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Searching for Pilar

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  126 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Pilar, an innocent young wife and mother, is abducted during a fake job interview in Mexico City and forced into sex slavery in Houston. Can she survive the horrors of a world—one which many Americans don’t see or ignore—long enough for her brother Diego to find her?

Searching for Pilar breaks open the secretive and dangerous world of sex trafficking, while exploring huma
Paperback, First edition, 320 pages
Published April 10th 2018 by River Grove Books
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Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  126 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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Overall rating 4.25 stars
5 stars for most of the story, 3 stars for the rest.

This is a difficult book to rate. I found the beginning somewhat hard to get through, despite knowing it was going to be a dark read.

**The following could be seen as a potential spoiler so consider yourself warned, but I feel readers need to be aware this story contains on page rape of minors (13 & 14), not a lot but enough to disturb sensitive readers.**

With that said, I found the story hard put down - until around th
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Gripping, but too depressing for five stars. This well-researched book centers on the horrors of sex trafficking. Pilar, is happily married to her childhood sweetheart, Alejandro, and has a young daughter. When her husband loses his job, painting pottery, because the factory is closed and cannot find employment, Pilar secretly goes to a job interview in Mexico City seeking a more lucrative job. Sadly, the ad she was given is a ruse to lure unsuspecting women into the hands of sex traffickers. Th ...more
Debra Oliva
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was touched and troubled by this book. Once you read about the horrors that young girls from other countries are exposed to in the US, you cannot help but feel that something must be done now!
Pilar’s story ends well but how many other young women are currently suffering?
I read the book in one evening because it is impossible to put down. Do yourself a favor and buy and read it ASAP! It will open your eyes and your hearts.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Greenleaf Book group for allowing me to read
Phyllis Krall
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Searching for Pilar deals with cross border sex trafficking among young women, which is a difficult subject to read about. I was totally shocked by the subject and made aware of its atrocities. It definitely a book that we all should read.

Pilar is a young Mexican woman, who is happily married and lives with her husband and baby in a small village. She is faced with finding a better job when her husband loses his. She answers an ad for what seems to be a dream job in Mexico City. Telling no one w
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not sure what to say about this book, other than it was an excellent read and found it hard to put down until i had finished. Sadly sex/human trafficking is not just happening in the US, but in other parts of the World including the UK. Although this was the work of fiction, one could tell that the author had put a lot of work into research.

I wouldn't say that this novel is suitable for all due to the topic, but i do highly recommend.

My thanks to Netgalley and the Publishers for my copy. This i
Sally I
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great read. There were parts that were hard to get through because they painted the true story of what is done to these young girls. It really opened up my eyes to what is happening in Houston and how more needs to be done to stop this. The story and characters are well developed as the book goes along and you are on pins and needles as to whether Pilar makes it out alive. I enjoyed also that the majority of the book takes place in Houston and the setting and places are very familiar ...more
Lynn (Smile24k)
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Searching for Pilar is the story of a young woman who is kidnapped and then sex trafficked. Her brother, Diego, who feels responsible for her disappearance, devotes himself to finding her. The story switches between Pilar's story of captivity and the story of Diego's search for his sister.

Overall, the story kept me interested all the way to the end and was "enjoyable" given the subject matter. I enjoyed the early chapters of the book learning a little about the Mexican culture and the various st
This is perhaps the okayest book I have ever read. The plot is decent, the writing is okay.
Lorilei Gonzales
Holmes was shocked to find that many of her friends were unaware of the fact that Houston is the hub of human trafficking in the U.S. She started writing this book about five years ago, before human trafficking was covered in the media regularly. Despite the lapse in time, this story is still relevant and disturbing. Women and children from all over the world continue to be exploited and it makes my stomach hurt to know that so much of these terrible activities are filtered through my city. It d ...more
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaway
Searching for Pilar is a four star book solely because of the fact that it sheds light on the important topic of sex slavery. Other than that, the writing and story line were pretty mediocre.

The book follows essentially two main characters, Pilar, a 21 year old living in Mexico with her small child and husband and Diego, her older brother. Pilar is falsely lured to Mexico City in hopes of landing a higher paying secretarial job. Before she realizes what is happening to her she is drugged and so
Jenn Belden
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Man, this was a tough book to start because the subject matter is so awful, and there are some truly difficult scenes at the start. (A trigger warning for rape in a book about sex trafficking seems obvious, but here it is.) Once I got past that first scene though, I felt pretty committed to seeing where the author would take it, and it quickly became hard to put down.

Searching For Pilar was a powerful, terrible look into the world of sex trafficking as it follows a young mother abducted and forc
Tangled in Text
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Original Post at:

The first thing that comes to mind after finishing a book like Searching for Pilar, is the word disgusting. It's weird because I have never used that word in admiration, but in this scenario it could not be a bigger compliment. I would find it disgraceful if this was light and fluffy, because that would be a disservice to the subject matter.

