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Shelly's Book Journal

The 3 Rs: Reading, Reviews & Recs.

Let's chat about books!


Currently reading

The Civil War, Vol. 2: Fredericksburg to Meridian
Shelby Foote
Progress: 380/976 pages


Identical - Ellen Hopkins Well, I struggled with the book more than any of my previous Ellen Hopkins reads. While some of her other stories seem more like "this could happen to anyone", this one was a rare and horrible tale. It tells the stories of identical twins - Raeanne and Kaleigh. Their father is a judge and their mother a local congress woman running for US congress. Each of the twins tells the story of their encounters - both have serious skewed lives due to a mysterious car accident and the abuse of Kaleigh by her father. It is truly heartbreaking in so many ways, and yet the final twist is something unbelievable.I had a hard time staying with this book, because for the first 450 pages, it seemed as if it was going no where. And really, it didn't turn the corner until very close to the end. The prose was mesmerizing at times as usual, but overall, it lacked a gut wrenching connection that usually comes with Hopkins work. While her stories never truly leave you satisfied, this one is a bit more unsettling than the rest. It also annoys me when authors paint one political party as the "bad guy" - as Hopkins does here with the twins' mother as she is running for her seat, even making a comment that one of the daughters will vote the opposite party no matter what. Perhaps it indicates her true political preferences, but is unnecessary for the story and only stands to alienate readers who are not of the same mindset.Still within the pages are a lot of lessons to take away - things like sex, drugs and alcohol don't take away the pain. And abuse that goes unchecked becomes a monster for the victim.