Posted October 31st, 2013 by in *Review / 0 comments

smokeTitle: Smoke
Author: Ellen Hopkins
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Publication Date: Sept 2013
Classification: YA Novel

Summary from Goodreads:

Pattyn Von Stratten’s father is dead, and Pattyn is on the run. After far too many years of abuse at the hands of her father, and after the tragic loss of her beloved Ethan and their unborn child, Pattyn is desperate for peace. Only her sister Jackie knows what happened that night, but she is stuck at home with their mother, who clings to normalcy by allowing the truth to be covered up by their domineering community leaders. Her father might be finally gone, but without Pattyn, Jackie is desperately isolated. Alone and in disguise, Pattyn starts a new life, but is it even possible to rebuild a life when everything you’ve known has burned to ash and lies seem far safer than the truth?

My Thoughts:

When I finished Burned I really had some issues with the ending of the book. The ending was left very open and I wasn’t really ok with that. Plus Burned had been out for some time and there was no mention of a sequel so I figured it just ended with a very loose ending. I was so happy when I heard that there was going to be a sequel. I simply needed to know what happens after the tragedy.

This book starts off right were the last book left off and we get to see exactly what happens after Pattyn kills her father. What I really did like about this book was that the reader gets to see both sides of it since the book is told by Pattyn and Jackie. I have to say while Pattyn was the focus of the first book I felt I connected more with Jackie most of this book. Jackie was trying to pick up the pieces of her life after being raped and watching her father die. It is a sad thing that both of these girls spent their life living in fear of a father who could never bring himself to show them love. Since both of the girls lacked this strong emotion and connection I felt they went looking for it in places that were wrong in the first book. You can’t want love so desperately that you will do anything to get it. You have to be both emotional but also smart about love otherwise it will turn out it was only lust and not worth your time.

I really enjoyed watching both girls have to learn to live with the choices they made in the first book. Both Pattyn and Jackie have a lot of issues to deal with from death of a loved one, the death of an unborn child, the death of a father who it really is a disgrace to call dad, to the rape of a young girl who didn’t deserve what she got. There were so many times the pair of them struggled through their nightmares and tried to reason with themselves at night to make the demons go away. Sure at times the story was a little over dramatic and it was a little slow in a few areas but it did have power. I was racing through the last 100 pages of this book because I needed these two girls to find their freedom, to not hide in secret anymore and to show their true colors. While both girls made some bad choices in both books I will say they did surprise me and they did learn some important life lessons in this book.

Overall, now I’m happy with where the story ended and I can say I enjoyed this book. I am not religious though and there is a lot of that in this series so that did turn me off at times. I just don’t personally believe in any religion so I don’t really like a lot of religion in my books so that is where I sometimes struggled with this series. I am interested in reading more of Hopkins stories though, if there are some that are not so religion based.




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