Monday, May 13, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Tricks by Ellen Hopkins

If you haven’t read any of Ellen Hopkins books, go out and buy them. They are fantastic. She writes her novels in poetry, but it isn’t lame, everything must rhyme poetry. Each of Hopkins book deals with such a strong subject matter, that it shakes you, makes you want to reach out and help.   Hopkins has a gift of making you feel in tuned  and emotionally involved with the characters.
The latest book that I have read from her is called Tricks.  
It is about 5 teenagers. All different – some boys, some girls, some straight, some gay, some with great parents or none at all- yet all after the same thing, love.  They all want love, will do anything for it even though they just want to be safe and have support. The stories are distinct at first, but slowly intertwine to each other.   At first it seemed like too many characters and I thought to myself, how am I ever going to keep them apart, but, Hopkins writes in a way that it flows so great that you get attached to each story line separetly.
A quick overview of the 5 characters:
Eden: falls deeply in love only thing is that her parents are super religious and forbids her to date.  Her love seemed real. It seemed genuine. When her family found out, they sent her away to a strict religious facility, in which she did what she had to do to escape.
Seth: gay, not sure if he should come out or not, falls in love with a guy and when his farmer dad finds out, kicks him to the curb. (Side note: this absolutely pisses me off, that all of a sudden you disown your child because they don’t  follow your planned path for them)
Ginger: eldest of 6 kids all who are fathered by different men with her junkie mom who paid guys to rape her. That was her last straw and she ran away to Las Vegas with her best friend/girlfriend and tried hard not to follow in her mother’s footsteps.
Whitney: jealous of sister, but still popular, loses virginity to an asshole;  Then falls for the next guy who pays attention to her.
Cody: good family and upbringing, rebellious little brother , dead step dad caused him to start gambling in order to help with the bills. Gambling is a problem if you don’t stick within the limits which Cody learns.
As the title suggests, they all somehow manage to turn tricks for money, for love, for approval.  Sometimes you want to yell at them, and be like ‘ you have another choice’. Yet, you can somehow relate to each character in the story, because it is a very relatable material. I won’t tell how they are all connected, or the way they choose to turn tricks because then you won’t read the book, and you should.
Seriously, go out and buy her books.  You won’t be disappointed.
5 stars

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