The source of some of the trauma is a horrible accident, which happened years ago but still haunts them all. Kaeleigh deals with this and her father’s unsought attentions by being a “good girl” – working at a nursing home and fleeing from her incredibly patient teenage suitor’s embraces. Raenne is the proverbial “bad girl,” chasing street drugs and sex to numb the pain.
Although there are serious problems with this story’s plot, Hopkins’ writing is so hypnotic that it’s easy to withhold disbelief. Even though their situation is so brutally extreme, the girls’ voices – piercing and realistic in their fear of what is and hunger for something else– feel incredibly real.
All of Hopkins' books are extremely popular with struggling readers, especially girls.
Bibliotherapeutic value: The book underscores the value of connecting with others and sharing secrets in order to heal. Though both girls are fully aware of what they’re doing and (usually) why, nothing can break them out of their cycle until they break their silence.
Hopkins, Ellen. Identical. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books - Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2008.
ISBN: 978-1-4169-5005-9. $17.99.