*DO NOT READ THE SYNOPSIS IF YOU PLAN TO READ THE STORY*
THE YOU I’VE NEVER KNOWN
by: Ellen Hopkins
Published: January 24, 2017
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.
I so wanted to love this one, as I have with every other single one of her books.
Hopkins’ writing is exquisite, as always, and that was one of the things I loved about this book. It is so beautiful: the prose, the poetry, the two stories woven intricately together. Ariel and Maya are relatable and it furthered the story. Both girls bring a different aspect of family, and they both tell a different story.
However, reading the synopsis completely ruined the book for me. I just couldn’t get past it. I kept waiting and waiting for Ariel’s mom to come back. Because of this, I feel like the story drug on and on. This was a highly anticipated book. Wholeheartedly, I do know I would have loved and enjoyed the story more, had the synopsis been cut back.
The story of the girls themselves was enough to keep the book floating. It was the reason I kept reading after the first hundred pages and this isn’t a short book. I enjoyed the secondary characters, just as much as I liked the main characters.