February 20, 2017

Review: The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins

Review:  The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins

How do you live your life if your past is based on a lie? A new novel in both verse and prose from #1 New York Times bestselling author, Ellen Hopkins.

For as long as she can remember, it’s been just Ariel and Dad. Ariel’s mom disappeared when she was a baby. Dad says home is wherever the two of them are, but Ariel is now seventeen and after years of new apartments, new schools, and new faces, all she wants is to put down some roots. Complicating things are Monica and Gabe, both of whom have stirred a different kind of desire.

Maya’s a teenager who’s run from an abusive mother right into the arms of an older man she thinks she can trust. But now she’s isolated with a baby on the way, and life’s getting more complicated than Maya ever could have imagined.

Ariel and Maya’s lives collide unexpectedly when Ariel’s mother shows up out of the blue with wild accusations: Ariel wasn’t abandoned. Her father kidnapped her fourteen years ago.

What is Ariel supposed to believe? Is it possible Dad’s woven her entire history into a tapestry of lies? How can she choose between the mother she’s been taught to mistrust and the father who has taken care of her all these years?

In bestselling author Ellen Hopkins’s deft hands, Ariel’s emotionally charged journey to find out the truth of who she really is balances beautifully with Maya’s story of loss and redemption. This is a memorable portrait of two young women trying to make sense of their lives and coming face to face with themselves—for both the last and the very first time.

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The You I've Never Known by Ellen Hopkins
Published by: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers  on January 24, 2017


This title was provided to us by the Publisher/Author. We were in no way compensated for our review(s).


I couldn’t find a trailer, so here’s a song!

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I’m struggling with putting my thoughts into words. Did I enjoy The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins? I sure did. The way in which the different point of views for Ari and Maya were written were interesting to me (verse vs. prose). You can definitely hear the difference in voice for these two characters. You can also feel their desperation for freedom in their voice. I think that’s one of the reasons I couldn’t put this one down. I had to find out if these two would, in fact, find a way to flee their suffocating lives.

I think what I didn’t like most about the book was the end. There were so many questions that I had that were left unanswered. It felt like there was a complete chapter missing… Or perhaps even an epilogue that could have followed? I don’t know. It just felt incomplete to me, and it didn’t sit well. Another thing that didn’t sit well with me was the way in which Ari would “speak” at times. At certain points in the story, she sounded like a believable teenager, and then near the end, she started using “bigger” words that didn’t match how she was in the beginning.

It’s a little difficult to give you a run down of what happens but I will say this. With a twist of fate, the lives of Ari and Maya cross paths, but in a way that may shock you (although I did figure out the “twist” midway through the book). I would say The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins is a story of two young girls struggling with their sexuality and having to live in fear of the ones that are supposed to love them the most.

I will give author Ellen Hopkins some props. She does an amazing job in creating a character(s) that I absolutely detested and wished so many bad things to happen to them.

For those who are into “coming of age” reads, definitely check out The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins. I think you too will come to appreciate the writing style and will get drawn in by the struggles of both Ari and Maya.

About Ellen Hopkins

Ellen Hopkins is the New York Times bestselling author of Crank, Burned, Impulse, Glass, Identical, Tricks, Fallout, Perfect, Triangles, Tilt, and Collateral. She lives in Carson City, Nevada, with her husband and son. Hopkin's Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest pages get thousands of hits from teens who claim Hopkins is the "only one who understands me", and she can be visited at


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1 Comment

  1. Ethan

    You have to give props to an author who can make you interested in characters who are inherently unlikable. This sounds like a really interesting read!
    Ethan recently posted..The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert GalbraithMy Profile


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