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53 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ellen writes my world...
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...
Published on June 20, 2006 by JHenzo

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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great style but...
I really enjoyed the style of this book, it was easy to read it in it's entirety, in one sitting. I think that the first two thirds of the book were great, a nice flow to the story, good development of the characters. Then the end arc of the book started, and this is where I start to have problems with the book. I'm confused why would a woman who has no children, who...
Published on July 30, 2009 by Lori


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53 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ellen writes my world..., June 20, 2006
This review is from: Burned (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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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great style but..., July 30, 2009
By 
This review is from: Burned (Paperback)
I really enjoyed the style of this book, it was easy to read it in it's entirety, in one sitting. I think that the first two thirds of the book were great, a nice flow to the story, good development of the characters. Then the end arc of the book started, and this is where I start to have problems with the book. I'm confused why would a woman who has no children, who loves this beautiful niece of hers even consider letting her go back to a man that would obviously kill her? It seems so contradictory to the rough and tumble, heart of gold, character of Aunt J. As an Aunt myself, if my brother was beating his wife or child, I wouldn't just send that child back, with a cell phone and some new clothes. It's not just that either, I'm a woman, and I know that in the last 14 years of having sex, I have never seen a condom tear, never. Now putting that aside, since it's a plot device, wouldn't Pattyn be on pins and needles waiting and watching for her period? Hell I'm 30 and I still worry if I'm even 1 day late. I have a problem with Trevor getting the license plate of the truck that Ethan and Pattyn escaped in, really was he just waiting out there with a pen and pencil? I don't know I just found the entire ending totally unbelievable and really disappointing. I don't need a shiny happy ending but what I do need is for it to be logical in some way. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone, the end is just to ridiculous to waste time reading the whole book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Religious problems aside, the story is still bad, September 10, 2012
By 
Kim (Phoenix, AZ) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Burned (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. It was sweet and normal though I disliked the outcome.

The end of the book was ridiculous and annoying. It makes me sad that it ended the way it did because I found it neither redeeming nor realistic. This is my first Ellen Hopkins book and I will definitely try others because I liked the way she writes and because I know she is wildly popular with teenage girls, but this book is such a disappointment that I really cannot recommend it to anyone.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best of Ellen Hopkins, October 26, 2011
This review is from: Burned (Hardcover)
After reading the Crank trilogy, I couldn't wait to read more of Hopkins' books. So I read Burned. It was a great story but in the end everything crashed and burned, literally. SPOILER ALERT: The book started out okay, this high school teen is in a Mormon family with 7 sisters and an alcoholic, abusive dad. Pattyn, the girl, rebels a bit, then gets shipped off to her Aunt's house. She finds love there and that is the best part of the whole book, her summer at the Aunts house. She finds out she's pregnant when she gets back home & attempts to run away because her father will most likely kill her, as seeing how far the abuse went in portions of the book before, over very minor things. Her and her love get into an accident trying to run from cops. He dies and her unborn baby dies as well. All of this literally happened in about 10 pages. It just sucked! Horrible way to end the book. Then she gets home from her hospital stay and her father has disowned her and told her she needs to leave. She then decides she'll go on a killing rampage or kill herself. We don't know which she does because the book ends leaving the reader to decide her fate. I did just read on Ellen Hopkins website that her ending would be, Pattyn goes on the killing spree. Which I'm guessing ultimately leads her to prison. There are also rumors of a sequel book called Smoke, so I guess we'll see. I just hated the ending because it all happened so quick and it was so sad because she was in love with this guy and excited to have a baby and then it's just gone in seconds. Terrible ending. I really wouldn't recommend it, honestly. It wasn't worth reading the whole thing to have it end that way.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Depressing, April 20, 2010
By 
This review is from: Burned (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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53 of 73 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Misleading, June 30, 2011
By 
This review is from: Burned (Paperback)
To start off, I think Ellen Hopkins has a wonderful style. I like what she does with words, her concretes, her descriptions. She has flare. And this is one of the edgiest and most original of the verse novels I have thus far read. On the downside this story is making me literally sick to my stomach.

