Love Lies Beneath – Ellen Hopkins


3 star

The end of this novel closes with a poem titled: Lull. And that word alone encapsulates this novel completely.

Ellen Hopkins is one of my favorite writers. Her verse is absolutely beautiful, so when I found out she wrote a novel in prose I had to read it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t everything I wanted it to be.

To say nothing happened throughout the book would be a lie because a lot of things happen, but it doesn’t feel like it. This novel is mundane in every sense of the word. The reader follows the main character through her life as she encounters new love interests and deals with family drama.

What kept me reading, other than the fact that it’s an Ellen Hopkins book, was the main character. She was interesting, complex, and most importantly, sex positive. Her sex life played an important role in the novel. Some might call her promiscuous, but she refused to see her sex life as anything but adventurous and hers to own. I gravitated to her personality from the first page of the novel to the last.
The secondary characters were just as interesting and fleshed out. Their stories were sometimes part of the main story line and kept me interested, despite their very mundane nature.

The ending is a subtle pay off that would have been better suited at the beginning or the near middle of the novel. This is incredibly vague, but I don’t want to spoil potential readers.

Overall, I expected more from this novel because of my love for Ellen Hopkins’ writing style. Would I recommend this to others? It depends on who is getting the recommendation. For some, this book will be too slow and a definite DNF. For others, this is a slow burning book that pays off in an intellectual fashion rather than shock value.

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