Member Reviews

Thank you Netgalley and Penguin Group for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!

"Sync" by Ellen Hopkins is an emotionally charged novel-in-verse that focuses on the harrowing experiences of teenage twins Storm and Lake. True to Hopkins' style, the book tackles heavy and real issues with raw honesty, making it both a heart-wrenching and captivating read. I highly recommend looking at content warnings for this book, especially with SA. There are a few scenes in this book that are described and can be quite triggering; I definitely recommend taking this book slow when reading due to these themes.

The story follows Storm and Lake, twins who have endured an abusive childhood and subsequent separation within the foster care system. Storm, after a stint in juvenile detention, finds some stability with a supportive foster father and his girlfriend. However, his journey is filled with challenges, and a single incident threatens to undo his progress. Lake, on the other hand, grapples with her sexuality in a conservative foster home, where being discovered could mean losing everything. Both twins must navigate their tumultuous lives while yearning for the connection they've lost.

Hopkins' writing style is as compelling as ever, with each page offering a new entry in alternating perspectives between Storm and Lake. This poetic format not only makes the book a quick read but also intensifies the emotional impact of the story. The simplicity and accessibility of the verses allow readers to deeply connect with the characters' pain and struggles without needing elaborate descriptions. I really liked the alternating perspectives because when I would find the emotions to be almost too much in one of the twin’s perspective, the POV would switch and would act as a bit of a breather. The prose in this book is a bit standard as there isn’t really a lot of creativity in the poetry format. The prose is just blocks of text, but the words and the story they told still flowed very well throughout.

One of the standout aspects of "Sync" is its unflinching portrayal of difficult topics such as child abuse, sexual assault, homelessness, and substance abuse. Hopkins handles these issues with grace and authenticity, making the story both relatable and poignant. The characters' experiences are depicted with such intensity that readers can feel their despair, resilience, and moments of hope. While there are times when the book's relentless focus on suffering might be overwhelming for some, it also highlights the harsh realities many teenagers face. The few glimmers of hope and kindness, though rare, shine brightly against the suffering both twins experience. The ending was definitely my favorite part of the book because of the hope both twins were experiencing. I especially liked the change with Storm and his environment; his moments toward the end of the book definitely made me tear up. The ending is a bit open-ended, though it does leave you with a sense of lingering hope.

Overall, "Sync" is a powerful and thought-provoking read that will stay with you long after you've turned the last page. Ellen Hopkins once again proves her mastery in crafting stories that are both heartbreaking and uplifting, making "Sync" a must-read for fans of her work and anyone interested in a deeply emotional and realistic portrayal of teenage life.

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This story that's written entirely in poems is so heartbreaking and beautiful. Brother and sister twins Storm and Lake haven't had it easy. They end up in the system as foster kids after being removed from their mother's and grandmother's care. Eventually the two are separated and go thru their own heartbreaks and struggles. Even though it was a sad story I really liked reading it via poems it made it different

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Another hit from Ellen Hopkins. I love all of her books as they are super thought provoking and beautifully written. I read her book Identical when I was 16 and still think about it to this day. Read this, you won’t regret it.

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This book made me feel like I was reading a little life again. Thankfully a much more hopeful ending than that. This book packs a realistically sad punch about our foster system and the juvenile justice system

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I was really nervous about this one because I had a tough time getting into it at first. I actually got about 20% through and then put it down for about 2 months. When I picked it back up again, I started from the beginning and devoured it over the course of 2 days. I've been a big fan of Ellen Hopkins since high school, and I'm so glad to see that I still enjoy her books. If you've read any of her previous books, you know that she doesn't shy away from tough topics, and this book is no different, so I HIGHLY recommend checking the trigger warnings. One thing I appreciate is that these traumatic things happen throughout the book, but most of them are off-page, and the writing is either the lead-up or the aftermath. Sometimes, authors can be extremely graphic for shock value, and I like that Hopkins can make you feel horrified, enraged, and heartbroken without those details. Overall, I'm glad I went back and finished it and think fans of Ellen Hopkins will enjoy this book as much as others she's written.

Thanks to Ellen Hopkins, NetGalley, and PenguinTeen for allowing me the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review (my teenage self thinks I'm like really cool for being approved for an ADVANCED COPY of and Ellen Hopkins book).

