Sunday, December 8, 2013

Smoke by Ellen Hopkins

Smoke (Burned, #2)

Goodreads Summary:

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?


After Burned, I was crushed. I honestly didn't see any other possibility besides suicide. It was depressing to think that Patty's father would ruin her life like that. And get away with it.
So when I read Ellen Hopkins saying that she never intended suicide to be the answer. And that a sequel was coming out. OH MY GOD.
I was excited. It took me a while to finally get my hands on it, but holy cow. This book is amazing.
Patty definitely deserved some closure after the last book. And I think this was the perfect way to do. Especially with the alternating POV of Patty and Jackie. That was pretty great.
I liked the reference to Ethan and their unborn baby. Were they heartbreaking? Of course.

It was so heartbreaking to see how much Patty had changed since Ethan's death. For a while, it almost seemed like she had no personality because she was so shocked over her father's death and trying to run away. But she eventually emerged again and HOLY crap, does she have a lot to go through.
And she's not the only one.
I don't remember Jackie too much from the first book, but she played a major role in this one. I really liked getting to know her and seeing how their parents messed up their lives. I wish that was an overstatement, but I'd say their parents did more bad than good by them. Seeing a sister other than Patty deal with that was interesting. I only wish I could get a couple more glimpses from the other girls. (Jeez, there are so many of them.)
There were also a couple more characters introduced. A major one being Angel, who really was an angel for all intents and purposes. I fell for him right away. Patty did not. But that's understandable. I wish it was *slightly* more clear about that issue, but there were a few implications at the end that I'm taking as facts.
Other than that, we get a few glimpses of their mother. Aunt J shows up a couple times. And Douglas makes a cameo. He's the gay son from Patty's father's first marriage.
How's that for a complicated sentence?

Basically the story follows Patty's life after losing Ethan and their baby. Everyone's convinced that she killed her father. She runs away so she won't end up in prison. Her goal is the ocean, but she ends up in Northern California and meets a girl who's name slips my mind and her brother, Angel.
All the while, she's working as a nanny/maid of sorts for a family that owns a lot of farmland. The oldest daughter brings about a mini plot that has some unexpected twists and turns.
And the ending was much more satisfying than last time, in my opinion. It was nice to see Patty work her way through all her emotions and memories and reach a state of - not happiness. But I feel like that's where she's going.
If you think that ending makes this book soft, you do not know Ellen Hopkins very well at all.
There was an underlying mystery as to the death of Patty's father. Honestly, I was so eager to find out how that played out. And I must say I did not see it coming.
From the time Angel was introduced, I loved him. I saw a whole lot of potential. I did not see that ending, which devastated me.
But still, there is hope.
I am such a huge fan of Ellen Hopkins. I love her REAL themes. Her clear warnings. Be it stay away from drugs or report abuse NOW.
These two books, Burned and Smoke, are excellent. I cannot recommend them more. They are for anybody and everybody. And apparently some people are afraid because her books look like poetry. It's really not. It goes by fast, emphasizes certain points (sometimes hidden, so you have to look), and it's truly beautiful.


Rating: 4.5 stars

Why: I'm trying to convince myself everything will happen the way I want it to aka the way it was implied by the ending. It really is a beautifully written book, though. Great way to finish Pattyn's story.

Recommendation: contemporary readers, those who don't mind verse, and those who do mind the verse because honestly it's just like reading a regular book and at some point you don't even notice anymore

Favorite Quotes:
Too many. I'll update this when I buy my own copy because I borrowed this one from the library and I already returned it.

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  1. I haven't heard of this series before! It sounds pretty cool. :) I love it when books that NEED sequels actually get them...otherwise it's SO frustrating. Gaaah, massive book-hangovers, right?

    1. There's a lot of spoilers in here for the first book so if you happen to read it, please forget everything I said here aha(:
      But yeah, that's why I was so excited to read this. The last book was so open-ended! I wasn't sure if I should assume the worst or not D:
      Thanks so much for stopping by :D

  2. Ellen Hopkins's book have been around for a while now, and almost everyone I know is reading them. I've heard numerous AMAZING things about them, but still haven't picked them up. I hope to next summer, because they just seem like quick reads that are just more convenient in the summer time. Thank you for your review, loved it!


    1. She has quite a few out now. They look incredibly long, but they go by quickly, which is why I love them so much. I hope you enjoy them. Thanks for stopping by (:


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