Burnedby Ellen Hopkins
Raised in a religious yet abusive family, Pattyn Von Stratten starts asking questions about God, a woman's role, sex, love. She experiences the first stirrings of passion, but when her father catches her in a compromising position, events spiral out of control. Pattyn is sent to live with an aunt in the wilds of Nevada to find salvation and
Raised in a religious yet abusive family, Pattyn Von Stratten starts asking questions about God, a woman's role, sex, love. She experiences the first stirrings of passion, but when her father catches her in a compromising position, events spiral out of control. Pattyn is sent to live with an aunt in the wilds of Nevada to find salvation and redemption. What she finds instead is love and acceptance until she realizes that her old demons will not let her go.
School Library Journal
“troubling . . . beautifully written.”
Read an Excerpt
Did You Ever
When you were little, endure
your parents' warnings, then wait
for them to leave the room,
pry loose protective covers
and consider inserting some metal
object into an electrical outlet?
Did you wonder if for once
you might light up the room?
When you were big enough
to cross the street on your own,
did you ever wait for a signal,
hear the frenzied approach
of a fire truck and feel like
stepping out in front of it?
Did you wonder just how far
that rocket ride might take you?
When you were almost grown,
did you ever sit in a bubble bath,
notice a blow-dryer plugged
in within easy reach, and think
about dropping it into the water?
Did you wonder if the expected
rush might somehow fail you?
And now, do you ever dangle
your toes over the precipice,
dare the cliff to crumble,
defy the frozen deity to suffer
the sun, thaw feather and bone,
take wing to fly you home?
I, Pattyn Scarlet Von Stratten, do.
I'm Not Exactly Sure
When I began to feel that way.
Maybe a little piece of me
always has. It's hard to remember.
But I do know things really
began to spin out of control
after my first sex dream.
As sex dreams go, there wasn't
much sex, just a collage
of very hot kisses, and Justin Proud's
hands, exploring every inch
of my body, at my fervent
invitation. As a stalwart Mormon
high school junior, drilled
ceaselessly about the dire
catastrophe awaiting those
who harbored impure thoughts,
I had never kissed a boy,
had never even considered
that I might enjoy such
an unclean thing, until
literature opened my eyes.
See, the Library
was my sanctuary.
were like guardian
with graying hair
and beady eyes,
and always ready
to recommend new
to gaze through.
A. A. Milne. Beatrix
Grahame. E. B.
Cleary. Eve Bunting.
Then I started high
school, where the
librarian was half
angel, half she-devil,
so sayeth the rumor
mill. I hardly cared.
Ms. Rose was all
I could hope I might
one day be: aspen
physique, new penny
hair, aurora green
eyes, and hands that
could speak. She
walked on air. Ms
Rose shuttered old
portals undreamed of.
And just beyond,
what fantastic worlds!
I Met Her My Freshman Year
All wide-eyed and dim about starting high school,
a big new school, with polished hallways
and hulking lockers and doors that led
A scary new school, filled with towering
teachers and snickering students,
impossible schedules, tough expectations,
and endless possibilities.
The library, with its paper perfume,
whispered queries, and copy
machine shuffles, was the only familiar
place on the entire campus.
And there was Ms. Rose.
How can I help you?
Fresh off a fling with C. S.
Lewis and Madeleine L'Engle,
hungry for travel far from home,
I whispered, "Fantasy, please."
She smiled. Follow me.
I know just where to take you.
I shadowed her to Tolkien's
Middle-earth and Rowling's
School of Witchcraft and Wizardry,
places no upstanding Mormon should go.
When you finish those,
I'd be happy to show you more.
Fantasy Segued into Darker Dimensions
And authors who used three whole names:
Vivian Vande Velde, Annette Curtis Klause.
Mary Downing Hahn.
By my sophomore year, I was deep
into adult horror -- King, Koontz, Rice.
You must try classic horror,
insisted Ms. Rose.
Poe, Wells, Stoker. Stevenson. Shelley.
There's more to life than monsters.
You'll love these authors:
Burroughs. Dickens. Kipling. London.
Bradbury. Chaucer. Henry David Thoreau.
Jane Austen. Arthur Miller. Charlotte Brontë.
F. Scott Fitzgerald. J. D. Salinger.
By my junior year, I devoured increasingly
adult fare. Most, I hid under my dresser:
D. H. Lawrence. Truman Capote.
Ken Kesey. Jean Auel.