Please understand that I don't have a problem with the theme of struggling with ones faith. When I first read the blurb about the main character going through a crisis of faith, I was more intent on reading this, not less. Then, as I began reading, I realized there was no crisis of faith, no case where the main character has to struggle with pros and cons, goods and bads, or sacrifice one thing for another. Instead the whole thing is very cut and dry. The protagonist's family is brainwashed by a religion that:

1. Believes a woman's whole purpose in life is to pop out babies.
2. Discourages their believers from reading J.K. Rowling and J.R.R. Tolken.
3. Discourages women from learning or getting any kind of education beyond high school.
4. Uses the term "Love and obey" as instruction for how wives view their husbands.
5. Teaches its youth that it's better for a girl to die than lose her virginity in a rape.
6. Tolerates men in leadership positions who look the other way when they know a husband is beating a wife and encourages the parents to use a belt when their kids misbehave.
7. Has no program to help women and children in abusive homes, but prefers to call victims liars rather than deal with any real problems.
8. Instills in their youth such a rigorous guilt complex that girls feel guilty just for dreaming about boys kissing them.
9. Seems to perpetuate the kind of beliefs that allow the parents of this protagonist to not let her drive when she turns 16 because they think it will be better if she waits until her husband can teach her.

Um, does this sound ludicrous to you? Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are religions like that. Okay fine, there are cults like that. But dude, what's there to struggle against here? What benefit could there possibly be for the protagonist to stay in this oppressive, brain washing, abusive religion? Are they giving her security, love, a warm home?

No, nothing. The protagonist doesn't believe a bit of it from the get go. So where is the struggle? And you can just imagine what a shock it is for me every time Ms. Hopkins calls this evil, oppressive, judgmental, emotionally abusive religion Mormonism, the religion I've grown up with my entire life. A religion which:

1. Tells couples that how many children they have is a personal decision.
2. Has Stephenie Meyer, Allie Condie, and Becca Fitzpatrick among their ranks.
3. Encourages women to continually learn and in particular to get college educations.
4. Has yet to use the term "love and obey" for a husband/wife relationship in any ceremonies or religious services I've attended.
5. Teaches young women that they are daughters of God, and that God loves them no matter what happens to them.
6. Preaches against violence and excommunicates those involved in abusive behaviors.
7. Takes abuse so seriously that you can download a 70 page 12 step program book from the LDS church's family services page for free. Never mind that they employ social workers and psychologists to deal with the kinds of family problems in this book.
8. Teaches that sex is ordained of God, beautiful, something to be celebrated after marriage. I didn't have any LDS friends growing up who felt having a "sex" dream broke the law of chastity.
9. The last one is just too ludicrous to even try and counter. Having your husband teach you to drive. Are you flippin' kidding me?

I grant the author that Mormonism is a patriarchal religion that marginalizes women by excluding them from holding the priesthood, by telling them that there's nothing more important than to be a wife of a righteous priesthood holder, and by excluding them from holding high offices like Bishop, Stake President, and General Authority, but I still think this particular representation of Mormonism is extreme and does more harm than good.

Growing up in the east coast with a lot of non-Mormons, I can tell you that most people are very respectful of religions not their own, and that I too was reared to be respectful.

But even in my very diverse high school, there were those who went out of their way to dismiss anything I had to say due to misrepresentations they had read, movies their pastors had shown them, or sermons they'd heard decrying Mormonism.

People were taught to fear us.

I would assert that extreme portrayals such as this one will only make life harder for high school students who've grown up in the LDS church, and I don't see any good coming from that.
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23 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Mormons' reputations are BURNED in this novel, December 2, 2006
This review is from: Burned (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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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH . . ., January 17, 2011
By 
Poppy Wisemore (Las Vegas, NV USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Burned (Paperback)
. . . it proved to be the best laugh I've had in a while. I nearly peed myself while reading about the inaccuracies. First, let me make you a list:

1)Yes, I am Mormon.
2)Yes, I acknowledge that abuse happens in every religion and that there are also extremists in every religion.
3)This book had EXTRAORDINARY potential.

That being said, let me continue. I myself came from an abusive Mormon family. It was awful. Plain and simple. Imagine my excitement when I picked up this book at Borders and read the description. "Finally!" I thought. "A story just for me." Similar to Pattyn, I am the oldest of six girls. This book seemed like a dream come true, and I was ready to dive in.

The giggles began on the page referencing Harry Potter, as a world where "no upstanding Mormon should go." Oh man, I nearly lost it. I believe that I am an upstanding Mormon, and yet I do read Harry Potter. My sisters listen to the tapes every night before they go to bed. I also think that Ron Weasley is hot as heck.

Next was the quote about how Mormons don't really place much emphasis on Jesus Christ. Well, actually, he's the center of our religion! Not wanting to make people think I'm trying to convert them, I'll stop there. ;) Because everyone knows we just want to convert people.