Patricia Hunt Holmes captures a piece of our world that people are unaware of or might have blinder
Joana Gimeno

Extremely well researched book about sex trafficking. Pilar and her family are in economic hardship so she makes her brother drive her all the way to Mexico City to a job interview. This interview ended up being a trap and Pilar gets trafficked through the US border into Texas. The book is pretty hard to read due to the topic. The story follows the points of view of both Pilar and her brother, who goes on a pretty dangerous journey to find his sister.
I really enjoyed how well the situation is
With gritty subject matter – sex trafficking – at the heart of this novel, it was by no means an easy read, and I’m hesitant to say that I liked it, because, in terms of what Pilar suffered, I didn’t like it at all.

However, the fact that I even had to pause and think about what I was liking is testament to author Patricia Hunt Holmes’s talent as a storyteller. She create such a strong character in Pilar, and such a vibrant and rich (if often sinister and cold) world for her to occupy, that the s
Heather Bryant
Imagine if a southern Junior League member wrote a story on sex trafficking- yeah, about that. Oh my, there are such terrible things right near me in this beautiful city of mine, oh my. Oh my word, I just can’t believe it could happen here Mary.

In reality the author mentions she is a PHD candidate / corporate lawyer in the Q&A at the end - which sounds about right too. This book told events but lacked any emotional insight into characters themselves. I find often those in scientific, financial,
Excellent little book an obvious work of devotion by the author who's background as an attorney added too the believability of the book by never dramatizing more the characters or nature of the events beyond what the slowly evolving pattern of the story line detailed. In other words no high speed chases, no arch type characters, no going low on shock or over doing the sexual parts. It was what it was but the reader never lingered on any one aspect and there were multiple perspectives of differen ...more
3.5. I really liked this book. I plowed through it. I was slightly horrified to recognize all of the locations referenced in the book that I live so close to. The writing style felt a little rough around the edges and I kept feeling like the author was name dropping spots in Houston too much, which made it hard for me to really get into as a novel. If I wasn't from Houston, the references to local hot spots like Star Pizza or Tony's wouldn't have added anything for me.

On a more important note h
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Extremely graphic and emotional, but details important problems regarding sex trafficking. Not only does it emphasize the remarkable pain and endurance of Pilar, Josefina, and the other young women, but it also aims to bring awareness about the pervasiveness of this issue in urban and rural areas worldwide. Some areas of dialogue I could have done without, such as the cheesy romances trickled throughout. Some details were a little too convenient to believe. Hard to get into in the beginning sinc ...more
Jun 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An informative, page-turning novel on such an important topic. The beginning is a bit slow and not as well written as the later 2/3rds of the book. I like the way the author was matter of fact about the sex part of human trafficking vs. writing is as sexy/bondage activity. I like that she called it what it is -- repeated rape. I liked that there are very few violence and rape scenes without minimizing the plight of victims. Most of the book is about the search, culminating in good court scene. I ...more
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Searching for Pilar" by Patricia Hunt Holmes, is a MUST READ! This is a very difficult book to read, as it details Sex Trafficking, how it happens, what happens, the horror that young abducted children endure. I had no idea about these kind of events that go on in our world, and in our country. This is a topic we all need to know about and get on board with to eliminate this kind of evil in the world.

This is a NOVEL about the topic, well researched and well written.

I won a copy of this book in
Cindy O
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kudos to the Ms Holmes in writing a book about a subject that most people and the media tend to ignore. Sex trafficking of underage girls and women is so horrible that one tends to want to turn the other way as it assaults our sensibilities. Yet, I feel this is an important story that should be read. There are a few websites that the author encourages the reader to visit at the end of the book. The author pulls no punches in Pilar’s story from the kidnapping and subsequent life as a sex slave.
Jessica Palminteri
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
Impactful story

This book engrossed me from the start as we follow Pilar through the terrible underworld of sex trafficking. Although fictional, the author incorporates facts and real details to bring the story to life. I couldn’t put it down.
Bookworm LLC
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cindy-bookshelf
I really wanted to give Searching For Pilar 5* but there were a few things in this story that made me stop at 4*.
This story is about young girls being kidnapped and put in the sex trafficking trade. It is about their struggles, how they soon came to see themselves and what happens to them if or when they are rescued.
This is such a heartbreaking subject and I love that authors are writing about it.

I think Ms. Holmes wrote a great story and did a lot of research to make sure she captured the rea
Teresa Warner
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Received as an ARC, enjoyed this as it was a new author for me. I can't believe this kind of stuff really happens in the world. Thought Pillar was a very strong person, couldn't have gone through what she did.
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A captivating story, hard to put down! Even though the subject is difficult, I am SO GLAD that I read it. I hope to see more from Ms. Holmes😊
Josie H. Krieger
Interesting Read

I really enjoyed this book. I have visited Houston many times and was. Unaware of the city's reputation in the trafficking arena. A good year jerker.😢
Barbara Shaub
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a must read. It is so well written that the reader actually feels like they are Pilar. I couldn’t put it down. Hope it becomes a movie!
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were a few parts that were hard to read due to the graphic nature. However, the storyline was very informative of sex trafficking.
Diana Corson
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very important story. Well written and compelling tale that informs the reader of the devastating social issue of sex trafficking. A thrilling must read!
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A noble endeavor.
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