Book Review’ Identical by Ellen Hopkins

I just finished reading another heartfelt and true to life young adult novel by Ellen Hopkins.

Kaleigh and Reanne are identical twins. Trapped in a world of abuse. Their father sexually abuses Kayleigh. Their mother is a state senator who tries to spend as much time away from home as possible.

They used to be a close family but an car accident tore all that apart.

Kayleigh deals with her secrets through trying to get close to her loving and concerned boyfriend Ean, yet flashbacks always crowd in and ruin any possible idea of healthy love.

She also is bulimic and as things get more desperate in her head, turns to cutting.

Reanne on the other hand is much more aggressive in her nature and attitude. She skips school, berates Kayleigh for not standing up to their father, and in a way longs for his attention even if it is sexual. She seems extremely hung up on sex as she goes between a few different guys, one being her teacher! Another being someone just as sex obsessed who plays sex games with his victems.

She drinks a lot and takes painkillers.

You see both these girls in a position no child should be in, silently coping in their own unhealthy ways.

When everything falls apart you find that the girls are identical in a whole other way. Pieces fall into place and the ending is realistically not happy but positive.

The issues raised in this book are a sad part of life for so many people. The descriptions of sex, taking drugs/ drinking, a suicide attempt, bulimia and cutting are quite graphic.

That said I would highly recommend this book. Though I have not thankfully experienced this it sounds like it does a good job of capturing the complex feelings and reactions of those who have been sexually abused.

It is also a very popular book as are her other titles so let me know your thoughts!


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