Series: Burned #1
Author: Ellen Hopkins
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
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.
Since this book is told in verse it is a very fast paced book. That combined with the plot which makes you demand to know what happens next, the pages just fly through your hand. When reading it you just need to know how it ends, does Paytan get a happy ever after? Does she get free from her horrible parents or does something completely horrible happen? Knowing what will happen to the MC in the end was the driving force of me reading this.
So, one of the problems I had with this book was, while the book flew through my hands, it flew a little fast for me. The pace was just so fast that you would go from scene to scene, page to page without really soaking up the character development that was happening. And since one of the book's main focus was the MC changing and learning about life, that really took away from the book for me. This also led to me feeling disconnected to the MC. I felt for her, with her horrible life who couldn't feel for her. I just didn't feel connected to her and thought of this more as an example of families like this one that are out in the world instead of her and her family actually being real, if that makes much sense. And while I wanted to know what happens to Paytan, I felt that more out of curiosity then a true urge.
This also led to the emotions that the ending caused me to feel to not stay with me. Usually when there is a very emotional ending or scene in a book and I feel connected to the book, I feel those emotions for a day or so after reading it; it sticks with me and makes me feel that emotional whiplash that comes from feeling to many intense emotions. This time, however, I felt those emotions but when I put the book down I calmed almost immediately and since than I've thought of the ending but not with any really intense emotions. This also really took away from the story.
This review is getting to be a really negative review even though I really enjoyed reading this one. The story kept my attention and I really liked reading about Paytton. It's just that the two aspects I already talked about took away from the story to much. Even with those aspects I really do want to try another one of her books, because I feel that the effect the writing style had on me could have happened juts because it was my first book I read in verse. So I am hopping the next book I read by her, I won't feel that her writing style took away from the story.
This book got...
Basic, nothing special.