Burned by Ellen Hopkins

Summary: Raised in a stern, abusive Mormon household, a teenage girl starts to question her religion and struggles to find her destiny.

Her father is abusive, her mother is submissive, and her church looks the other way. Confused and angry, Pattyn Von Stratten acts out and is sent to live with an aunt on a Nevada ranch. She finds the love and acceptance she craves, with disturbing consequences.

Why It's Banned: Language, explicit sexual context, religious context, abuse

Review: It's because of books like this that I love reading. When you can read a book that makes you look at religion in general and say, "What the hell?" then you know you've found a book worth reading. I like Pattyn because she is much stronger than I probably would be if I was in that situation. She has the guts to defy her father and she can still stand with her head held high. I love that Ellen's books have very real characters and very real situations. They're all gritty and beautiful, and until you read that last line you have no idea what's going to happen next. This was one of those books I thought I was going to be able to predict what happens, but I was stunned at the ending. And of course it really isn't an ending is it? You get to try to figure it out on your own, but it seems pretty obvious what happens next. I give Ellen major props for being able to write such strong stories without needing a paranormal aspect to make them catch. While Burned is not a favorite of mine, it is really good and I will always love this book.