Saturday, March 19, 2011

Identical by Ellen Hopkins

Identical by Ellen Hopkins describes the lives of identical twin sisters named Kaeleigh and Raeanne. Kaeleigh is the misplaced focus of her father's inappropriate affections starting from when she is a child, intended for her politician mother whose presence on the campaign trail means absence at home. Raeanne sees this is as her father ignoring and mistreating her, and that he loves Kaeleigh more than her. She tries to get his attention in other ways, like sex, drugs, anorexia, bulimia, and self-mutilization. Although Kaeleigh has the entire focus of her father, she is not perfect. She binge eats, has intense problems coming close to people, and like Raeanne, cuts. She is very similar to her mother, unlike Raeanne, who is definitely the more aggressive of the two. The two could not be more opposite inside. Kaeleigh has a best friend named Ian who is in love with her and really wants to be with her. Raeanne is in a relationship with a high school drop out named Mick, who she smokes and has sex with frequently.
At the climax of the novel, Raeanne is at Ty's house, a boy she met at a party she went to with her boyfriend, Mick. Raeanne and Ty smoke some meth, and start to have sex. In this scene, Ian busts in the door and screams, "Kaeleigh, what the hell are you doing?"
Kaeleigh/Raeanne replies that she isnt Kaeleigh shes Raeanne in a dream-like state.
The next chapter is Kaeleigh waking up in a hospital room with Ian there. She asks what happened. Ian explains. Kaeleigh slightly remembers. Ian then tells her Raeanne died in a car accident when they where both very little. Kaeleigh then enters the psychiatric ward of the hospital to discover she has a multiple personality disorder, and the whole book was just her, then entire time. With the help of doctors, she has the strength to bring her father's abuse to light, and to seek help in suppressing the Raeanne side of her personality. She does really well for a long time.
The last chapter is Raeanne speaking, giving a heads up: shes not gone, and she will take over when she needs to.

Discussion Questions:
1. Do you believe Raeanne's way of trying to get her father's attention was acceptable or okay?

2. Do you believe Kaeleigh will ever be able to get over the abuse from her father or her multiple personality disorder in order to develop a relationship with Ian?


Hannah K. 1-2 said...

1) I don't think it's important whether it was acceptable, but rather whether the behaviour helped her, mentally. The description makes it seem as though it doesn't.
2) I am think that if Kaleigh stays in therapy, she can recover, and if Ian is willing to be patient with her, then they could be happy together.

Tyler W 1-2 said...

2. I believe that if Kaleigh wants to develop a relationship that badly, she will overcome her other problems and move on as best as possible.

Renae G. 1-2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Renae G. 1-2 said...

1. No it was not acceptable at all for Raeanne to act that way in order to receive attention from her father. She could have simply just talked to him.

2. I think if she wants it bad enough then she can over come anything.

Josie D 7/8 said...

2. I believe, that if she stays with therapy and really wants to change, that she will be able to get over her disorder.

Monica J. 1-2 said...

1. She should have found a healthier and better way to communicate with her father.
2. I think if she reallly wants a relationship she will be able to get over the abuse of her father but he rmultiple personality is in her mind and she will have to live with that so if she wanted the relationship to work she could but it would be difficult and hard work.

jessica b 1/2 said...

1. I think she should have found a better way to gain the attention of her father, but if that is what helped her cope with the pain it is okay.
2. I believe if she really wants it and he is patient with her they can overcome it.

Nicole H. 7-8 said...

1 I do not think the way she tried to get attention was acceptable. She could have tried to talk to him.
2 I Think that eventually Keyleigh will be able to get over the abuse and make. Relationship with Ian, children are usually very resilient.

Kaitlyn K 7-8 said...

2) I think that Kaleigh will be able to get over the abuse and have a relationship with Ian but I think it will take some time to get over the abuse.

Mrs. Sherwood said...


Josh R. 1-2 said...

1. I believe that the more important matter is whether or not the way she acts is acceptable, but more if the actions helped herself emotionally.