Mary Higgins Clark. Danielle Steel.
To view the world at large
through borrowed eyes,
eyes more like those
I wanted to own.
to see that it was more than
okay -- it was, in some circles,
expected -- to question my
little piece of the planet.
to understand that I could
stretch if I wanted to, explore
if I dared, escape
if I just put one foot
in front of the other.
to realize that escape
might offer the only real
hope of freedom from my
supposed God-given roles --
wife and mother of as many
babies as my body could bear.
I Also Began to Journal
Okay, one of the things expected of Latter-
Day Saints is keeping a journal.
But I'd always considered it just another
"supposed to," one not to worry much about.
Besides, what would I write in a book
everyone was allowed to read?
Some splendid nonfiction chronicle
about sharing a three-bedroom house
with six younger sisters, most of whom
I'd been required to diaper?
Some suspend-your-disbelief fiction
about how picture-perfect life was at home,
forget the whole dysfunctional truth
about Dad's alcohol-fueled tirades?
Some brilliant manifesto about how God
whispered sweet insights into my ear,
higher truths that I would hold on to forever,
once I'd shared them through testimony?
Or maybe they wanted trashy confessions --
Daydreams Designed by Satan.
Whatever. I'd never written but a few
words in my mandated diary.
Maybe it was the rebel in me.
Or maybe it was just the lazy in me.
But faithfully penning a journal
was the furthest thing from my mind.
Ms. Rose Had Other Ideas
One day I brought a stack of books,
most of them banned in decent LDS
households, to the checkout counter.
Ms. Rose looked up and smiled.
You are quite the reader, Pattyn.
You'll be a writer one day, I'll venture.
I shook my head. "Not me.
Who'd want to read anything
I have to say?"
She smiled. How about you?
Why don't you start
with a journal?
So I gave her the whole
lowdown about why journaling
was not my thing.
A very good reason to keep
a journal just for you. One
you don't have to write in.
A day or two later, she gave
me one -- plump, thin-lined,
with a plain denim cover.
Decorate it with your words,
she said. And don't be afraid
of what goes inside.
I Wasn't Sure What She Meant
Until I opened the stiff-paged volume
and started to write.
At first, rather ordinary fare
garnished the lines.
Feb. 6. Good day at school. Got an A
on my history paper.
Feb. 9. Roberta has strep throat. Great!
Now we'll all get it.
But as the year progressed, I began
to feel I was living in a stranger's body.
Mar. 15. Justin Proud smiled at me today.
I can't believe it! And I can't believe
how it made me feel. Kind of tingly all over,
like I had an itch I didn't want to scratch.
An itch you-know-where.
Mar. 17. I dreamed about Justin last night.
Dreamed he kissed me, and I kissed him back,
and I let him touch me all over my body
and I woke up all hot and blushing.
Blushing! Like I'd done something wrong.
Can a dream be wrong?
Aren't dreams God's way
of telling you things?
Was one of the designated
"hot bods" on campus.
No surprise all the girls
hotly pursued that bod.
The only surprise was my
I mean, he was anything
but a good Mormon boy.
And I, allegedly being
a good Mormon girl,
was supposed to keep
my feminine thoughts pure.
Easy enough, while struggling
with stacks of books,
piles of paper, and mounds
of adolescent angst.
Easy enough, while chasing
after a herd of siblings,
each the product of lustful,
if legally married, behavior.
Easy enough, while watching
other girls pant after him.
But just how do you maintain
pure thoughts when you dream?
Copyright ©2006 by Ellen Hopkins
Meet the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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this is one fast paced book. there never seems to be a be a dull moment. some of the stuff seems pretty unrealistic, but not impossible. twists and turns like you wouldnt believe. surprise ending. the last page youll have to read a few times over to truly understand. id recommend as a read. ps-not all mormons are like what they are depicted as in this book.
