Smoke is the sequel to Ellen Hopkins' book, Burned, which was okay but not my favourite from her. Hopkins writes in verse which is a format I adore, and her books are the kind that deal with dark issues in a raw and honest way. As a result, I would easily pick up anything she wrote ever, so when I had the opportunity to read Smoke, of course I did. Unfortunately, it reconfirmed that this is just not my favourite Hopkins series. It's not bad, but it's just not to the standards of some of Hopkins other books for me.
In Smoke, Pattyn is on the run after Ethan's death and the loss of her baby, while her sister Jackie is left at home trying to tend to their large, shattered family. Both Pattyn and Jackie have secrets, and unlike Burned the book is told from both their perspectives. I thought that added in a unique element and I am always blown away at how different Hopkins makes her narrators sound even when they are both using the verse format.
I'm not convinced that Burned needed a sequel, and although it did end on a cliffhanger asides from tying that up Smoke feels a bit unnecessary. Although it's a very dark novel, it also manages to tie things up a bit too perfectly, *spoiler* and is too reliant on finding magical love interests who can solve everything, *spoiler* something that just doesn't feel authentic, or empowering, in the context of the book. I will definitely continue to recommend many novels by Ellen Hopkins in the future, as well as pick them up myself, but unfortunately Smoke will not be on the short list.
Release Date: September 10th 2013 Pages: 543 Format: ARC
Source: Publisher Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Buy It: Book Depository