The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins



Publication Date: January 24th 2017

Goodreads Synopsis

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?

My Rating: ⭐⭐

To be honest it’s a miracle I even finished this and I am exceptionally happy that I spent no money whatsoever on this. This was on Riveted for free and my plan was to ride it out until that expired but somehow I pushed through the last 60%.

This follows Ariel who’s spent her whole life on the road with her dad but finally they seem to have settled down. This also follows Maya who falls in love with a soldier and get’s pregnant.

The You I’ve Never Known addresses some pretty serious topics: Abusive & controlling relationships, sexual identity, kidnapping. These are all super interesting topics except … this book is so boring.

I didn’t connect with Ariel and the writing style was stupid! It’s lyrical or something, I don’t know it’s not like anything I’ve read before but it didn’t add anything to the story.

It was as if the author wrote out the book and then just randomly hit the enter button. Also it made the dialogue, which to be honest was cheesy and did not sound like it was coming from teenagers, very confusing.

I did enjoy Maya’s story though, her parts weren’t written in this weird way and she was easier to connect too.

This was going to be a one star because it was just painful to push myself through but then there was a twist, a pretty obvious twist to be honest and I realised it straight away, but in the last .. 40% or so I did find myself not begging for mercy.

2 thoughts on “The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins”

  1. Ellen Hopkins has written a ton of books but I’ve never read any of them. I generally don’t read poetry or novels in verse, but I’ve been somewhat interested in reading one of her books for a long time. I’m sorry you didn’t get much out of this book; the premise sounds intriguing but that doesn’t redeem it if it was executed badly. Have you read any of Ellen Hopkins’ other books? 🙂


    1. It was really annoying when my brain just would not cooperate with the writing style. It was like the writing equivalent to nails on a chalkboard, if that makes sense. I haven’t checked out any other of her books, I think her books just aren’t for me 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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