"Burned", by Ellen Hopkins, is a book that caught my attention while I was scanning around aimlessly in a large bookstore -- "Paradise Lost" cradled neatly in my hands. I caught a glimpse, then retreated. Caught another glimpse, and retreated again. Finally, I gave in. I'm glad I did. Ellen Hopkins wrote a book of a young girl's journey into a dark, menacing hole and liberation out of it. The protagonist relates years of oppression and toil, longing for an escape. She acts out. She gets sent away -- apparently -- to heaven. She meets the perfect guy. She lives in the perfect place. For a while, everything is perfect. However, happiness seldom lasts forever. The rug gets ripped out from beneath her, and that's the end. Mind you, this is just a skeletal summary of a much more engrossing book. I've seen reviewers mock the writer relating everything as "perfect". They don't like how the situation goes from one extreme to another, and so quickly! However, you must remember that this is from Patton's point-of-view. From the point of view of a character, a young teenage girl, who has never experienced such emotions in her life. I concluded that these extremes were only Hopkins' way of mimicking a blossoming girl's mind-set. One deeply in love, blinded by it. Impassioned by it. One extreme to another. That was just MY rationalization of the writing style. I'm sure that this will not be everyone's cup of tea. Regardless, I'm sure many will still find "Burned" to be a fantastic read. It's written creatively, it's short and sweet, and you'll be immersed. In fact, I finished it in two days. Give it a try. Buy it, or at least borrow it from your local library. It's worth a shot. P.S. Excuse any grammatical errors. :)
This book touched my heart like no other. Very well written of course, this author is an amazing writer. In this book you fall in love with the chargers and follow along like it's part of your life. I wasn't able to put this one down from the second I picked it up. I was very sad at the end of the book as well as shocked. I couldn't believe what happened... and I had to reread the ending to make sure that I read it right. I cried and laughed and thought about this book for two more days after it ended. It's a book that stays with you and if makes you feel sorry for people things like this happens to.
This is literally the absolute BEST book I've ever read. It is so emotional and depressing but I couldn't put the book down! I finished the book in less than a day and I loved the book.
I read this book two years ago and still remember every minute of it i borrowed and didnt buy the book and its so tempting to buy it just to read it again it is beautifuly written takes your breath away every minute your not reading it you are dying to have it in your hand again this might just be one of the best books i ever read and ive read alot!
As a young woman who grew up in a Mormon household and feeling like a complete outcast, due to the lack of communication in the home, I found this book EXTREMELY relatable! All one needs is a chance to be one's self and find their own identify. I believe the Mormon faith relies on one doing what they are told and not learning to do as they 'believe to be right' - I cannot speak for other religions, as I only know of the Mormon faith, however I believe there are a lot of things that get 'brushed under the rug' so to speak in many religions, not only Mormon. Very good read...especially for anyone who has felt like an outcast at anytime in their life!! OUTSTANDING!!!
and that meets one of my requirements for a good book. This one was as excellent as Crank. I really felt for Pattyn and her multiple predicaments. Having know abuse myself and seen it happen to others, I consider it a very accurate portrayl of alcoholism. The book was not very kind to the LDS church, but I believe it was used because it has been caught in its hypocrisy more than once and Hopkins used that as one of the main drives of Pattyn's motivations in the book. Killer ending though. I wouldn't have bought the book if I was looking for happily ever after, not after reading Crank. Highly recommended.
Everyone of her books are such an awesome read. I cant decide on which of her books are the best. Read all! You wont be disappointed!
the beginning was pretty interesting, i must admit. but things just went downhill from there.when the main character, patton, arrives at her aunt's house, things got very predictable. the boy she falls for is perfect, their relationship is perfect, blah blah blah. that was the worst thing about the book, that their relationship had no flaws whatsoever-they were a perfect, lovely little match, despite all the main characters going ons about how un-worthy she is-monotonous to say the least, idiotic ramblings to be blunt. and then the ending! just came flying out of nowhere. i grew to dislike patton greatly, just as i grew to dislike this book.
I had high hopes when I started this book. I liked Payton and I wanted to see her succeed. I wanted her to be happy. When I finished the book, I was extremely disappointed, not to mention angry. I must've cried for five minutes. Ellen Hopkins is an amazing writer but I don't see the point of this book. All of that build-up for a terrible, depressing ending? If you like horrible endings that are likely to provoke feelings of depression, then I recommend this book for you. If not, stay far far away.
