Tricks by Ellen Hopkins

06 Jan

Rating: 5/5

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

Themes: Verse, Prostitution, Drugs

Queer Level: Straight, Gay, Lesbian & Questioning Main Characters; Gay, Lesbian & Straight Secondary Characters

[Learn More on Goodreads]

That… was a dark read. Beautiful in its own way, but heavy. You follow a set of teenagers who start off in vastly different places (some good, some bad) but all end up traveling down the road of prostitution due to desperation. Stuff like this actually happens and that is what makes it powerful. This threw me off because I had no idea what to expect – didn’t really muse over the title. Honestly, I just wanted to try a glbt friendly book in verse. Speaking of witch, the topic of sexuality was far more prominent than anticipated which was a pleasant surprise. The description is misleading because it only mentions one character is gay… but another main character is a lesbian and another questions his sexuality (comes off slightly bisexual with a strong preference for girls, even if it’s never confirmed). Not sure while they numbered them off incorrectly?

What I found interesting about this book is the amount of understanding it has. It shows the readers the draw to the darker things – what temps some and what pushes others. At first, I was a little concerned that the glorification of drugs, alcohol, and sex (referring to the unhealthy kind of course) and that it could be potentially influential, but it quickly proved itself as a warning. It shows the seriously ugly side of addiction and how easily these situations can turn bad, while ALSO proving credibility. These are lessons; almost like talking to a counselor who has been there and recovered. Someone who knows what it’s like. This method is far more effective at reaching people, especially those who need to hear it. Teen prostitution is unfortunately more common than we think, so the target audience is spot on. The book not only offers help, but spreads awareness. It says it cares and gets you caring as well. For this reason, I would definitely recommend it (assuming the individual can handle the content).

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Posted by on January 6, 2014 in Gay, GLBTQ, Lesbian, Questioning, Reviews


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