Krista Ashe's Reviews > Tricks

Tricks by Ellen Hopkins
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Oct 25, 10

bookshelves: my-110-of-2010-books
Read from October 24 to 25, 2010

** spoiler alert ** First of all, let me say I'm about 100 pages from finishing and I just simply can't. It's not that it isn't good. It is. It's just the subject matter is so heartbreaking, terrifying, and too voyeristically gratituous that I can't bring myself to do it. Frankly, the descriptions of the rapes, kids prostituting themselves, etc, were just too much for me...I literally became nauseated. It's the same feeling I got after reading Living Dead Girl. Yes, these are characters, but the fact that you KNOW it really happens to children disturbs you on so many levels that it is unbearable. It's also something that you feel very helpless about.

I'm not naive enough to believe that things like this aren't happening every day. I know they do. I work with kids that molestation and rape have been a part of their lives. Therefore, I'm very sensitive it it. I do not feel, however, that they need to be described in such detail. And the excessive detail concerns me for some teens.

Eden's story for me did not seem believeable at all. A virgin so in love with Andrew, her love, that she's willing to prostitute herself out of the facility her overzealot religious parents sent her too? It just didn't bode well with me. And the studly Cody working as a male escort?
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Beth (new)

Beth Yay! Someone who finally agrees with me about the excessive detail. And I say that as someone who is a fierce, fierce supporter of edgy YA. I just think she's a gratitutious writer for the most part, not an edgy one. I don't mean to sound bitchy, but just like...someone who sees "edgy lit" as a game of one-upmanship?

Anyways, sorry for the rambling.


Krista Ashe No, please ramble on! When I came on to do my review, I was little surprised how many 4 and 5 Stars there were without any complaints of the graphic sex scenes. I mean, I'm 31 and shocked/horrified, and I'm not someone who lives under a rock and doesn't know about these things. But it just really bothered me how unnecessary it was to be so graphic....I felt like it needed a NC17 rating, and I'm someone who likes and writes edgy YA, lol.

But thanks for commenting!!!


Beth wrote: "Yay! Someone who finally agrees with me about the excessive detail. And I say that as someone who is a fierce, fierce supporter of edgy YA. I just think she's a gratitutious writer for the most par..."


Joan I totally agree with your comments, this book is too graphic for teens. They're exposed to so much these days, and it really was a "how to" for alot of sex. Having said that, I did really appreciate the opening poems in each chapter, and especially appreciated the teens' POVs. It makes me want to work harder as a parent to hear my kids and their hurt. And, as much as I agree that some of the scenarios were extreme and spiraled out of control too quickly/easily, I think Hopkins is subtly making the point that our lives do hang in a delicate balance. But will I encourage my teenagers to read this book? NOT A CHANCE


Nothing As someone that has experienced much of what happened in the book, I have to agree. The detail was... intense, it was a very hard read for me, emotionally (particularly the multiple rape scenes. Every character? Damn, Hopkins, easy there!).
When I finished it I cried, chain smoked and watched a lot of Pound Puppies just to... zone out, I guess. I don't know what reading this book would be like for one that hasn't lived it. Jarring comes to mind.
While I don't believe in censoring reality, in all honesty if I had a kid, I'd blow a gasket if I saw them reading this. I'd let them read it, but I'd be there with tissues, ice cream (no kid of mine will smoke because daddy is a hypocrite), cartoons and a lot of stern fatherly warnings.
I don't know if you finished the book after posting this (my app doesn't give a date, but many of the comments say they're a year old). If you didn't finish it.. be glad. The ending was even rougher than the rest of the book.


Krista Ashe Oh God, I'm glad I didn't!! I think I read a summary of it and what happened to some of the characters. Hopkins is a powerful writer, but damn, is she bleak and depressing!!

And it's so ironic that you commented because just yesterday one of my more mature 8th grade students was reading a copy from our library. I couldn't help but say something about the too intense scenes. She didn't get what I meant at first, eesh, so I had to explain bc they were so detailed some "sick people" would enjoy it.


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