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This book was written in 2 POV.
They are twins, one is Storm and the other is Lake.
They are put into foster care, then separated, little to no contact while they grow up.

One goes to jail. Trouble seems to find him.
There’s rape, suicide and drug use

One is on the streets after being found with her room mate who’s a girl. They get into dealing meth, using it and the roommate has disappeared.

It’s heartbreaking and a page Turner.

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Always been a sucker for Ellen Hopkins teens in crisis books told in free verse, so I enjoyed reading this and really, whether you’re a longtime fan or a relative newbie to Hopkins, you’ll enjoy it as well. Already curious as to whether there’ll be sequels because the story doesn’t feel over yet.

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Content Warnings: child abuse & neglect, violence, sexual assault, drug use, suicide, harm to an animal

Twins Lake and Storm are used to only having each other to rely on. Growing up in an abusive and neglectful home, they treasure their special twin sync. After going through a couple foster placements, they are separated, going years without seeing each other. Told in alternating POV, this book follows the twins as they turn seventeen. Storm is facing the consequences of his anger, after retaliating against the boy who assaulted his girlfriend. Meanwhile, Lake and fellow foster Parker enjoy sneaking around their highly religious foster family- until they are caught and flee to live on the streets. Both twins reflect on their lives and how they ended up where they are, while wondering where their twin is and if they will ever reunite.

Somehow I have made it this far in life without reading any Ellen Hopkins. After this, I’m not sure I will seek any more. It’s not that it’s a bad book by any means, but I just don’t think it’s my cup of tea. While books in verse generally aren’t my favorite, there is generally a flow to them, words often dancing across the page. This just felt like small blocks of text.

Now, onto the content: I understand that Hopkins is known for tackling dark, gritty, taboo topics. Kudos to her for that. But holy crap, I have never read a book with so many traumatic events packed in. It was difficult to get through and after finishing, I was emotionally exhausted and battered. Yes, this life is a reality for many and it’s important to show these perspectives. But this just seemed like too much, and I felt like certain events weren’t fully explored, but just plot points to further the twins’ trauma. I was in the last 30ish pages when another traumatic event happened, and I truly stopped, unsure if I could even finish. (shout out to my mom for reading the end and telling me it was safe to finish)

Overall, I would not recommend this book to anyone without giving numerous content warnings. And even then, I don’t know that I would recommend it. If you’re a fan of Ellen Hopkins and you understand what you’re getting into, go for it! If you stumble across the book and want to give it a try, proceed with caution.

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Oh how I have missed Ellen Hopkins. I have read all of her other books and Sync did not disappoint me. I was immediately pulled into the story by Storm and Lake. I was rooting for both of them to find stability and happiness and broken hearted when the opposite happened.

I love Hopkins’ writing style. Being in verse form seems to pull me in for some reason and then I devour it.


Storm and Lake are brother and sister and have been dealt a horrible hand. Unfit mother and grandmother. Absent father. Bounced around from foster home to foster home. They were always in Sync as children but as they grew older and were separated they both have gone down different paths of trouble.


Just a wonderful unputdownable book!!

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What a powerful story wrapped in a simple 4-letter title. Sync begins with a promise of protection. At the age of three, Storm took on the job as big brother to keep twin sister Lake safe. It is the eve of their 17th birthday and neither knows where the other is. Sadly, they were separated in the foster care system. But there is hope their thoughts are synchronized.

Told in dual perspectives through unsent letters, the teenage twins fight their way through the foster care system back to each other in perfect sync. This novel will make readers think about different paths taken, who to trust and the blessings/flaws of the foster care system. Bookhearts, the content is heavy heavy. Whew—it can be a lot!

Sync is told in Ellen Hopkins' signature novel-in-verse style. It doesn't feel like almost 500 pages because the heartbreaking story holds on tight until the captivating climax and emotional ending. I just wish the title came into play a bit more allowing the twins to directly interact. Or maybe that was intentional...hmmm! 🤔 No one writes YA tackling triggering themes like Hopkins.

Happy Early Pub Day, Ellen Hopkins! Sync will be available on August 27.

