YA Fiction

The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins

Grades 9-12


Hopkins uses both verse and prose to tell the stories of Ariel and Maya. Seventeen-year-0ld Ariel has always lived with her dad after her mom disappeared when she was a baby. The two of them have moved around a lot, and now Ariel is ready to stay in one place.

Maya is a teenager who finally escapes her abusive mother, and finds comfort in an older man she trusts. However, she isolated the only family she had, and life gets a lot more complicated when she finds out she is pregnant.

Both girls’ stories intertwine when out of the blue, Ariel’s mother shows up and tells her that she didn’t abandon her; in fact, her father kidnapped her. Ariel doesn’t know who to believe. Meanwhile, Maya is dealing with a loss of her own, and the novel ends in a twist no one saw coming.

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