- Hardcover: 560 pages
- Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (September 10, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1416983287
- ISBN-13: 978-1416983286
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.6 x 7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (246 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Smoke Hardcover – September 10, 2013
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In her poetic sequel to Burned (2006), Hopkins pays homage to the old adage “The truth shall set you free.” In haunting memories, Pattyn and younger sister Jackie return to the horrifying scene of their father’s murder: Caleb’s rape of Jackie, their father’s discovery of the crime and his brutal beating of his violated daughter, and Pattyn’s gunpoint threat. Now Pattyn is on the run, disguised as a California migrant farm worker, while Jackie is a pariah in church, at school, and in her mother’s eyes. Hopkins’ riveting story line is full of the perpetual premonition of danger, and the simple free-verse format belies the complexity of both plot and craft. The poems are sparse, each word and phrase carefully chosen, each line and stanza designed to convey both girls’ desperation and resilience. Each sees herself as damaged and unlovable; each harbors guilt and hate for the father who physically beat her and the mother who emotionally betrayed her. Hopkins also tackles issues of immigration, homosexuality, bullying, Mormon extremism, and America’s shadowy antigovernment militia, making for a compelling and thought-provoking read. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Hopkins is a number-one New York Times best-selling author, and her fan base is huge, huge, huge. Grades 9-12. --Frances Bradburn
"A strong, painful and tender piece about wresting hope from the depths of despair." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Hopkins' riveting story line is full of the perpetual premonition of danger, and the simple free-verse format belies the complexity of both plot and craft...a compelling and thought-provoking read." (Booklist)
"The book is rife with real issues and demanding attention, leaving the reader to realize that when the smoke clears, redemption is always possible. In the end, voices are heard that refuse to be silenced and the empowerment that comes with the character’s decisions transcend the page and leave much to be discussed and contemplated among readers." (VOYA, starred review)
"Hopkins’s fans should and will clamor for this sequel." (School Library Journal)
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Top Customer Reviews
As for Jackie, Pattyn's once upon a time best friend and closest sister, her secrets are eating up at her as well. The night their father died, he had walked in on Jackie being raped by one of the boys from their church. He didn't believe it when she told him what happened and he began to abuse her. Hitting her, kicking her, telling her she was ruined and that she deserved what she got. Pattyn walked in with her gun and after an altercation, their father ended up dead. Although Jackie wants desperately to relieve herself of this terrible secret inside her, she's forced to keep quiet. By the bishop at the church, by her rapist's father, and even by her own mother. She has no friends and no Pattyn, no one to turn to, until she meets Gavin. He's a senior - and her math tutor - and he sees the beauty and honesty she carries inside her. He gives her the love she's been needing, but she's sure that once all of her secrets come out, he'll be on his way out the door.
SMOKE was phenomenal. I was a little worried because sequels aren't always what they're cracked up to be; but as always, Ellen Hopkins did not disappoint. This time around, she let us in, not only on Pattyn's side of things, but on Jackie's as well. With both girls speaking, you get the full picture of what's happening in their lives. There's a lot of turmoil within this novel, but the ending message is of hope. Not only that, but it gives a full and rounded story, which works so well coupled with the prequel - BURNED.
Overall (and as always) a superb read from Ellen Hopkins. Everyone needs to check out this book whether you enjoyed BURNED or not, it's fantastic. :) Look out for my next review!
Burned was perfect, but Smoke was even better.
Smoke pulled together all the questions that left me hanging at the end of Burned. I loved how she divided the novel into two different perspectives – Pattyn's and Jackie's. God, Smoke was breathtaking. Both novels aren't your typical cliché love/ YA story where everyone lives a happily ever after. Or where the problems the characters have are your typical teenage issues. No. Being raped, killing your father, having your boyfriend killed along with your baby, or being a runaway doesn't seem like normal life to me. But despite the fact of having all that s*** happen, at the end, both characters found just a spark of hope. If you think I cried a lot at the end of Burned, you should've seen me at the end of Smoke – bawling. When Jackie finally told everyone at Church what happened, guess what? I cried. When Pattyn laid on Ethan's grave and told him he will always be her forever love, but she needed to move forward, guess what? Yeah you probably already know. Actually to be more specific, I was basically in a pool of my own tears. If its anyone that can make me cry its her, Ellen Hopkins. There are no words to describe how perfect she writes.
However, I think this may be my least favorite Ellen Hopkins book so far. It's not that it was BAD. No, Ellen never writes anything outright BAD. It's just that, it got very repetitive with flashbacks to the previous book. Now, I know that sequels need SOME flashbacks to the previous book, but it was overwhelming with how many flashbacks she put in there. And there were some parts where it fell flat.
-SPOILERS START HERE-
Like how, in the previous book, they put Caleb as this "good Christian boy" and how he has a crush on Pattyn. Yet, in this book, he's a rapist who wanted to take control of Jackie. It would've been nice if maybe this had been at least HINTED AT in the previous book. Also, there's one part where Pattyn asks "so what happened to me? what happened to Jackie?" when talking about how good Mormon girls are supposed to stay good Mormon girls. In the previous book it says NOTHING about Jackie going astray or questioning her Mormon faith or sexuality. Unless I've overlooked something. I'm pretty sure I remember Pattyn HIDING certain things from Jackie in the previous book because she knew that Jackie was still very much into the Mormon faith and not questioning anything about sex, or so it seemed. Again, it would've been nice if this was at least HINTED AT in the previous book.
Not just with references to the previous book though. There were also parts where the characters suddenly having a change of heart felt very FORCED and not fully developed. However, Ellen still does what she does best: grabbing the reader's attention and making them keep reading. Like I said, it's not a BAD book by any means, but it could've been better.