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The You I've Never Known

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  5,669 ratings  ·  774 reviews
How do you live your life if your past is based on a lie? A new novel in both verse and prose from #1 New York Times bestselling author, Ellen Hopkins.

For as long as she can remember, it’s been just Ariel and Dad. Ariel’s mom disappeared when she was a baby. Dad says home is wherever the two of them are, but Ariel is now seventeen and after years of new apartments, new sch
Hardcover, 608 pages
Published January 24th 2017 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
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Melancholy Yes! I suppose the title changed along the way. An end of an era. (I kinda miss the one word titles and simple covers.)

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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  5,669 ratings  ·  774 reviews

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Christine Riccio
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great characters, moving story, beautiful writing, really enjoyed it. ...more
Elle (ellexamines)
DNF at page 306 and I almost feel bad because this book had some good elements, but on the other hand, I feel like lighting this book on fire.

do you know how much i regret every life choice i've made? a lot

So here's a story about me and Ellen Hopkins. The first Hopkins work I ever read was the Tricks duology, which I absolutely loved. It was a harsh read, but seeing the characters work through these situations was emotiona
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I love Ellen Hopkins and her books but this one was just okay to me. It's still written in her beautiful verse that I love but I felt like it was too long. <---Yes, her books are long but there were things I didn't really care to read about and it went on and on before things started to fall into place.

I did love most of the characters and I felt so bad for Ariel, the way her dad treated her. I mean here she is at seventeen still begging him to let her get her driver's license and he doesn't wa
Star Rating: 2.5? 3?

Ehh.... Not my favorite Ellen Hopkins novel.

Ariel is one of the worst protagonists. Ever. She is just soo dumb and absurdly selfish. (view spoiler)

I've always liked Ellen Hopkin's books because the stories and
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it

*Disclaimer: I was provided with an ARC of The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins through Simon and Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my opinion or rating in any way.


Ellen Hopkins has been at the top of my favourite authors list probably since about the time I was in grade 9. Which would be about 12 years ago now…okay, before I go through an existential crisis, you should know that I was beyond excited when I found out that Ellen Hopkins had a new nov
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2017
Originally, I was enjoying this. However, it started to drag on and feel like nothing was really happening. I found myself skipping parts because it was really adding to the story line. Everything became so predictable that it wasn't enjoyable. Yes, there were a couple twists, but most of the supposed plot twists were very easy to spot from miles away. ...more
Feb 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
I've been reading Hopkins since I discovered CRANK back in middle school years ago. I loved the way she could pack powerful, raw punches to your gut while writing so beautifully. I became fond of her signature gritty ways & found myself always looking forward to the release of her newest addition. Unfortunately, this wasn't her best work.

It's clear that this one is personal- she says so in the author's note (which is why I feel guilty giving such a low rating but it really doesn't compare to he
Book Riot Community
Using both verse and prose, Hopkins yells the story of Ariel, a seventeen-year-old ready to start a life on her own, and Maya, a pregnant teen running from an abusive mother. Ariel and Maya’s lives collide when Ariel’s estranged mother shows up, claiming Ariel was kidnapped by her father when she was a toddler. Hopkins delivers an intense story of two girls in search of truth and redemption while seeking to create their own lives.

Backlist bump: Ask Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermann

Tune i
Amber J
Sep 11, 2021 rated it liked it
This book was crazy and sad and the BIG plot twist was, for me at least, predictable. Apparently, this is based on an actual experience from the author. How horrible. As a mother, I can't imagine many things worse than this.
Then you have the MC. Even before the big reveal, her life is such a mess. I feel so sorry for her. So confused and torn and having no idea which way to go. I like her honesty policy though. We should all strive for that.

How I choose my rating:
1* Didn't like it at all. Thes
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ellen Hopkins is truly an amazing author, she knows how to write a story that is captivating, emotional, and matters. I love the styles of her writing a poem like lay out. This story, I do not want to go into details it will give the story away. This is something that happens everyday and every year that one would never think could happen to you. The sad part is it happened to her she leaves a little note at the end of the book that this story is made up, but has a lot of truth. I could not put ...more
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was a pleasant surprise! Having never read a book by Ellen Hopkins before, I wasn't sure what to expect going into it. I've heard so much about how she writes stories that shock people and that deal with pretty controversial issues. I've also never read a book made up mostly of verse, so that was also a unique experience. Overall, I found myself being completely sucked into the story. Ariel Pearson is a girl who struggles with her sexuality. She's not entirely sure whether she straight ...more
Quick review for a quick read. As per usual, Ellen Hopkins' works tend to feel like I've ran a sheer emotional gauntlet. The experience leaves me winded in the aftermath (in a good way). How does someone describe the whirlwind that is this novel? It's hard not to be drawn into it because you get so connected to the emotional journeys of the character within, how complex and complicated they are, and even hoping that - in the end - things turn out the best . I'll admit I saw the twists in the rel ...more
Nicole aka FromReading2Dreaming
After reading the Crank series by Ellen Hopkins, and absolutely loving that series, I have to say I was VERY disappointed in this book.

This book follows Maya and Ariel, two very different girls, living two somewhat similar lives. And true to Hopkin's style, they are connected in someway.

Maya is a girl trying to escape her abusive mother, who is a devoted Scientologist, and you want to know how she escapes? By meeting a solider that is quite older than her, and, unexpectedly, getting pregnant i
The Dream I fight my way out of is tinted green. Not dark like evergreen but more the hue of summer leaves."

