Tuesday, September 24, 2013

SMOKE by Ellen Hopkins

One night in a backyard shed, life went up in smoke for Pattyn and Jackie.  Pattyn had already lost her true love Ethan and the baby they would have shared. Jackie had lost her innocence at the hands of the one person she thought she could trust.  The final blow comes as Pattyn is forced to defend her sister from their father's cruel fists and is left standing in the shed with a smoking gun.

Pattyn hates to leave her distraught sister and her other siblings, but she knows her actions would probably result in a long prison term.  If she flees and lets some time pass, maybe her mother will come to her senses and tell the authorities the actions of her oldest daughter were justified.  Pattyn packs a few meager possessions and all the money she has, hops on a bus, and heads for California. 

Jackie is left at home to deal with their father's funeral and the hateful looks of the members of their judgmental congregation.  Stunned that her mother not only ignores her daughter's rape at the hands of a teen bully, but also shockingly refuses to allow anyone to press charges because she smitten with the father of the young rapist.  Without Pattyn to protect her, Jackie fears she might lose her mind.

Both teens struggle to recover from current events and past tragedies to regain control of their lives.  Will they learn to trust again and find love in their new lives?

Author Ellen Hopkins takes the characters from her previous novel BURNED to the next level.  In SMOKE readers will get a chance to reconnect with Pattyn following the loss of her baby and Ethan, and her sister Jackie, another victim of their father's ugly treatment.  Hopkins's fans will not be disappointed.

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