The You I've Never Known
The You I've Never Known

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Annotation: With both joy and fear, seventeen-year-old Ariel begins to explore her sexuality, while living with her controlling, abusive father who has told Ariel that her mother deserted her years ago.
Catalog Number: #154567
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 590 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-481-44291-0 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-0381-9
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-481-44291-6 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-0381-9
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2016027736
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
An arresting jacket montage and a six-hundred-page heft will grab the attention of Hopkins' sizable fan base, who won't come away disappointed. Two narrators offer alternate versions of the same story: 17-year-old Ariel tells hers in Hopkins' signature free-verse poems, while Ariel's mother, Maya, shares the journals she wrote to the daughter who was stolen from her at age 3. Ariel has been told her mother left the family for another woman, and she has grown up with her alternately overprotective and negligent father, moving frequently. Now in her senior year, she's been able to savor the luxury of putting down roots in Sonora, where she's fallen in love with lesbian Monica, while exploring an attraction to handsome Gabe. When Ariel and Gabe receive media attention for coming to the aid of an injured teen, Maya, now a newscaster, discovers her daughter is alive and seeks her out. With trademark compassion, multidimensional characters, realistic teen behavior, and a slew of issues sympathetically explored, Hopkins has another winner here.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Hopkins creates a well-established, well-defined product, one that the significant marketing campaign knows how to effectively promote.
Horn Book
Raised by an angry, restless father, Ariel is eager to finish high school in one place. Furthermore, Ariel's attracted to both Monica and Gabe and starts exploring her own sexuality. Ariel's story, told in first-person poems, alternates with the diary-entry prose of Maya, a pregnant teen whose quick marriage grows dangerous. A surprise connection links Ariel's life with Maya's in Hopkins's latest gritty melodrama.
Kirkus Reviews
One teen yearns for roots while another will do anything for a fresh start. Seventeen-year-old white Ariel has been in Sonora, California, for 15 months, and she's soaking up the stability. Her whole life, she's moved quickly from town to town as alcoholic Dad flits from woman to woman, claiming he was born "infected / with wanderlust." He abuses and gaslights her. He has a "greedy grasp" and would never allow Ariel to date a boy, let alone allow her—his white daughter—to date her best friend, Monica, a Mexican-American lesbian. Dad's racist, and to him, "queer equals vile" because Ariel's mother left them for a woman when Ariel was 2 and hasn't been heard from since. Yet Ariel's falling for both Monica and a boy named Gabe. In another thread, 17-year-old Maya, also white, plans to prevent her abusive mother from trapping her in Scientology's paramilitary training arm by getting pregnant by a 27-year-old man she meets in a bar so he'll marry her. Ariel's sections are free verse (Hopkins' specialty), their fragmentation symbolizing and mirroring the fragmentation in Ariel's history. Maya's sections are prose; the prose itself flows capably, but the variation from Hopkins' signature format doesn't contribute anything particular. Faraway characters in Hopkins books often come together, but Maya and Ariel's connection is among Hopkins' best. A page-turning exploration of independence, powerlessness, and secrets, with groundbreaking representation of bisexuality and queerness. (Verse fiction. 14 & up)
Publishers Weekly
Once again tackling difficult subject matter through elegantly crafted free verse, Hopkins (Traffick) tells the story of 17-year-old Ariel; her father, Mark; and Maya, also 17, who jumps into a relationship with an older man to escape her mother. Mark is an alcoholic drifter, prone to angry and violent outbursts. He has finally settled down long enough for Ariel to finish an entire school year in Sonora, Calif., where Ariel has allowed herself to develop real friendships and even consider the possibility of finding love. Hopkins uses spare yet poignant language to convey Ariel-s simultaneous joy and fear as she begins to explore her sexuality (-the need to embrace/ this part of myself/ is escalating-) while dealing with an abusive, homophobic, and controlling parent. Maya, whose chapters are written in first-person prose, intersects with Mark and Ariel-s lives in an unexpected way, deepening the story-s exploration of identity. Hopkins creates a satisfying and moving story, and her carefully structured poems ensure that each word and phrase is savored. Ages 14-up. Agent: Laura Rennert, Andrea Brown Literary. (Jan.)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up&12; Ariel and her father, an abusive, homophobic alcoholic, never stay in one place very long. Miraculously, though, they have spent Ariel's entire junior year in Sonora, CA, and she hopes that, for once, they can stick around. Here, she has finally experienced a bit of stability and made friends. She has also begun to explore her sexuality with both new guy Gabe and Monica, her "queer Mexican American" best friend. Ariel keeps her feelings for Monica from her father, who never lets her forget that her mother left them when Ariel was two to "run off with her lesbian lover." The teen longs to break free from her father's control and be herself&12;whoever that is. Seventeen-year-old Maya, a Texan whose cold and abusive mother is increasingly involved in Scientology, seeks escape, too, and she finds it when she meets Jason, 10 years her senior; gets pregnant; and marries. But Jason has an escape plan of his own, one that will bring Ariel's and Maya's stories together in a startling way. Themes of identity, family, and truth are interrogated as readers slowly learn more about Ariel and Maya. Writing in verse (Ariel's tale) and prose (Maya's), Hopkins uses skillful pacing and carefully chosen words to conceal the most important truth of the novel. The reveal arrives just as readers may be putting the pieces together themselves. VERDICT A sharp, gripping read sure to please Hopkins's legions of fans.&12; Amanda MacGregor, formerly at Great River Regional Library, Saint Cloud, MN
Voice of Youth Advocates
Ariel’s life with her dad has always been in a state of turmoil. Abandoned by her mother as a baby, Ariel has constantly moved to new cities and schools. At seventeen, she thinks they might actually stay in one place long enough to complete an entire grade level at the same school. She makes friends and has some romantic (or is it lustful?) feelings for some of these friends. Then, there is Maya. Through her diary entries, readers learn that her relationship with her mother is so toxic that Maya searches elsewhere for love. Maya finds that love (or is it convenience?) with an older man in the military. Of course, her life would be better if she were married and raising a baby of her own, right? While the two characters seem to have nothing to do with each other, their lives completely change when their worlds intersect. They will never be the same again. Hopkins, using her unique style in the novel-in-verse format, has interwoven suspense, teenage angst, dysfunction, optimism, and hope. One character’s story is told in verse, providing easy distinction between the protagonist’s story and the alternate story. Delving into issues of teen pregnancy, scientology, bisexuality, same-sex marriage, family, and determination, this book is as substantial as it is beautifully written. Hopkins’s fans will love the newest addition to her published works, a must for contemporary young adult collections.—Dianna Geers.
Word Count: 84,393
Reading Level: 4.7
Interest Level: 9-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.7 / points: 12.0 / quiz: 192992 / grade: Upper Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.2 / points:20.0 / quiz:Q72932
The You I've Never Known