Overall Thoughts
Let me start by saying I am a huge Ellen Hopkins fan. I've read every single one of her other books and freaking loved them. So when I heard about this one coming out I was so excited to get my hands on it cause it's been awhile since one her books has been new to me. This book held the same rawness and beauty that all of Ellen Hopkins others book have but for me person
Elle (ellexamines)
Mar 23, 2017 marked it as zzzzz-coverporn-etc  ·  review of another edition
Wait this is the same premise as The You I've Never Known. I'm pretty sure they're the same terrible book someone merge them ...more
Hussein Baher
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it

"Family is a recipe for heartbreak"

Ugh, this was SO GOOD.

Despite the fact it was completely predictable, it didn't at all ruin the great experience I had with this.

The majority of the book is told in verses, which a lot of people thought it ruined the experience. I, at the contrary thought it amplified it. The writing was really good.

Both heartbreaking and heartwarming a story about self discovery, sexuality revelation and experimentation, motherhood, betrayal, family.... And so much more
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

This is probably my new favorite book written by Ellen Hopkins. It touched on so many different subjects and the relationships of the characters, the family dynamics, the letters, etc. were all so real and raw. I really liked how the majority of this book was written in verse but there were letters and some things at the end that were written in prose. I absolutely loved this book and was so surprised finding out that Ellen Hopkins was inspired to write this book from her
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ellen Hopkins is fucking phenomenal. That is all.
Mar 13, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 16, 2018 marked it as abgebrochen  ·  review of another edition
Dnf at 6%
Normally I rate a book I don't finish with one star, because for whatever reasons, it wasn't good enough to keep my interest, but I won't even do it with this one. It's not bad, it's just written in a poemlike style and I'm not in the mood for that right now
Stephanie (Reading is Better With Cupcakes)
The You I've Never Known is probably my favorite Ellen Hopkins book that I have read so far. I really think that she knocked this one out of the park.

The You I've Never Known is mostly told from Ariel's perspective. She is a 17 year old girl who has lived pretty much her entire life moving from one place to another with her dad. At times he would find a lady friend to live with for a short amount of time and other times they would just live out of the car. Ariel's mother abandoned her and her fa
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Not one person
on this planet cares about you.

No one but Daddy, who loves you
more than anything in the whole wide
world, and would lay down his life
for you. You remember that, hear me?

I heard those words too often
in any number of combinations
Almost always they came floating
in a fog of alcohol and tobacco.

Arielle has only ever known her dad from an early age. Dependable yet temperamental, he’s taken care of her for years on his own. Bounced from house to house and diffe
Julia Sapphire
Mar 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, verse
3.25 out of 5 stars

Another Hopkins book has shocked me yet again. In this novel we follow Ariel, who lives with her father as her mother had run off when she was a child. We also follow Maya who gets pregnant as a teen and undergoes many challenges and obstacles along the way. This book is written in verse as well as just a normal book as the point of views switch.

The story took awhile to kick off. Its slower paced but picked up around page 150 or so. This book is diverse in many aspects as
Jennifer Leigh
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The You I’ve Never Known is about Ariel and Maya both struggling in their lives. Ariel is always moving. Maya has gotten herself pregnant to get away from her mother. As these girl’s lives tangle they find themselves united.
This book was hard to put down, as every new page was a different development. The perspective is raw and emotional and it reflects in the writing. Ellen Hopkins has done it again, with yet another lovely verse book.
To see my full review
Mar 12, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is written largely in verse. It tells the story of Ariel who lives with her father. He is former military and largely an alcoholic as we see the two traverse the country for reasons that are unknown to us.

In interspersed chapters we hear from Maya. A young girl whose mother is into scientology and ignores what is happening in Maya's life. As such, Maya meets a young man and gets pregnant in order to get out of her mother's grip.

I like that Ariel's voice is in verse. The author experi
Gretchen Gomez
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, 2017, poetry-verse
full non spoiler review here:


Told by two different characters, Ariel and Maya. All Ariel knows is moving around the USA with her dad, she doesn’t know stability and staying in one place. She doesn’t know friendships, education, or a household. According to her dad, home is wherever the both of them are since Ariel’s mom abandoned them when she was little. However, for once in Ariel’s life, her and her dad (Mark) have stayed in Sonora, Californ
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book.
Aug 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
I really, really didn´t enjoy this book. First of all, it's mostly written in verse which almost never works for me.

Also: If you read the synopsis you already know most of what is happening in this book. (view spoiler)

The biggest problems I had with the book are Ariel as a protagonist, the pacin
Feb 05, 2017 rated it liked it
"I think most
people are chameleons,
hiding pain and anger
beneath a mask of civility."

WARNING: If you want to read this book DON'T READ THE SYNOPSIS. It spoils everything.
If you want to know something about this book, it's about a girl named Ariel, who lived her entire life with her dad, moving all across the country, and about a girl named Maya, who lives with her overbearing mother. That's it, now, moving on...

I did like this book, but it felt to long. Granted, it's over 600 pages, and told
Liza Wiemer
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Blog tour and giveaway going on right now: Please go to

The You I've Never Known is filled with emotional punches, and it's impossible not to be deeply effected by them in the best way. This story is brilliantly woven into a slow revelation of personal as well as sexual identity. Themes of friendship, love, loyalty, teen pregnancy, and family are key elements. Who am I? Who loves me? What does it mean to be loved? What IS love?

Abuse also comes into play, e
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Ellen Hopkins is the New York Times bestselling author of Crank, Burned, Impulse, Glass, Identical, Tricks, Fallout, Perfect, Triangles, Tilt, and Collateral. She lives in Carson City, Nevada, with her husband and son. Hopkin's Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest pages get thousands of hits from teens who claim Hopkins is the "only one who understands me", and she can be visited at ellenhopkin ...more

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