Thomas's Reviews > Tricks

Tricks by Ellen Hopkins
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Aug 27, 09

bookshelves: five-stars, lgbtq, own-physical, young-adult, realistic-fiction, romance, poetry
Recommended for: everyone who's 13+
Read in August, 2009

** spoiler alert ** Oh my god. So I got this book the first day it became available at the book store (yesterday), and I couldn't wait to read it. So I did. And it was AMAZING. Ellen Hopkins does it again in this beautifully written novel told in verse titled "Tricks". It is about five teenagers who each come from different backgrounds, some in the upper class, some in the lower class. Three girls, two boys. Four are straight, one is gay. But they all have one thing in common: they are all searching for acceptance, love, freedom, and they will all do whatever it takes to survive, in the unrelenting cold, cold world they will each be a part of. By the way, the last paragraph of the review will contain *major* spoilers.

Eden Streit is an innocent girl. She really is. Her mother and father are both heavily religious folk, her dad being the lead priest of their local church, and her mom being the trophy wife that he's always proud to come home to. Eden and her sister Eve (get it?) are both obedient and never cause any trouble. But when a decent young man who is two years older than Eden, named Andrew, decides to come into Eden's life and sway her off her feet, her parents are not happy. In fact, they send Eden away so she can reform her sins. And Eden will do absolutely anything to get out of that horrible place. Anything.

Seth Parnell is an Indiana country farm boy. He lives with his father, and they are both living through a terrible loss. The loss of a wife, and a mother. Seth also has to deal with the fact that he's gay. So when Seth decides to act on his urges, he comes to face to face with a nice man named Loren. Everything seems good for a little bit, with Loren treating Seth out to musical theather and to eat at fancy dining, but good things never last. So when Seth is cast out on his own to survive, there is nothing much he can barter with... besides his body.

Whitney Lang is the epitome of popularity and beauty. Although she would probably be better off without her mom and sister, she still has her loving dad and caring boyfriend Lucas to come home to every day. But what happens when Whitney gives something away to Lucas, something precious that a girl must be careful with, and it turns out that Lucas dumps her because of it? Whitney makes a rash decision driven by teenage rebellion - a decision she will soon regret.

Ginger Cordell just might want to be a writer when she grows up. But it's hard to focus on that when she has to take care of her four brothers and sisters, escpecially when her mom is always out hooking up with strange men to pay the rent. She is sick of always being surrounded by the stench and disgusting feeling of sex, so she decides to run away with her friend. But this change of scenery will not be just any walk in the park.

Cody Bennett has a nice, civil family. He has a younger brother named Cory, a loving mom, and a stepfather named Jack. He pretty much is living the life. But when Jack suddenly passes away, his family is torn apart and sinks faster than the Titanic while hitting the iceberg. With his mom out of commision and a younger brother that gets sent to juvy, Cody has to find a way to pay the bills somehow, right?

Gahhh I loved this book. Seriously, it was just amazing... breathtaking. Hopkin's prose is beautiful, this book just made me want to read more even though at times I was absolutely disgusted. Like a car crash you can't look away from. Everything about this book, the characters, the plot, it was just so magnificent. *spoilers beyond here*

Eden's story was probably the "happiest one", I think she was the character that only got the happy ending. Seth's ending really sucked for me, he never even gets out of prostitution! That made me really sad and depressed. I really liked him. Whitney... she was okay, she had a nice ending too, although for most of the second half of the book she was too buzzed for me to really get deep into her character. I felt so bad for Ginger, and this may be a bad thing to say but Iris totally deserved to get HIV. I can't believe she would sell her own daughter's body! What kind of sick parent would do that to her own child!? And last but not least, Cody. I felt for him too, although it would've been nice to be able to see if he could resolve the issue about his sexuality.

FIVE STARS!!!
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Nancy Great review, thanks for the recommendation! :)


Thomas Ty and ur welcome =]


Nancy I just requested this from the library today. =)


Thomas They already have it at your library? Or are you requesting for them to get a copy of it?


Nancy It's available through ILL, so it may take a couple of weeks.


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