Well, I just finished it. I’m pretty sure it is one of the only Ellen Hopkins books that has a happy ending. That’s probably why I’ve seen some bad reviews on it. I don’t feel that way at all though. This is my new favorite by her. I wasn’t even a fan of Burned. It was too depressing for me. I don’t think I handle the idea of losing someone close to me very well. (Not that anyone can really handle that.) But Burned definitely left me feeling depressed at the end of it.
I LOVED Smoke. I’ve read reviews by people saying Ellen Hopkins should have just let her story end with Burned. I think if anyone deserved a happy ending it was Pattyn Von Stratten. Her and her sister Jackie in Smoke were very relatable to me. I liked the way it showed them side by side struggling with what’s right and what’s wrong. And when you should just say Screw you and do the hard thing instead of taking the easy way out.
I was so scared at the ending when crazy Deirdre and her cronies drove up. I couldn’t deal with Pattyn losing another love. I would have been very upset with Ellen Hopkins for breaking my heart again. I wish they would have said why Deirdre was crazy. Did something happen to her when she was younger? Or was she actually just mentally unstable? Maybe that will be Ellen’s next book. Or maybe she could talk about Gavin and his life story more. The men, well Gavin and Angel, were perfect in this book! I loved them both.
I’m not sure who pissed me off more in this book. Deirdre, Caleb McCain, or Pattyn and Jackie’s mother. Caleb was the typical scum bag who thought his S*** don’t stink and their mother turned into this really repulsive character. I guess I’m glad she saw the light at the end of the book? But dang. Does it really take your daughter blaring out what happened to her in front of a whole church congregation to flip your maternal switch on? I’m with Pattyn running back to mountains in the end. Screw that mess. Those poor other children.
The ending was the best part. The writing and overall ending tone was beautiful! I loved the imagery of the mountains and horses in Caliente at Aunt J’s ranch. And I felt like I could feel how Pattyn was feeling in that moment looking over the mountain and seeing where Ethan was laid to rest. I am very glad Ellen gave Pattyn closure. Now I don’t have to feel sad every time I see Burned on my bookshelf.