The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins

Genre: Realistic Fiction, YA Fiction

Rating: 1/5 ⭐️


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.

My Thoughts. Warning: Spoilers Ahead ⚠️

I was not a huge fan of this book at all. I read Ellen Hopkins other books and I really loved it but this book really was bad. Like the characters were very undeveloped and not very likeable and the book kept dragging on and on until the point where the big reveal was very half assed.

I didn’t really connect with Ariel. I didn’t hate her but I didn’t care much for her either. Her dad was full of shit but Ariel’s attitude was sort of unlikeable too. I prefer Maya since I found her more interesting. I was super shocked that Maya was actually Ariel’s mom all along and that the book flips between past and present.

The ending was kinda disappointed and I hated how Ariel’s dad faced no consequences in kidnapping her. The best part of the book besides Maya was Ariel and Monica relationship but I couldn’t fully enjoy it because in the middle of the book, Ariel was seeing both Monica and Gabe (The nephew of her dad’s girlfriend).

I was super disappointed by this and honestly expected something better than what I read.



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