Disclaimer: An advance copy was received directly from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins. ~LiteraryMarie

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It was good. Kinda compared to her other books though. It didn't go into enough detail with some of the stuff that happened especially with Lake when she was in the homeless encampment. I honestly would have liked to see more depth with that aspect of the story. But overall it was good

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It has been so long since I've read Ellen Hopkins, but she is still slaying it! Written in her traditional prose, she gives us a heart-wrenching story of twins who are separated by the foster care system.

This is a story full of tragedy (typical for Ellen Hopkins), pain, heartache, and redemption. The story of Storm and Lake follows them through their multiple foster placements and how they eventually find their way to each other again.

As much as it was pretty nostalgic to read Ellen Hopkins again, I definitely was hoping for a little bit more for the ending. Despite it being a bit abrupt, I can't help but walk away from this story mostly satisfied; and in this case, a smile on my face for Storm and Lake.

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Twins Lake and Storm are put into the foster system and in the beginning they were able to stay together and everything was working out great. However one thing leads to another and they are eventually seperated. In some cases they do get to keep in touch through their social worker, but eventually lose track of each other mainly because Storm is in juvenile detention a few times.

You do get to see through their eyes what the foster system can be like in both good and bad situations.

Storm and Lake do eventually find love but with devastating consequences, Storm ends up in juvenile detention again after his girlfriend is sexually assaulted. Lake runs away to live on the streets after her foster parent finds her in bed with her girlfriend.

My heart was all over the place reading this. I cried a lot. I love how Ellen Hopkins can pull you into a story and give you all the emotions.

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As always, this Ellen Hopkins book rips your heart out and stomps on it over and over again in the best way possible. Showing the two very different lives of twins navigating their way through foster care. Knowing the struggles that Lake and Storm face are not uncommon for those kids that find themselves in the system is eye opening. Would highly recommend to everyone!

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First of trigger warning for sa, drug use, and violence. Hopkins does it again she somehow makes the reader care about what is happening to the characters in this book. In sync we follow lake and storm as they go through life in foster care and everything life throws at them. I will say the ending had me wanting more for sure

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Ellen Hopkins has always been one of my favorite authors. I love the real life aspects. The very rarely “HEA”. Because sometimes we need to take off the rose colored glasses. And this was another great one. I read it in a day. One. Day. I haven’t done that with a full length novel in a long time. I couldn’t stop. Didn’t want to stop and also didn’t want it to end.
I felt so many emotions. Such an amazing read.

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This story follows a set of twins named Lake and Storm as they process through their foster care lives. Lake and Storm struggle with daily trails as they just try to stay a float amoung the constant chaos that is thrown their way. I highly recommend this book to as long as the read keeps their triggers and mental health in mind. Mental health matters and this story grabs you ahold and yanks you deep into the lives of these characters and their traumas.

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The writing is so beautiful and poetic & I am obsessed. Ellen truly knows how to right an “easy read” that touch on dark topics & I couldn’t get enough.
Though, the ending was wonderful… I just never wanted the story to end! I would read a sequel, for sure, if one was able to be written.

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Ellen Hopkins has been my favorite author for over ten years now. When I saw she was writing another book I jumped at the chance to read it. I was sucked in from the first line! The pain that Storm and Lake have gone through is heartbreaking.

Storm is a protector and will go to any length to protect those he loves. I fell in love with his character and how strongly he cares for the people in his life.

Lake is a girl determine to prove her mother wrong and achieve her goals. She has had some stumbles and horrible things happen along the way but still pushes through.

This book kept me on edge the entire time and I was devastated when it ended. I wanted to just keep reading and reading. I was so absorbed in Lake and Storm’s life.

Ellen Hopkins’ writing style is inspirational and keeps me coming back for more! Thank you for sharing this book with the world. This book comes out in August and it needs to be on your TBR!!

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Dual POVs; deep, heartwrenching, and challenging topics; truly felt for the two main characters and went through a rollercoaster of emotions; was fully hooked and never wanted to put it down; a masterfully written, captivating, impactful, and inspiring story with tragedy, hope, trauma, and redemption; the ending gave me goosebumps; my only gripe is that I wish it were longer- I needed more!

Hands down my new favorite Ellen Hopkins book 🩶
⚠️ check trigger warnings ⚠️

Special thank you to Penguin Group/Penguin Young Readers Group/Nancy Paulson Books and Netgalley for a DRC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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