Book Review: Burned by Ellen Hopkins

            I have passed many Ellen Hopkins books in the library thinking “I will rent that next time”, and I just finally got around to it. I actually picked up Burned thinking it was an entirely different book, but once I picked it up I couldn’t put it down.

            This book is a very quick read, but that doesn’t mean it’s lighthearted or simple. Throughout the whole book emotions are stirred and beliefs are tested. Honestly, I’m exhausted after just finishing, but I don’t want to go to sleep right away.

            This book is heavy, to put it modestly. At parts I love the main character for her boldness and ability to be strong in the hardest of situations, but at other times I cringe at her bad decisions. But that’s part of the reason this book feels so real, everyone has faults.

            I’m not exactly good at delving into books and finding hidden meanings and metaphors, but I would venture to say that one theme this book explores is how people are molded by their surroundings. Whether those surroundings are family members, peers, nature, or government testing of nuclear bombs.

            I really enjoyed Burned, even though it’s left me shaking. I liked the realness and honesty, and the always questioning protagonist. I can’t say I liked everything, but not everything is meant to be liked. I would whole heartedly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read something that will leave them thinking (and possibly crying). However, I cannot honestly say that I will ever read another Ellen Hopkins book. Maybe it’s just too heavy for me.


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