The You I've Never Known Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
How do you live your life if your past is based on a lie? A new novel in both verse and prose from number-one New York Times best-selling 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 17, 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 14 years ago.
What is Ariel supposed to believe? Is it possible Dad's woven her entire history into a tapestry of lies? How can she choose between the mother she's been taught to mistrust and the father who has taken care of her all these years?
In best-selling author Ellen Hopkins' 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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|Listening Length||8 hours and 49 minutes|
|Narrator||Candace Thaxton, Rebekkah Ross, Kirby Heyborne|
|Audible.ca Release Date||January 24 2017|
|Publisher||Simon & Schuster Audio|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #51,900 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#45 in Teen Fiction on Bullying & Abuse
#127 in LGBTQ2S+ Audiobooks for Teens
#150 in Fiction on Family for Teens
Top reviews from Canada
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I found this book to be very different from the rest that i have read. Still a great read, though i found myself waiting for something really exciting or disturbing to happen like in other books.
My advice? Dont wait for that, just enjoy the ride.
Hopkins is worth paying attention to because she frequently presents characters and scenarios that true to life but aren’t often seen in polite society. You can tell she’s got a big heart. But what she badly needs is an editor. Scenes go on for fat too long. Her books need to be cut in half . What’s frustrating about Hopkins as a writer is all the shortcuts she takes. Her characters are nearly always two-dimensional. It can often be tough finding somebody to root for. And the dialogue. Much of her dialogue is simply cliché ridden tropes that would never come out of the mouth of a teenager. And that really hurts her credibility as a believable YA writer.
There is a story worth telling in here. But the author puts up so many barriers the reader may not consider it worth the effort.
What I Liked
The dual perspective. After reading the first few chapters from Ariel’s perspective, the reader is introduced to the new point of view of Maya. I loved the dual perspectives as it showcased these two different girls and their very different, yet uniquely troublesome lives. Ariel lives on the road with her father and she has never had the opportunity to live in the same place for very long until now. As a teenager, Maya becomes pregnant with the child of an older man. Eventually these two characters and their complicated stories become intertwined.
The characters. As the book went on, I really started to enjoy reading about all of the characters. I enjoyed slowly learning about Ariel’s past as well as her present struggle with self-discovery as I read through each chapter. I liked reading about her two love interests, Monica and Gabe, and how Ariel knew she loved them both, but for different reasons. Even though Ariel’s father wasn’t the greatest person (I’m trying not to spoil things here), it was interesting to learn about his past and the issues that he had to deal with…which probably caused him to do half of things that he did.
The writing style. Ellen Hopkins is known for writing in prose. I LOVE her writing, and I have ever since I was an early teenager. I had never read anything written in prose before reading Crank and because it was something so new to me, I absolutely loved it. Her books look huge and intimidating at first glance, but they are so fast paced and they move so smoothly while also being so beautifully written.
It was different. Different in the sense that it was very unlike the many other books that I have read by Ellen Hopkins in the past. It was a lot lighter…which is kind of funny considering that The You I’ve Never Known contains some pretty serious subject matter. It’s just that in comparison to some of the topics that Ellen Hopkins has covered in the past (of which I have read) this was pretty tame…which was a really nice and interesting change.
What I Didn’t Like
The spoiler synopsis. I really REALLY wish that I hadn’t read the description on the back of this book. I felt like it gave so much away and basically spoiled what could have been a pretty great twist/shock.
Overall, I’m still beyond excited that I was able to read and review this for Big City Bookworm. I really enjoyed The You I’ve Never Known and I can’t wait to read more from Ellen Hopkins in the future!
Top reviews from other countries
Hopkins' writing is exquisite, as always, and that was one of the things I loved about this book. It is so beautiful: the prose, the poetry, the two stories woven intricately together. Ariel and Maya are relatable and it furthered the story. Both girls bring a different aspect of family, and they both tell a different story.
However, reading the synopsis completely ruined the book for me. I just couldn't get past it. I kept waiting and waiting for Ariel's mom to come back. Because of this, I feel like the story drug on and on. This was a highly anticipated book. Wholeheartedly, I do know I would have loved and enjoyed the story more, had the synopsis been cut back.
The story of the girls themselves was enough to keep the book floating. It was the reason I kept reading after the first hundred pages and this isn't a short book. I enjoyed the secondary characters, just as much as I liked the main characters.
BUT I DID TURN OUT TO BE RIGHT AND IT WAS GLORIOUS!! I won't go into too much detail, because I am not a spoiler queen (Though, if you're okay with spoilers, I'll be giving them below my review), but this is probably if not THE best, then one of Ellen's best books. *Cliche Time* I simply could not put it down. I read the entire last quarter of the book in about an hour and a half. I had to know what happened! There are still some things I want to know, so I feel like a second book, or maybe just a novella, would be a wonderful thing to happen.
***SPOILER TIME BECAUSE I NEED TO TALK ABOUT THINGS***
The main thing I wanna know more about is Ariel/Casey's dad. Was he ever caught? What exactly happened while him and A/C ran together all those years? Just a book/novella from his perspective would be amazing. I also feel so awful for Maya. For Ariel too, but I just feel more pain for Maya. Ariel grew up, missing a mom, but thinking she was better off, while Maya found out she was pregnant and developed all these dreams for herself and Ariel/Casey, just to have them taken away from her. By a man who never wanted a daughter in the first place. Exploring that relationship more would make for a great second book too. Maybe have it told by three different characters - Maya, Ariel/Casey, and now maybe A/C has her own teenage daughter, so she's a main POV also. Also, Ariel was GETTING IT. Honestly, she went for 0 to 100 extremely quickly on the relationship front. But I love her and Monica together. I really hope that Monica's able to come out to her family and it turns out okay, or maybe it doesn't, but her and Ariel still last, or maybe she never comes out and Ariel meets someone new and finds a life with them, but maybe she still loves Monica. There's just so much left open!! So, basically, my review is I love this book and I need more of these characters. Every. Single. One. The You I've Never Known