The You I’ve Never Known follows Ariel as she discovers who she is and how she fits into the world. The reader follows her struggle with her overall identity, sexual identity, friendships, and family ties.
What makes this book such a pleasure to read is its departure from everything that is usually found in young adult novels. Instead, the reader is given a diverse novel full of different cultures and different sexual orientations. It’s a breath of fresh air and I expect nothing less from Ellen Hopkins.
The synopsis of the book proclaims it to be a novel about a young woman as she discovers that her father kidnapped her as a young child. This is part of the novel, but it’s not the whole the novel. The You I’ve Never Known focuses almost solely on Ariel as she struggles with friendships, relationships, and her relationship with her father and what each of these relationships mean to her.
Hopkin’s verse is incredible. Her ability to manipulate words to create beautiful poetry is one of the reasons she’s an automatic buy author for me. I’m never disappointed.
The only complaint I have is that there are a few moments that feel contrived and their only purpose is to move the plot along.
Overall, The You I’ve Never Known is an incredible novel that I would recommend to everyone.