Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Review: Burned

Burned (Burned #1) by Ellen Hopkins
Publication Date: April 1, 2006
Genre: YA Contemporary
Pages: 531



It all started with a dream. Nothing exceptional, just a typical fantasy about a boy, the kind of dream that most teen girls experience. But Pattyn Von Stratten is not like most teen girls. Raised in a religious -- yet abusive -- family, a simple dream may not be exactly a sin, but it could be the first step toward hell and eternal damnation.
This dream is a first step for Pattyn. But is it to hell or to a better life? For the first time Pattyn starts asking questions. Questions seemingly without answers -- about God, a woman's role, sex, love -- mostly love. What is it? Where is it? Will she ever experience it? Is she deserving of it? 
It's with a real boy that Pattyn gets into real trouble. After Pattyn's father catches her in a compromising position, events spiral out of control until Pattyn ends up suspended from school and sent to live with an aunt she doesn't know.
Pattyn is supposed to find salvation and redemption during her exile to the wilds of rural Nevada. Yet what she finds instead is love and acceptance. And for the first time she feels worthy of both -- until she realizes her old demons will not let her go. Pattyn begins down a path that will lead her to a hell -- a hell that may not be the one she learned about in sacrament meetings, but it is hell all the same.
In this riveting and masterful novel told in verse, Ellen Hopkins takes readers on an emotional roller-coaster ride. From the highs of true love to the lows of abuse, Pattyn's story will have readers engrossed until the very last word.
This is the fourth book of Hopkins's that I have read. I loved Crank and Glass, and liked Impulse. And I will put Burned in the 'loved' column.
The plot was great. It was believable. It was heartbreaking and beautiful in all the right ways. The only thing I disliked was the ending. It felt abrupt and somewhat out of place. Though, I am curious to see where it will go in the next book, Smoke.
Pattyn was a flawed, but great character. Her strengths and weakness just made her more relatable. Ethan was a good character and love interest to Pattyn. Aunt J was an enjoyable support character. And her dad was the perfect villain. I do wish her mother was a little more developed.
All in all, I loved the book. The writing was just like Hopkins's other books, so if you didn't enjoy her other books you will probably not like this one. But if you did enjoy her other books, I'm pretty sure you will like, and possibly love, Burned.


  1. I absolutely love this book I read it about four years ago and have yet to read smoke but it is a MUST have for me! Ellen Hopkins is a great writer. Love the rawness she always puts through.

  2. @Shayna- I agree. Ellen is slowly becoming a favorite author of mine.

  3. This series has been around for so long already, with hundreds of amazing reviews and ratings, and I still haven't gotten the chance to pick them up! Ugh, I'm lame!

    Become Blogger of the Week!