Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “What Unbreakable Looks Like” as Want to Read:
What Unbreakable Looks Like
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

What Unbreakable Looks Like

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  66 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Lex was taken – trafficked - and now she’s Poppy. Kept in a hotel with other girls, her old life is a distant memory. But when the girls are rescued, she doesn’t quite know how to be Lex again.

After she moves in with her aunt and uncle, for the first time in a long time, she knows what it is to feel truly safe. Except, she doesn’t trust it. Doesn't trust her new home.
Hardcover, 336 pages
Expected publication: June 23rd 2020 by Wednesday Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about What Unbreakable Looks Like, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about What Unbreakable Looks Like

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.45  · 
Rating details
 ·  66 ratings  ·  59 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of What Unbreakable Looks Like
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
***Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of WHAT UNBREAKABLE LOOKS LIKE by Kate McLaughlin in exchange for my honest review.***

Reading the first page of WHAT UNBREAKABLE LOOKS LIKE, I felt a rare tingle in my stomach letting my know I was reading something special. A few chapters in, I realized WHAT UNBREAKABLE LOOKS LIKE might be one of my all time favorite books.

Kate McLaughlin blew me away with this special, poignant story of Alexa, a teenager trafficked, now living with
Ꮗ€♫◗☿ ❤️ ❤️
This looks emotional and deep. I just got an ARC and it is now in my TBR.

Lex was taken – trafficked - and now she’s Poppy. Kept in a hotel with other girls, her old life is a distant memory. But when the girls are rescued, she doesn’t quite know how to be Lex again.

After she moves in with her aunt and uncle, for the first time in a long time, she knows what it is to feel truly safe. Except, she doesn’t trust it. Doesn't trust her new home. Doesn’t trust her new friend. Doesn’t trust her new
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Superspeed readers like me can read 150 - 200+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOL

I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do .

Lex was taken – trafficked - and now she’s Poppy. Kept in a hotel with other girls, her old life is a
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Her name was Alexa. She was a blue eyed red hair barely sixteen year old virgin. She was surrounded by her alcoholic mother and boyfriend. She was befriended by their friend, Mitch, who visited bearing gifts and flattering compliments. She was shown attention and what she perceived as love. She was manipulated and lied to. She was trapped. She was trafficked. She became known as Poppy and entered a world where sex, drugs, beatings, and abuse were everyday occurrences. But then one day, Poppy was ...more
Kali Thomas
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5 perfect stars!

I finished What Unbreakable Looks Like half an hour ago and I'm still emotional. Going into it, I didn't expect it to hit me this hard. I've gone through a lot of trauma - including sexual assault - and this is one of the first book I've read involving these topics that feels "real".

It was an emotional roller coaster. Lex, the narrator, is a victim and a survivor of sex trafficking. When you think about sex trafficking you might picture girls being kidnapped in foreign countries
Rachel Finney
Dec 02, 2019 marked it as to-read
Thank you Netgalley for allowing me to read an ARC of this beautiful book.

This book is heavy- there's no doubt about it. It touches on difficult topics such as human trafficking, suicide, sexual and physical assault, as well as harassment. It's very hard to read a book about these topics without glamorization or fetishization; however, each subject was treated with respect. While the author doesn't shy away from the events and consequences of human trafficking, I didn't feel like I was reading
In compliance with FTC guidelines------I received this book free from a Goodreads Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. The content of this review is not influenced by that fact. The feelings expressed are solely mine. I sincerely appreciate the chance to read and review this book.

3.5 stars rounded down to a 3 for lack of half star ratings on Goodreads.

This book was ok for the most part. I felt the writing was over simplistic and lacked a bit of richness and depth. I guess I could explain
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was an emotional roller coaster that everyone will want to ride! Trigger warnings for rape and sexual assault though. I wouldn’t recommend reading it if you’ve been through that. Otherwise this book was absolutely amazing and I couldn’t put it down. The characters were developed really well and the plot was definitely intense. As soon as I finished this book I went ahead and preordered a copy!
I received a digital arc from netgalley, so here's my honest review:

Cw: abuse, sexual abuse, human trafficking, physical abuse, domestic violence, miscarriage, suicide, self harm, addiction

I'm writing this review, assuming the author is not black, because there's no photo of her on the internet and the underlying racism in this book let's me believe she isn't. Which leads me to think this book is problematic. Our main character, Alexa/Poppy, is a girl who's been trafficked and abused. Which are
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of Kate McLaughlin’s What Unbreakable Looks Like in exchange for an honest review. Thanks Netgalley + St Martin's Press!

*This YA novel included a warning at the start that it contains graphic content. If sexual abuse / trafficking are topics you do not want to read about, this is not the book for you.

"What Unbreakable Looks Like" is the story of a sex-trafficking survivor - a teenage girl living in Connecticut named Alexa - and how she rebuilds her life the year following her
Andrea Pole
Nov 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
What Unbreakable Looks Like by Kate McLaughlin is a raw and uncensored look at the world of sex trafficking, and the fictitious account of a teenage girl who has been to hell and back, but somehow manages to come out on the other side. This was a difficult read due to the graphic nature of the subject matter, yet the author adeptly manages to create an empathetic figure in Lex, while at the same time shining a light on the realities, and sheer brutality, of human trafficking.

This is a novel that
Belle Ellrich
Nov 18, 2019 rated it did not like it

I made it through about 7% of this book before I started getting bored.

Firstly, I want to take a moment to point out the pacing of this novel. It's all over the place. And when I say that, I *mean* it. This book started out quick, and it continued on quick. Half of what occurred in the first few chapters didn't even make sense with the pacing that was used, and it really threw me off.

