Book Review – Identical by Ellen Hopkins

Posted January 17, 2012 by Bonnie in Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA / 0 Comments

Book Review – Identical by Ellen HopkinsIdentical on August 26th 2008
Pages: 576
Format: Hardcover


Do twins begin in the womb?
Or in a better place?

Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical down to the dimple. As daughters of a district-court judge father and a politician mother, they are an all-American family -- on the surface. Behind the facade each sister has her own dark secret, and that's where their differences begin.

For Kaeleigh, she's the misplaced focus of Daddy's love, intended for a mother whose presence on the campaign trail means absence at home. All that Raeanne sees is Daddy playing a game of favorites -- and she is losing. If she has to lose, she will do it on her own terms, so she chooses drugs, alcohol, and sex.

Secrets like the ones the twins are harboring are not meant to be kept -- from each other or anyone else. Pretty soon it's obvious that neither sister can handle it alone, and one sister must step up to save the other, but the question is -- who?

This is not my first Ellen Hopkins book so I know by now not to expect fluffy bunnies and happily ever after endings. I know to expect a vivid depiction of exactly how life can be and is for some… but boy oh boy, this one really takes the cake.

Identical is the story of Kaeleigh and Raeanne, 16 year-old identical twins. Their father is a district court judge and their mother is currently running for Congress. On the outside their family is picture perfect… but look closely and you’ll see the cracks in their veneer. Kaeleigh has been sexually abused by her father since she was nine years old. Raeanne drinks and uses drugs heavily because she feels she’s the lesser twin that isn’t loved like Kaeleigh. Their story is a stomach turning experience.

I’m not sure I would have actually finished this if I didn’t have faith in Ellen Hopkins to pull off one whopper of a story, and sure enough she did. The ending blew my mind and almost had me wanting to sit down and read it again because every notion or preconception I had was way off the mark. Brutal story but so incredibly well done it was shocking.


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