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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Audio Review: Identical by Ellen Hopkins

Author: Ellen Hopkins
Narrators: Laura Flanagan
Title: Identical
Format: Unabridged Audio 
Length: 8 hrs, 42 mins
Publication: 2008
Publisher: HighBridge Company
Source: Library

Do twins begin in the womb?
Or in a better place?

Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical down to the dimple. As daughters of a district-court judge father and a politician mother, they are an all-American family -- on the surface. Behind the facade each sister has her own dark secret, and that's where their differences begin.

For Kaeleigh, she's the misplaced focus of Daddy's love, intended for a mother whose presence on the campaign trail means absence at home. All that Raeanne sees is Daddy playing a game of favorites -- and she is losing. If she has to lose, she will do it on her own terms, so she chooses drugs, alcohol, and sex.

Secrets like the ones the twins are harboring are not meant to be kept -- from each other or anyone else. Pretty soon it's obvious that neither sister can handle it alone, and one sister must step up to save the other, but the question is -- who?

Wow, this is a compelling and disturbing book, which I listened to awhile back but never got around to writing a review for it. What these two girls experience, no child should have to go through that. You have Kaeleigh, the girl who gets all of her Daddy's love and Raeanne, who wishes she could even get some of his attention. Their mother seems to be in her own delusional world, not really present in their lives. Loaded with angst, envy, abuse and so many other things this book with its surprising ending will make you sad and angry. Overall, this is a great conversational piece for teens of abuse. 

Flanagan does an excellent job of giving voice to these two different girls through her tone and inflection. The production and sound are good. As each story unfolds, the narration gives a vivid picture of the circumstances of their lives. I can't imagine what my reading experience would've been like but I can say hearing the story made me squirm. I felt an overwhelming sadness sitting through the narration. 

1 comment:

  1. I listened to Crank by Ellen Hopkins and thought that she does such an amazing job of giving her characters such emotional depth and making it so easy to connect to them while at the same time keeping each verse so fluid and beautifully written. I look forward to listening to this audio! Great review!