Young Adult Book Reading Challenges discussion

This topic is about Identical
Identical Discussions > Family Problems... Overkill?

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Ashley (readerandwriter) Did anyone think that the amount of problems the family had was unrealistic? Maybe somewhat overkill?

I did. There were a lot of issues this family had... sexual abuse, parental neglect, drug/alcohol abuse, being sexually active, etc. Very unrealistic.

message 2: by Noelle (last edited Sep 02, 2009 02:29PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Noelle (missnoellerenee) | 40 comments I thought the book should have been a series, the characters were developed to fast.

message 3: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - rated it 3 stars

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
I just wish I would get my copy of the book! Probably won't get it until the middle of the month!

Diane (dianes) I'm waiting for my copy of the book too- my library doesn't have a lot of copies and they're all out. I hope people read fast so I can get it soon!

message 5: by Danielle (last edited Sep 02, 2009 04:43PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Danielle | 5 comments I do think it is unrealistic. Thinking about it from a psychological point of view one issue snow balls into the other.Sexual abuse from the father results from the mother neglecting both the children and him as well as his alcoholism and past experiences. Not having parental guidance and being abused can lead to sexual activity and drug use. All of these issues are correlated from a psychological standpoint.

message 6: by Anna (new) - added it

Anna I agree that the dysfunctionality (sex abuse leading to her substance issues and promiscuity) seems realistic. The mom neglecting her (despite him killing the other sister and continued alcoholism) for her own ambitions seemed unrealistic. Also it seems like he would have had to have random drug screens after the accident, but he continued drinking. Do you think the mom would have stayed with him? Do you think she knew about the molestation?

Danielle | 5 comments Anna wrote: "I agree that the dysfunctionality (sex abuse leading to her substance issues and promiscuity) seems realistic. The mom neglecting her (despite him killing the other sister and continued alcoholism)..."

Honestly we can't say what is realistic and unrealistic. I hear about things people do everyday that I cannot believe are true. I believe that it is possible for her to have become indifferent to the entire family and stick with it for the sake of her campaign. He was also a well known judge so things were probably swept under the rug. I believe the author eluded to that somewhere within the novel.

message 8: by Anna (new) - added it

Anna I do think money can lead to plea bargains and avoidance of accountability. For me I had a hard time with the book--not the writing style, but the parents. It is probably because I witness it on a daily basis (not the abuse, but parenting via text message).

Noelle (missnoellerenee) | 40 comments My friend was raped 3 years ago, and because of that this book was dificult for me to read. I automatically had problems viewing toe situation. My friend read the first molestation of the book and immediatly had to put it down because of her tears and mixed emotions.

In my opinion the summary does not say it all. Books should be rated just like movies for content. I am 14 yet when I read this I felt someone else my age it might not be appropriate for. In my opinion a rating scale could help students and some adults on reading novels and suggesting them.

I read the adult novel Escape by. Carolyn Jessop and the novel was true. It was about polygamist relationships and first hand background info. I am saying this because Identical was so much more descriptive and it was not real. So my question after reading is, Why do we read such Sexually graphic novel, with abuse? Are some authors bringing awareness or following their own sick Fantasy? I am not saying Ellen Hopkins has a sick mind or anything of that statue in fact I believe she is a great author, but I am asking, Why do we read these books?

Emily | 2 comments This book was hard to read, but it was very well written. The series of bad situations was definitely overwhelming, but also seemed realistic to me. I guess I trust this author (having read Crank and Glass) and don't think she was out to write an exploitative story. I think that Kaleigh's life is probably similar to a lot of real teens' lives, sadly. I can understand why people may have issues with this book and why it may be uncomfortable to read. I think there are probably many other people, however, that will relate to Kaleigh's story and feel a little less alone.

message 11: by Ellen (new)

Ellen Hopkins (ellenhopkins) | 9 comments Chiming in. I chose the subject matter because the issue touched the lives of three friends. One, whose father was a district court judge. A judge would not have to undergo random screenings. BTW, a family court judge where I live is an alcoholic, who had a DUI yet continued on the bench with no repercussions. To think it wouldn't happen is idealistic. The mother wasn't cold because of her own ambitions, either. She was "running" away from the reality of her life. I might ask you all to go back and reread.