Next was the complete ignoral of the abuse happening in Pattyn's family. I'm sorry, but at church, everyone knows everything about everyone. Sad to say this, but Mormons gossip a lot. A lot a lot. Growing up, I couldn't even ditch a class without someone seeing me at the mall and calling my mom. Quite annoying, but it is what it is. So Pattyn's mom going to church with sunglasses and her father's constant drinking? Nope. Not believable. Somebody would have said something.

And then there's the mean ole' bishop. When the abuse was going in my house, my bishop was nothing but supportive and he NEVER excused my father's behavior. He knew it was wrong, and he was on my side completely. I do understand that bishops vary, but a good one would never tell parents "to use the belt on their kids." That's just plain crazy.

Last is the misconception of the inferiority of women. Um, my mom is lawyer for crying out lot, a size 0, and has the best style I know. She's freaking hot. As for abuse, she never put up with that crap. She stood up to my dad, and I've always admired her for that. All the Mormon women in my life have careers. Her best friend is a photgrapher, my aunt is a principal, my other aunt a school teacher, and then a cousin who is a personal trainer. My friend is going to med school, another has her own store and business, and I hope to be a writer. We are not just farm animals who are supposed to breed.

But then again, I do understand that every situation varies. I was able to come out of my abuse with a clear mind and a strong testimony and a sense of humor on the side. Life's too short to be sad. Nonetheless I was so disappointed with this story. I was hoping to relate to it. I wasn't shocked by the tragic content; I could deal with that. The real sad thing here is the laziness of the author. She took no time to research the religion and find out the truth about it, and for a writer, that's UNACCEPTABLE.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mormons, November 25, 2011
This review is from: Burned (Paperback)
I love this author and most of her books. But honestly, I feel she would have done better with this book if she didn't focus on an actual religion.
I'm mormon and i don't have any desire to read this book now because first off while she isn't attacking the church I guess, i feel like she is. From the reviews I've read, there are obviously many false things in the book about our religion.
I grew up in the church(my dads a bishop) and I've had so much freedom. My parents don't care who i date...luckily because the boys have all been nonmormon. As long as i don't get into drugs or anything like that its whatever. Which should be with any normal family anyways. Oh and yeah we CAN read harry Potter. And no women only purpose in the church is not to be in the kitchen and have babies because then i would really fail at that part considering i stay clear of the kitchen and won't be having many children.
I know her main point is too write a story and that alot of her books have false things in them but i feel like some things you should make sure are true before publishing a book on it.
This book will probably just piss me off while reading it, so this is one i will stay clear of.
Oh noes did i just say piss? oh my gosh. Guess i'm going to hell for that, right? because thats what mormons supposedly believe right.......
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35 of 49 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars burned by the ending, January 6, 2007
By 
ellen close (Pomfret, Vermont) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Burned (Hardcover)
I chanced upon this book, and raced through it. Surprisingly, I found the poetry format easy to read, though I would normally avoid this style. The author's talent was undeniable, in the terse, honest, sometimes rhyming verse. The emotions, dramas, and joys of late teen-age years were viscerally accurate and real. I would rate the book a 4 if it ended on a more optimistic note, as it is skillfully written, and the story engaging and worthwhile. In today's world, I simply cannot condone the ending, and found it not only disappointing but deeply disturbing. Pattyn Van Stratten is a high school junior, from a Mormon family. Her father, an alcoholic, abuses his wife and tyrannizes his 7 daughters. Pattyn struggles to find answers to her questions about faith and redemption; she wants to reconcile the violence and tyranny of her home life with her religious faith, but finds only complicity there. After her own small transgressions, she is shipped off to an Aunt in Nevada, where she is surprised to discover acceptance, friendship, freedom, love, and honesty. Unfortunately, this state of grace can't last, and ultimately it was the end of this book that I could not reconcile: it utterly lacked hope, and also seemed to justify the "Columbine" mentality, which repelled me. Although some reviewers were concerned about innacurate portrayal of Mormans in the book, that issue seemed minor to me: religion is often (always?) used as a tool of domination, one need look no further than Jimmy Jones and his kool-aid brew, or David Koresh, or Osama Bin Laden, or the Catholics and Protestants in Ireland, or even the born-again revival fueled by W's presidency to see this as a sadly repetitive pattern in human history. On the greater issue of abuse and its inevitable isolation, the book is both accurate, and despairing. Certainly there are enough newspaper articles to prove this tragic fact, though there are also some bright examples of overcoming the odds. I prefer to think of literature as escape, a way out, maybe even a real lifeline for those in need of rescue. In that light, I cannot accept the proffered solution for Pattyn's difficulty; too tragic for my taste.
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Burned
Burned by Ellen Hopkins (Paperback - October 23, 2007)
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