Smoke by Ellen Hopkins
"Pattyn Von Stratten’s father is dead, and Pattyn is on the run. After far too many years of abuse at the hands of her father, and after the tragic loss of her beloved Ethan and their unborn child, Pattyn is desperate for peace. Only her sister Jackie knows what happened that night, but she is stuck at home with their mother, who clings to normalcy by allowing the truth to be covered up by their domineering community leaders. Her father might be finally gone, but without Pattyn, Jackie is desperately isolated.
Alone and in disguise, Pattyn starts a new life as a migrant worker on a California ranch. But is it even possible to rebuild a life when everything you’ve known has burned to ash and lies seem far safer than the truth?"- summary from Amazon
Burned is my favorite Ellen Hopkins book, and I was so excited to hear that a sequel was finally coming out. I even re-read it right before diving into Smoke. It really helped since I'd read it originally 6 years ago and maybe once again sometime between then and now, so I was going in with a fresh memory of exactly what Pattyn had been through. Smoke picks up shortly after the end of Burned and is told between Pattyn's voice and her sister Jackie's, as the two are now separated. Pattyn is on the run, and Jackie is left at home to deal with the aftermath.
Like with all Hopkins' books, I pretty much loved this one. It feels weird to say that about books where generally bad things happen, but there you go. I loved getting back in Pattyn's head, but also getting a glimpse into her sister Jackie, who Pattyn confided in the most during the events of Burned. Both characters have fantastic, distinct voices and a major growth throughout the book.
Overall, Hopkins has written another great sequel as well as a wonderful, realistic ending for Pattyn as well as her sister Jackie. Highly recommended.
FTC: Received ARC from publisher (upon urging from Ellen- thanks!). Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.