I Can't Remember

Every place

Dad and I have

called home. When

I was real little, the two

of us sometimes lived in

our car. Those memories

are in motion. Always moving.

I don't think

I minded it so much

then, though mixed in

with happy recollections

are snippets of intense fear.

I didn't dare ask why one stretch

of sky wasn't good enough to settle

under. My dad

likes to say he came

into this world infected

with wanderlust. He claims

I'm lucky, that at one day till

I turn seventeen I've seen way

more places than most folks see

in an entire

lifetime. I'm sure

he's right on the most

basic level, and while I

can't dig up snapshots of

North Dakota, West Virginia, or

Nebraska, how could I ever forget

watching Old

Faithful spouting

way up into the bold

amethyst Yellowstone sky,

or the granddaddy alligator

ambling along beside our car

on a stretch of Everglade roadway?

I've inhaled

heavenly sweet

plumeria perfume,

dodging pedicab traffic

in the craziness of Waikiki.

I've picnicked in the shadows

of redwoods older than the rumored

son of God;

nudged up against

the edge of the Grand

Canyon as a pair of eagles

played tag in the warm air

currents; seen Atlantic whales

spy-hop; bodysurfed in the Pacific;

and picked spring-

inspired Death Valley

wildflowers. I've listened

to Niagara Falls percussion,

the haunting song of courting

loons. So I guess my dad is right.

I'm luckier than a whole lot of people.

Excerpted from The You I've Never Known by Ellen Hopkins
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

How do you live your life if your past is based on a lie? Find out in this “satisfied and moving story” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) in both verse and prose from #1 New York Times bestselling author, Ellen Hopkins.

For as long as she can remember, it’s been just Ariel and Dad. Ariel’s mom disappeared when she was a baby. Dad says home is wherever the two of them are, but Ariel is now seventeen and after years of new apartments, new schools, and new faces, all she wants is to put down some roots. Complicating things are Monica and Gabe, both of whom have stirred a different kind of desire.

Maya’s a teenager who’s run from an abusive mother right into the arms of an older man she thinks she can trust. But now she’s isolated with a baby on the way, and life’s getting more complicated than Maya ever could have imagined.

Ariel and Maya’s lives collide unexpectedly when Ariel’s mother shows up out of the blue with wild accusations: Ariel wasn’t abandoned. Her father kidnapped her fourteen years ago.

In bestselling author Ellen Hopkins’s deft hands, Ariel’s emotionally charged journey to find out the truth of who she really is balances beautifully with Maya’s story of loss and redemption. This is a memorable portrait of two young women trying to make sense of their lives and coming face to face with themselves—for both the last and the very first time.

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