Leslie's Reviews > Identical

Identical by Ellen Hopkins
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's review
Jan 07, 2009

it was ok
Read in January, 2009

This book is well-written and cleverly executed in free verse that sometimes forms shapes for emphasis. I couldn't help feeling manipulated by the way the intense, emotional content was dealt out. It was almost too much. Do teens ever really have ALL theses addictions at once? It's almost as if the author went though a list of teen problems and used up most of the list in this book. It was a compelling read, but it left me feeling icky at the end and all I can see now are the flaws.

It got a starred review from Publisher's Weekly and a lot of people liked it. Maybe I can't distance myself enough from the subject matter to see the strengths of the book clearly. I might feel differently in a week or two.
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Autumn Witter I agree with your post in the fact that the book "was almost too much." I love Ellen Hopkins books, and this one was great. However, it contained a lot of societal issues that at times could be too much for the reader. She talked about student-teacher relationships, marijuana, drugs, parental incest, etc. and it was very overwhelming. In the beginning we were introduced to the idea that Kaeleigh and her father had sexual relations. I remember reading about it and cringing at the mere thought.

"I love you, little girl.
Put away your bad dreams.
Daddy's here"

I put them away, Until Daddy became my nightmare that one that came home.

But, her word choice and layout were so powerful that it could give me those emotions. That simple fact is what makes this book so great. It was enjoyable at times, but overall it was not an enjoyable read. However, that only adds to the value of the writing. I feel that if Ellen Hopkins can make her readers cry and cringe, she is doing her job.

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