AUTHOR: Ellen Hopkins
PUBLISHER: Margaret K. McElderry PAGES: 565
SERIES/STAND ALONE: Stand Alone I think
Kaeleigh and Raeanne are 16-year-old identical twins, the daughters of a district court judge father and politician mother running for Congress. Everything on the surface of their lives seems Norman Rockwell perfect, but underneath run deep and damaging secrets. Kaeleigh is the good girl-her father's perfect flower, something she has tried so hard to be since she was nine and he started sexually abusing her. She cuts herself and vomits after every binge, desperate to feel something normal. Raeanne uses painkillers, drugs, alcohol, and sex to numb the pain of not being Daddy's favorite. Both girls must figure out how to become whole, but how can they when their world has been torn to shreds?
This was my first go at reading an Ellen Hopkins Versus Book, and let me just say wow. It was amazing. Now that I've finally been able to read a few different versus books from other authors. I can definitely say that hers (and Lisa Schroeder) are by far my favorite. I can not tell you how many times I had to set this book down. Not because it was bad, but because I had to stop and think about it. Let it sink in. Let myself feel (or try) to feel what these girls must have been going through. I wanted to jump in the book and save them. How many awful, hurtful things can a girl take before it's just to much. Before that voice says just give up.
I've never experienced anything like they have personally, but I do know of someone who has had that kind of abuse. Although, she never sat down and talked to me about it. It's really kind of an odd situation I guess what with these people being related to me. Anyways, I wanted to cry for Kaeleigh. I wanted to be able to tell her that she has to take control of her own life. Ian the way that boy stuck by her through everything it was amazing. I have to say the ending caught me off guard I wouldn't have thought it was the case. What's great about this book is it deals with a lot of different issues not just one. Cutting, abuse (both physically and mentally), sex, drugs, eating problems. It had it all and it wove it all nicely together (if that's even possible). I have to say this though it's definitely not for a younger audience.
It is one of those books that I think people should read though when the time is right.
Ashley @ Bookaholics Anonymous