Tricks...are not for kids

Status: Bookseller Picks

Ellen Hopkins has devoted herself to shining a spotlight on social problems afflicting teenagers, finally plunging into the dark world of teenage prostitution. The book starts off innocuously, introducing us to five teenagers.

 

Eden is the sixteen-year-old daughter of a pastor and an overbearing mother. She has lived a fairly sheltered life, and meets the "love of her life" at church. One thing leads to another, and soon they're fornicating. Her parents' response to this realization sends her life spiraling out of control.

 

Seth is the gay son of widower, but hasn't come out to his father. He deludes his dad into thinking he's out having trysts with girls, but he actually has a serious secret boyfriend. After Seth gets his heart broken, his father finds out about his homosexuality and kicks him off the farm. Where will he go?

 

Whitney is a girl living in the shadow of her older sister. She lives to please a father who is never home, while avoiding the torment of a mother who pays her attention only when there's something negative to be said. Longing for affection from boys, she gives up her virginity to the first guy to notice her. When she finds out he was just looking for a good time, she turns to a stranger who alters her life in many ways.

 

Ginger is the daughter of a hooker, determined to evade that same fate. After years of being raped, she finally understands that her mother has been selling her for cash. Even though she plays Mom to five younger siblings, she knows she must abandon them if she's going to survive. With the only friend she has, Ginger finds a way to escape, but her friend leads her right into another humiliating (but not so different) lifestyle.

 

Cody is the all-American teen, drugging and gambling, but not enough for his parents to notice. When the only father he's ever known is diagnosed with cancer, he loses control trying to find a way to keep his family safe.

 

Hopkins interweaves these teens' stories seamlessly until they all finally meet in one place—Sin City. Here we see the variety of reasons that drive people to ultimately share the same destiny. Of course, their lives are changed irrevocably when they end up here. But there's always hope...

Categories: teens

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