Ashleigh Paige

I'm a full-time college sophomore pursuing my B.A. in English with hopes of one day working as an editor. Cats, musicals, documentaries about cults/disasters/tragedies, and curse words are just a few of my favorite things. Also, check out our blog or I WILL FIND YOU.


Identical - Ellen Hopkins Also appears on The Screaming Nitpicker.(I apologize for the tardiness of the review, but Morganville called and I had to answer it.)Kaeleigh and Raeanne Gardella, identical twin sisters, are both buried in their own vices and secrets hidden from the world. Kaeleigh is sexually abused by her father and bulimic, among other things; Raeanne is jealous of the attention her sister receives, partying and smoking pot and flirting with one of her teachers. After a car accident when the girls were younger, their mother drifted away into the world of politics and their father started doing things to his daughter no father should. Before they're both crushed beneath the weights they carry, the girls must tell someone the truth and release their secrets, but how will they be able to when secrets are part of who they are?First, I must say that I admire whoever wrote the blurb for this book because trying to explain in simple terms what this book is about is incredibly difficult. A one-word description of the book itself is "difficult." It's difficult to read, difficult to keep reading sometimes and difficult to put down at other times, and difficult to even talk about in a review. Because of this, I apologize if my review is not up to my usual standards. It touches on many issues that people don't like to talk about, just as all of Hopkins' books do. Just a taste? Bulimia, drug use, incest, rape, sexual abuse, and mental illness. And there's still much more, so much that it almost overloads the book.The free verse style worked well in this novel, especially when it was time to switch narrators and their thoughts would mirror one another's, but I really tired of it at points. Maybe it's because I've read this and two other books like it in such a short period of time and it's irritating me because I'm used to regular prose. Either way, my irritation at the style and the slow pacing put me off and made it difficult to keep reading even in sections where I wanted to keep reading.While Kaeleigh is easily identifiable as the softer twin, she shares the same negative vices and mean wit that Raeanne possessed (and they also share names that make the name freak in me want to scream). There were multiple times I wanted to switch narrators already because one twin was annoying me and even though the other will get to that same point, even a temporary break would be appreciated. The complicated relationships among their family was one of the strongest points of the novel. Want a dysfunctional family? Meet the Gardellas. Two people were sexually abused, one was an alcoholic, one refuses to be near their family, and one was cut off for something that wasn't totally their fault.I came into the book knowing what the twist was (did too much research) and was amazed at how well it (the twist) was written. If I had read it without the huge spoiler, I never would have seen it coming. By coming to the book with that knowledge, I was able to observe just how perfectly the book is written to keep the reader from figuring it out themselves. Hopkins obviously slaved over this book and worked hard to keep it hidden and yet have it make sense to any reader that looks back at everything that happened. In fact, it's so well done that it's almost a flaw. While the sisters' thoughts are very similar, they are still two separate characters and I often forgot who was narrating one section because they got too similar.And with this book, I end my small Ellen Hopkins Readathon. After buying four of her books at once (I'd already read one of them and wanted my own copy), I've finished reading all of them. I would love to get a copy of another books of hers called Impulse, but I think it would be better that I take a break form Hopkins's free verse style for a bit so I don't get sick of it.