Monday, September 7, 2009
Tricks by Ellen Hopkins
Release Date: Available Now from McElderry Books
When all choice is taken from you, life becomes a game of survival."
Five teenagers from different parts of the country. Three girls. Two guys. Four straight. One gay. Some rich. Some poor. Some from great families. Some with no one at all. All living their lives as best they can, but all searching...for freedom, safety, community, family, love. What they don't expect, though, is all that can happen when those powerful little words "I love you" are said for all the wrong reasons.
Five moving stories remain separate at first, then interweave to tell a larger, powerful story -- a story about making choices, taking leaps of faith, falling down, and growing up. A story about kids figuring out what sex and love are all about, at all costs, while asking themselves, "Can I ever feel okay about myself?"
A brilliant achievement from New York Times best-selling author Ellen Hopkins -- who has been called "the bestselling living poet in the country" by mediabistro.com -- Tricks is a book that turns you on and repels you at the same time. Just like so much of life.
Ellen Hopkins has done it again. As a rule, I try to avoid really depressing books. After losing two family members who I was very close to in two years, I just can't handle the super sad stuff like I used to. So for me to pick up a book about a topic this serious, it has to be by someone I totally respect. I totally respect Ellen Hopkins. I think her books are incredibly powerful and each one uses such strong voices to expose a very important topic.
This book deals with, as the title suggests, teen prostitution. It's told from five different points of view. Five different teens who come from vastly different backgrounds, but all end up, in one way or another, selling themselves to survive.
As I said before, it's incredibly powerful and at times truly disturbing, but I think it really gets to the heart of how many teens fall onto this path before they even know what's happened. It can be brutally honest, and is way more graphic than any of her previous books, but I think you have to include those "hard to handle" scenes to get across the seriousness of her topic.
I will continue to read everything Hopkins throws at us and if you haven't checked her out yet, I highly suggest that you do. I would start with Crank and work from there. If you're anything like me, you'll be blown away and scrambling for her next book.