Ellen Hopkins’s books have always caught my eye on the shelves. One day I finally decided to do what I was always warned against, and I judged the book by its cover. I bought all of her books at once. And I was not at all disappointed.
Identical tells the story of Kaeleigh and Raeanne, 16-year-old twin daughters of a politician and a judge. Though the family seems to be the perfect unit for the press, the dark secrets running underneath would be a shocking discovery. While Raeanne uses drugs and meaningless sex to numb the pain of her parents clearly favouring her twin sister, Kaeleigh finds herself throwing up after every binge as her dad pays too much attention to her, just to have control of something in her life.
The plotline of Identical is very intriguing and will constantly have the reader gasping in surprise with every turn. Even so, it’s Hopkins’s writing style that makes her so unique. Every section of the novel is written in short poems which visually highlight the emotions of the character who is speaking and the themes of the bigger picture. It forces the reader to slow down and read the poems in every possible way, taking out any meaning that can be extracted from her words.
The poetry forces the reader to analyse the work instead of just absorbing it. And with themes that Hopkins constantly address in her books such as drugs, alcohol, abuse and suicide, it is necessary her readers are critical of the work.