I cried untill my mom came in to see if i was ok. Thats how good this book is!
very dramatic it shows you some of the hidden truths in life.The curiosity nd the wonder in the story brings you into the setting. ME personally i litterally am in love with the troubles and struggles the characters face in the amazing book
Burned by Ellen Hopkins, is such an amazing book. once you pick up this book and start to read you wouldnt want to put it down. Like i did. This book is full of emotions ,suspence and thrills, Fighting her way through True Love and abuse with an unforgetable end you cant not miss. You are able to feel the pain Pattyn(Main Character) is feeling and what she is going through. I honestly LOVE this book and it is so great it became one of my favorite books and i know for shure you will love it as well.
Wow were to begin. Well first, Claps for Ellen Hopkins I am 16 years old and usely dont read all the books that an author writes. I can say I have read all of her books and would read them over and over again. But Burned wow this book was amazingly emotional and just well written. Now I wouldnt recommend any of Ellen Hopkins books for teens under the age of 14. But I would recommend this book highly for teens to read and not this just this but all of them. They all have a good meanings to them
Alright, I will not argue with the people here who say this book was a page turner becasue it was. Burned was addicting and a memorable book. However, there was just something about it that I didn't quite understand. Sure people have bad stuff happen to them, but Pattyn just happened to have the worst life ever? I mean, come on Hopkins, all of this bad stuff can't happen to just one person in a period of a year! the odds of this stuff actually happening to one single teenaged girl is literaly one in a million. I think if she toned it down a bit, maybe canging Pattn's life so it would be a bit more realistic, I would have enjoyed it more. However, I just couldn't buy that all of that crap could happen to one girl in a year.
I ordered this book specifically because I'm a HUGE fan of Ellen Hopkins and her books Crank and Glass. First things first, this book in no way compares to either. Despite it's length it lacked depth, detail, emotion, and quite frankly I lost interest early on. While this should be a very relatable book, [sex, struggle with religion, abusive home, being an outcast, ect.], it was all but in my opinion. I couldn't feel what the character felt. It's a beautiful plot but so poorly written. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to say I read it- but I do feel I wasted my money and most of my friends agree that this is our least favourite of all of her books. [i'm the only one out of us who hasn't read impulse, but they all assure me it's amazing.] All I can say is I would recommend borrowing it from a friend/library before buying it.
Frankly, I dont even understand why this book is called BURNED. The title has noting to do with the book. I had previously read other books by this author, and I really thought this book would be better than it was. It is a good book if you r looking for something to read, though.
“Burned” is a very intense read. What makes it so emotional is it’s close ties to reality. This book could be about someone I know. It could be about the religious zealot we have all seen at school, work or standing on a corner with a sign proclaiming the “end”. The portrayal of domestic abuse is chillingly accurate. I grew up in an abusive home and I know first hand how close to reality this story really is. The feelings that Pattyn expresses are so real that it’s easy to forget she isn’t real and this is just a story. “Burned” is shocking. If I had to sum the entire book into one word that would be it. It’s authenticity is shocking. It’s accuracy is shocking. It’s subject matter is shocking. But, this story needs to be told and I am extremely glad that Hopkins has told it so masterfully. Pattyn is a character that has stuck with me for a long time. See, this is a book I bought years ago. It’s been sitting on my shelf a long time. I’ve re-read it countless times. Pattyn is a character I know well. Her story is one I go back to again and again. This story is a dark one. It’s dark because reality can be dark. It’s not as simple as running away. It’s not as simple as standing up for yourself. In some households, that could get you killed. Or….someone you love killed. For those whose lives have not been tainted by abuse (religious or other) it’s hard to understand the darkness that surrounds you. The lack of faith and trust you have in humanity. The isolation you feel while surrounded by your peers. The choices you have to make…. The way people turn on you with breakneck speed. Thank you Ellen Hopkins for bringing the story of so many to the forefront. Thank you for telling it in its painful reality. Thank you for not sparing the bad. To see my full review, check out my blog AlliesOpinions on Wordpress!
Love her style I didn't want to put it down
Burned by Ellen Hopkins is a very fast paced book. i like her story plot of a young girl growing up with a abusive family who gets away from them and try to get her life together. i also like how she wrote the book in poem style and how she related the girls life to something that should actually happen. i didn't like how fast paced the book was. a audience that enjoys reading about someone life, romance, and life struggles would enjoy this book.
I love ellen Hopkins books she is an amazing writer that writes about real problems that most of the world ignores and avoids. This is personally my favorite I have read it 20 times and it never gets old. It has every emotion in one book read it and you won't regret it.
On the edge of my seat the whole time!