The You I’ve Never Known- Ellen Hopkins

“Moving away from home would be bad. Moving away from love would be devastating.”

I went into this book hoping and praying that this would be a lot better than her last book. That after reading six hundred pages I wouldn’t be disappointed and annoyed. And it seems to be that this was a shocking surprise. The twist was something legends are made of. 

My suggestion is to go into this with a blind eye, a clean slate, a memory of blankness. Reading the jacket for the synopsis will ruin the great ending twist. It tells you a lot more than any jacket has ever ventured to. Even though I read it, it didn’t stop me from rereading the truth over and over again and still making my jaw hit the floor.
With Ellen Hopkins you know there will be a shock/twist ending and if you pay close attention, you’ll figure it out. 

This story is split between two characters, Maya and Ariel. 
Maya is stuck at home with a crazy abusive mother who joins Scientology after the split-up from her husband. Wants to move Maya to California to join and free herself. With Maya not wanting to go, she makes her own plans to get away from a Mother who doesn’t love her and treats her like garbage. She meets Jason, a serviceman, and her tip is to get pregnant. And that is exactly what she does. Keeping it a secret until she finally knows and then she lays it all out on the table. Jason proposes marriage and her mom disowns her not before Maya blackmails her into signing her rights over since she is still a minor. Her dreams are squashed when all Jason does is drink and fight with her. But Maya will do everything to keep her baby girl Casey safe. Until one day her life is gone. 

Ariel has never known her Mother. At a young age, she took off and it has always been her and dad. Dad is nothing but a womanizing drunk who never keeps a job and moves them from town to town once his new love interest is down with him. She has never experienced anything that usual families do. Until they finally land in California and Ariel finally gets to be at a school she actually likes and gets to experience friends for the first time. Her dad keeps the first steady job in a very long time and has been seeing Zelda. Ariel believes her life is finally falling into place. 
Zelda introduces Ariel to Gabe, her nephew and they hit it off and make her best friend/GF jealous. With finding your place int he world, you never know what you want or like. Thinking she might be into both, she leads Gabe and Monica along to see what happens. 

While Gabe was taking Ariel home, they spot a lone horse in the distance and Ariel helps it stop. A little ways ahead they spot a girl lying unconscious and it’s Hillary, a girl from Ariel’s school. Hillary’s family is rich and owns a horse farm in town. After they save her life, the expensive gifts start rolling in and they even make it into the newspaper. That spectacle brings even more shocking news to Ariel and shakes her world upside down.
We all know that the shocking twist brings to two stories together. It still shocked me, even though I figured what was going to happen. E. Hopkins never disappoints enough that I’ll never read her again. This was one of her better books and it makes her writing future look even better. 
Maya and Ariel’s story is so formidable and unrestrained, that you have to have a cold heart to turn away from them. 

Sensational story!!

4/5

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