Author: Ellen Hopkins
Series: Burned #2
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Poetry
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
First Sentence: Some things you can’t take back, no matter how much you wish you could.
I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
I’ll start my review with this: the ending of Burned scarred me for life. After reading and finishing the lengthy book, I was in desperate need for some answers and desperately hoping that there was a sequel so I will finally get some solid answers. Did Pattyn go through with it? Does everything happen exactly as planned? What happens next? Most of all, why was Ellen Hopkins torturing us with that open ending?! Several months ago, when I heard that Ellen Hopkins was going to write a sequel to Burned, words can not describe how happy I felt. Never in a million years would I think that I would get an ARC of Smoke to quench my curiosity, but alas, I did. Thank goodness Smoke gave me some closure and a sort-of happy ending for both Pattyn and Jackie.
For those of you who have never read an Ellen Hopkins book before because you thought that her books were just plain poetry, newsflash: you’re wrong. The formatting of Ellen Hopkins’ may look like poetry, but in reality, you can read her books like they are just any other book out there. The format is written in a poetry format to place emphasis on certain words and events Ellen Hopkins writes about on that page. If you actually try reading one of Ellen Hopkins’ books, you’ll know what I mean. In fact, I think that Ellen Hopkins’ books are all easier to read than The Odyssey was.
Of course, how many people live unafraid? To truly embrace courage, I think, requires one of two things – unshakable faith that death is no more than a portal to some Shangri-la reunion. Or zero belief at all. (ARC 124)
Smoke was heartbreakingly beautiful – the book tugged on my heartstrings relentlessly. I was tearing up and crying throughout the book. I felt sorry for Jackie, sorry for Pattyn, and sorry for the awful situation they were both in. While I was reading Smoke, I couldn’t help but tear up like crazy, which was not so good for me because I was reading it while I was riding on the subway on my way to school. I couldn’t stop tearing up and I could feel everybody’s eyes on me. Smoke was one emotional ride, literally.
Not only did Smoke make me cry, Smoke also made me absolutely furious, although not at the book itself, but at some of the characters in the book. I was boiling mad during some scenes, so mad that I just wanted to throw the book across the room, fling some of my notebooks around, and maybe even stomp my feet like a little kid throwing a tantrum. Few authors can really drag that feeling out of me and Ellen Hopkins is one of the select few authors.
Do dreams sort out memories, or are they only closets where monsters hide? (ARC 314)
Smoke also made me question my morals. Right from the start, readers know that Pattyn and Jackie’s father is dead and that Pattyn’s gun killed him. Smoke focused on the aftermath of their father’s death throughout the book: Pattyn remembering the old dad she knew, Jackie trying to remember what had happened, both of them feeling very guilty, and all I’m thinking is thank goodness their father died; he deserves to die. I know it’s wrong to feel that way, but I just couldn’t help but feel that way. Pattyn’s father made them suffer so much and what he did to Jackie was just plain sick. He caused them both so much pain in Burned that frankly, I think he deserves to die.
…time is determined to tarry, teasing, and trying to push it forward faster is a losing proposition. No use staring at the clock, wiling its cooperation. The second hand spins at its own pace. (ARC 331)
Although Smoke has some parts that was focused on the Mormon religion, I didn’t get the whole religious and preachy vibe from it. I just felt informed about the Mormon religion and learned about Pattyn and Jackie’s conflicting feelings for it and their God. I have to admit that I was feeling a bit bored when I read all those religion parts though.
You guys, you should definitely pick up a copy of Smoke now. I even pre-ordered my copy about a month ago, especially since Amazon has it for so cheap right now. (It’s currently on sale for $11.99 aka 40% off. That’s a steal!) If you haven’t read the first book, Burned, I strongly suggest you do it now. You seriously can’t live without reading this series. It will tug on your heartstrings, make you bawl, and most of all, make you question the world we live in.