endured thanks to Hopkins' seamless stratagem.
It was difficult reading about what the father was doing to one of the daughters. I had a difficult time w/ it because it hit too close to home. All I am saying is, the cycle of abuse is a violently vicious one!
Hopkins' descriptions are remarkably riveting & powerfully fervent you may have to write a memo w/ the words "exhale" in bold print!
I am not going to give away the design of Identical, you are going to have to read the book for yourself. Hopkins' Identical is definitely not a book to be missed.
I have heard mumblings that this book is "graphic" but I ask myself as I type this, "Is this book anymore graphic than what you endured @ the hands of your uncle @ the tender age of 9?" My answer... No!
I believe Hopkins deserves kudos for shattering the glass ceiling w/ her groundbreaking prose, ripped from the headlines storylines & richly poured lyrical exposition.
Identical needs to be on every library shelf in the universe, given as gifts to young girls & parents across the globe.
While imitator's dip their toes, literary doyenne Hopkins plunges right in!
Grab a copy of Hopkins' Identical.
Check out Ellen's website.