Books, Music & Movies · The You I've Never Known

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The You I've Never Known

Ellen Hopkins

Hopkins (Traffick, 2015) again tackles difficult subject matter as she tells the story of 17-year-old Ariel who longs for a permanent home, and Maya, Ariel’s mother who allegedly abandoned her daughter when she was 2. Ariel finally experiences a bit of stability when she and her nomadic father put down roots in Sonora, CA. Here she begins to explore her sexuality with both the handsome new guy at school Gabe and her best friend Monica. But Ariel’s life is upended when Maya returns, claiming that she never left her daughter. Instead, she reveals that Ariel’s father kidnapped her, and now Maya wants her back. Ariel finds herself torn between the mother she’s been taught to mistrust and the father who fostered that suspicion.