On the DID, BTW, a reader recently wrote me that IDENTICAL is her life, including the DID. I research heavily, and there are threads of real situations/people in almost every character I write.
Hope I don't sound defensive, but much about IDENTICAL is VERY real.

message 12: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) Hi Ellen, You might want to ask Goodreads for some help. You post here shows an empty photo but when clicked on your author profile page does show. Somehow, your profile(s) did not get fully merged. It's peculiar.

By the way, I'm reading Identical now and I'm really enjoying it.

message 13: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (last edited Sep 05, 2009 08:20PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
Thanks so much for joining in the discussions Ms. Hopkins. We are so glad that you are here to help the members enjoy your book and understand it. It is a wonderful experience for readers to be able to communicate straight to the author! And yes everyone this is the real Ms. Hopkins, I checked her out (by bugging her... sorry!) to make sure that she is who she is. So please welcome her here! Also, please don't hold back what you think about the book just because the author is present. I want everyone to say how they feel and not hold anything back good or bad!

message 14: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - rated it 3 stars

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
I can see why people would have a hard time with all the issues in the book. When I got to the end of the book I was thinking geeze... eating disorders, drugs, alcohol, sex addiction, parent abandonment, sexual abuse, mental illness and all the other issues. But I think it seems unrealistic to me because I haven't been through it and can't imagine someone going through this. But then again I know about mental illness and no how it can spiral from one thing to another. For example people with anxiety can have depression at the same time. It is a terrible life for Kaleigh.

Meghan I think when you read in the newspaper about how a man can kidknap a 10-year-old, hold her hostage in his backyard for 18 years, repeatedly raping her and forcing her to bear two of his children (one when the captive is only 14 years old--and gave birth to said children in his home) and not one neighbor noticed in 18 years, this story is very realistic. Like it or not, human beings are very capable of doing very awful things and the rest of us are very capable of turning a blind eye to it.

I also think it's very important to have characters such as Kaleigh for people in similar situations to identify with. If this story can reach a child in a similar situation and help them choose to speak out, then it's done more than most books.

message 16: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - rated it 3 stars

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
Good example!

message 17: by Kate (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kate (kathrynlouwca) | 3 comments When I was thirteen I was raped (not by my father) and that caused my to form my own addiction. Not to drugs... to something else. Sinking into that sort of thing is very possible. It is a hard thing to pull out of. It has been 8 years since it happened to me, but it still haunts me, and i still suffer from my addiction.

The last thing my rapist said to me (and it was a guy friend I had been close to up until then) was "you're beautiful, don't you ever let anyone tell you otherwise." And from then on I cursed everything about how I looked. I gained weight and wore baggy clothes because I thought if I could alter how I looked, maybe it would never happen again. Maybe I could have stopped it.

I still wake up with nightmares thinking he has found me and has come to do it again. Or I dream about being married and he comes and rapes my children. I know that this is something that will haunt me the rest of my life and just reading about it makes me feel not so alone. Because as much as my family and friends can say they understand, they never really will be able to understand what happened. They will never be able to understand the fact that I have to force myself to trust everyone around me and convince myself that my mother or my father or my eight year old sister aren't trying to stab me in the back.

Also, statistics show that when a couple loses a child they are more likely to get a divorce. I think that the mother becoming distant is very realistic. It is especially realistic when you consider the fact that they were identical twins. The evidence of what happened is even more in your face.

I find it hard to say I enjoy this book, because it riped at my soul, but I did enjoy it in a sad sort of way.

message 18: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - rated it 3 stars

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
Thank you so much for sharing this Kathryn. I really hope that the young adults in this group stop by this thread and read your entry.

Meghan Kathryn - Thank you for sharing your story. I admire your courage. Not just for sharing it with all of us, who are basically strangers, but for facing each day and not giving up.

message 20: by Lydia (new)

Lydia I agree. I thought it was overkill
At first it was heart wrenching to read but after a while i just got numb to it and didn't care.
Totally unrealistic

Daniela I don't think it was unrealistic. It may be uncommon for one person to undergo all of these tragedies, but not unrealistic. It is very possible for someone to deal with all of these issues, especially because many of them are related. In other words they are caused by each other. It was kind of heavy to read but I could not put it down. Also, Kathryn, thank you for sharing with us.

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