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Burned Paperback – October 23, 2007

283 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Burned Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up–Once again the author of Crank (S & S, 2004) has masterfully used verse to re-create the yearnings and emotions of a teenage girl trapped in tragic circumstances. Poems in varied formats captivate readers as they describe a teen's immobilizing fear of her abusive father, disgust with a church hierarchy that looks the other way, hope that new relationships can counteract despair, joy in the awakening of romance, and sorrow when demons ultimately prevail. Pattyn Von Stratten is the eldest of eight sisters in a stern Mormon household where women are relegated to servitude and silence. She has a glimpse of normal teenage life when Derek takes an interest in her, but her father stalks them in the desert and frightens him away. Unable to stifle her rage, Pattyn acts out as never before and is suspended from school. Sent to live with an aunt on a remote Nevada ranch, she meets Ethan and discovers forever love. Woven into the story of a teen's struggle to find her destiny is the story of her aunt's barrenness following government mismanagement of atomic testing and protests over nuclear waste disposal. Readers will become immersed in Pattyn's innermost thoughts as long-held secrets are revealed, her father's beatings take a toll on her mother and sister, and Pattyn surrenders to Ethan's love with predictable and disturbing consequences. Writing for mature teens, Hopkins creates compelling characters in horrific situations.–Kathy Lehman, Thomas Dale High School Library, Chester, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Gr. 9-12. Full of anger at her father, an alcoholic who abuses her mother, Pattyn begins to question her Mormon religion and her preordained, subservient role within it. She is confused by her mother's acceptance of the brutal abuse, and although she is furious at and terrified of her father, she still longs for his love and approval. As the consequences of her anger become more dramatic, her parents send her to spend the summer with her aunt on a Nevada ranch. There she finds the love and acceptance she craves, both from her aunt and from a college-age neighbor, Ethan. Told in elegant free verse, Burned envelopes the reader in Pattyn's highs and lows, her gradual opening to love, and her bouts of rage, confusion, and doubt. It exposes the mind of the abused, but regrettably offers no viable plan to deal with the abuser, a reality perhaps, but a plot element that may raise eyebrows in the adult community. Still, this will easily find rapid-fire circulation among its YA audience. A troubling but beautifully written novel. Frances Bradburn
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books; Reprint edition (October 23, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416903550
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416903550
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.4 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (283 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #551,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

I was adopted at birth and raised by a great, loving older couple. I grew up in Palm Springs CA, although we summered in Napa and Lake Tahoe, to avoid those 120 degree summers. After my adopted parents died, I did find my birth mother, who lives in Michigan with my half sister.

I studied journalism in college, but left school to marry, raise kids and start my own business--a video store, before the mega-chains were out there. After a divorce, I met my current husband and we moved to Tahoe to become ski bums and otherwise try to find our dreams. At that time, I went to work for a small alternative press, writing stories and eventually editing.

When we moved down the mountain to the Reno area, I started writing nonfiction books, many of which you can see here. The rest are viewable on my personal website. I also continued to freelance articles for newspapers and magazines.

All that has changed, with the publication of my novel, CRANK, which has led to a valued career writing YA novels in verse, all of which explore the more difficult situations young adults often find themselves in. Will I ever write one in prose? No doubt! But, for the moment, writing novels in verse fulfills two needs: writing poetry and writing fiction. The combination is so interesting!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 68 people found the following review helpful By JHenzo on June 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I received a copy of BURNED in the mail from my cousin yesterday & couldn't put it down. I finished it all last night & was completely smitten! My cousin & I were both reared Mormon, & thus identified intensely with the story. We both come from dysfunctional families, which often made me feel like Hopkins had been peeking through my curtains to obtain her material for BURNED. I am now almost 30 & think this book is long overdue. Hopkins portrayal of a battered young girl in a devoutly religious (& more specifically, Mormon) family is dead on the mark. If only I had the clarity of Pattyn when I was a teen. (As conflicted & confused as Pattyn often is, she is wise beyond her years. My adolescence was marked with a blur of foggy madness...a fury of anger, loneliness, & confusion.) I have since made peace with my past & have left the Mormon church. Yet all the years and miles later, reading BURNED was like going home.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Adriana on April 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
Surprisingly I read this book all in one day. I felt that I went through so many emotions from disgust and frustration to content and enjoyment just to end it all with anger and sadness.

The main character Pattyn is raised in a Mormon household. She's a well mannered girl who obeys her parents and takes care of all her younger siblings. Until she begins questioning her beliefs and trust in the people she's meant to look up to, everything turns from bad to worse.

Her father is an abusive alcoholic and her mother doesn't do anything other than having more kids for Pattyn to take care of. She is sent to live with her Aunt by her dad who can't put up with her anymore. There she discovers love, freedom, and happiness. Pattyn falls in love with Ethan who is a caring and loving guy. Meanwhile at home things aren't so great for her sister Jackie. Her father takes out his anger and frustration on her, and Pattyn is conflicted on what she should do to help out her family.

I was left feeling really upset at the way the story ended though. It was really unexpected and depressing. This is the first time I felt like throwing a book across the room because of how mad the ending made me. Any book that makes me feel so emotional is amazing! Pattyn's story is one I'll never forget.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kim on September 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
Most of the credit for two stars goes to the author's writing style, not the actual story itself because, for the most part, I hated this book. But Hopkins is a great writer, so she gets credit for it.

I'll begin by stating that I am not Mormon. I grew up in Utah, but have never been Mormon. I will admit that I have a lot of issues with the religion and with some of the people who practice it (I do love my Mormon friends who I believe are wonderful people, so that is why I stated "some of the people"). However, the author's portrayal of Mormonism is way off in many places and this bothered me more than I thought it would. Sure, it is a patriarchical religion, but the Mormons I grew up with would never sanction abuse of their families. Not to say that there aren't Mormons who are abused (because to deny it would be naive), but that abuse is not sanctioned by the religion (at least my perception of it) as the author seemed to say it was.

I was willing to overlook the problems with the portrayal of Mormons for a good story, but that was missing as well. There was so much that could be done with an abuse story that seemed to be lacking from this book. It felt like the abuse was glossed over, more of an excuse to send Pattyn off to the middle of Nevada than to tell what it's like to live in a household with an abusive and alcoholic father. I liked it a bit after Pattyn moved to her aunt's home, but it still seemed a little Lifetime Original Channel to me. The aunt's personal story is a little ridiculous and then the author decided to add in radiation poisoning to the story and that felt incredibly out of place. And her aunt was a little too perfect, but I still rather liked it.

The only part that I mostly enjoyed about the book was the love story.
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24 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Children's Book Lady on December 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I heard that Ellen Hopkins' book CRANK was highly regarded, so I looked forward to reading BURNED. Although BURNED is innovatively written, I was very unhappy to see all the inaccuracies Ms. Hopkins presented in the novel. As others have said, this is the story of dysfunctional family, and dysfunctional families are found in all religions. But, the way Ms. Hopkins presents the story, it is made to seem that all Mormon women are subservient to their husbands and that all Mormon bishops (clergy) tolerate abuse and violence and are unforgiving and lack compassion. In Ms. Hopkins' book, it seems normal that Mormon families live in abusive situations, and that Mormons are involved in "conspiracies" against anyone who is different from them. The generalizations are presented so matter of factly, that they seem true.

I realize that Ms. Hopkins' characterization of Pattyn shows a young girl whose vision is colored by the abusive situation she lives in. However, the book contains many factual mistakes about Mormonism and the Mormon people. The danger is that readers think this book is truthful and unbiased in its presentation of Mormons--it is not.
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