Amanda Sheridan
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received this as an ARC for an honest review.

I was really engrossed in this story. It was well written and I found myself emotionally invested to the main characters journey.
There were several times that I started to tear up reading this book.
While party of me wanted to knock it down a star because everything kind of fell into place to perfectly for the main character. Knowing that many girls who go through this won't have the reminders support system she got.
However I didn't bc I see how
Elle Rudy
Nov 03, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: netgalley, 2020
*Thanks to St. Martin’s Press & Netgalley for an advance copy!
April Harris
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you so much Wednesday Books, Netgalley, & Kate McLaughlin for early access to "What Unbreakable Looks Like!"

"What Unbreakable Looks Like" is a heartwrenching story of a teenager, Lex, who was lured and groomed into a human trafficking ring. When the ring gets busted, Lex finds herself in a difficult position. What will she do?

This book is definitely one of my favorite reads for 2019! However it does not come out until June 2020.

I was literally hooked by the story by the second
**I would like to thank the publisher for the opportunity to be able to read an advanced reading copy of this amazing book**

This has got to be one of the best books I have ever read! & that's not something I say lightly. This book literally put me on an emotional roller-coaster & at times actually had me crying (another really rare thing) both sad tears at times & happy tears during others. This isn't a book for the faint of heart, but I feel like it's an extremely important one to
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What Unbreakable Looks Like
by Kate McLaughlin
Pub Date: 23 Jun 2020
Read courtesy of

There's a group in my high school promoting the understanding of human trafficking. I think I now understand it more with this book than from the group's efforts alone to educate our community. What Unbreakable Looks Like brought the topic home, literally. I embarrassingly never realized how close to home it could be. Thank you, Kate McLaughlin, for this important story.

At first I was thinking this
gwendalyn _books_
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Kate McLaughlin’s What Unbreakable Looks Like, is a dramatic, raw in your face fictional account of human trafficking. Alexa, is a innocent 16 year old, with red hair and blued girl, who’s home life is dysfunctional. Living with an alcoholic mother and her mothers boyfriend, has made her an easy target. Vulnerable and looking for attention, she attracts a guy who zones in on her. He brings her gifts and feeds into self esteem by complimenting her. All the while he is actually grooming her, and ...more
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
"The human body's a resilient thing. It heals with very little memory of what's been done to it...The mind that gets twisted and broken."

(a note here: I really want to put a comma after mind in that quote, so I do hope that gets fixed in editing)

Poppy was once known as Lex, and her childhood was less than ideal. So when she's wooed by Mitch, a friend of her mother's boyfriend, it's with stars in her eyes that she follows him and finds herself trafficked and addicted to drugs. The life is
Danica (Shelves of Spines)
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Trigger Warnings: Rape, Sexual Assault, Miscarriage, Abuse, Suicide, Domestic Violence & Self Harm.

This book was a whirlwind and the subject matter was very heavy. You hear about the horrors of these online ads that women/men get trafficked through or use at their own volition. This reminds me of the true crime novel I read this year called Lost Girls. It revolved around their
Rebekah Gonzalez
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
***I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***

This book tackles a very difficult topic: human trafficking. The book felt very well-researched, and it goes into a lot of detail about how young women (and men) are groomed and eventually coerced into sexual slavery. What I liked about this book is that this process is shown through what happens to Lex, rather than the author simply explaining it. It can be difficult to understand why people fall into these traps, but when
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
What Unbreakable Looks Like
By Kate McLaughlin
St. Martins Press
Wednesday Books
Publishing Date: June 23 2020
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads
E-ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

“Lex was taken–trafficked–and now she’s Poppy. Kept in a hotel with other girls, her old life is a distant memory. But when the girls are rescued, she doesn’t quite know how to be Lex again.”

What Unbreakable Looks Like is a unflinchingly raw tale of the aftereffects of what human trafficking
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was asked to review this book and was given a free ARC from NetGalley.

This book is about a girl rescued from trafficking and sex work and how she rebuilds herself afterward. I have a lot of good things to say about this book. Honestly, some of it was difficult to read, but it’s a very difficult, hard-to-digest topic. Parts of this book are fairly graphic, but also represents the stories of those who have been trafficked quite well (based on some of the stories I have read and heard—but
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley and the publisher by invitation in exchange for an honest review. I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email on vacation inviting me to access the ARC. I had limited WiFi so I downloaded the book with little attention to the subject of the book. As there should be with this book, there are trigger warnings at the beginning of the book. Based on the subject of human trafficking, this warning doesn't give anything away. While it is a ...more
Azzurra Nox
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow….what a ride! This book covers very serious topics like sex trafficking, rape, prostitution, and drug abuse. But despite the heavy topics, this book is very enjoyable to read. I really like how the author didn’t try to sugar coat what had happened to Lex, but at the same time had her be hopeful of her future.

Lex used to be your typical teen till she got sucked into sex trafficking by her much older boyfriend who then placed her in a motel for prostitution purposes. When the police find her,
Amanda Lee
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
OMG this book! It was absolutely amazing and so heart wrenching. I can count on one hand the amount of books that have made me cry, this one had me sobbing. It's so well written it feels real. It's such a powerful story of a teenager who was trafficked. It deals with trafficking, slut shaming, bullying, and assault. It's a must read book that should be discussed.

I could feel how unsure and distrustful Lex was of everyone around her after she was rescued and my heart broke for her. Krys is
Hebridean Reader
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After a neglectful childhood results in 17 year old Alexa being trafficked by a man she trusted, she grows accustomed to the dark and horrific side of humanity. Then she's suddenly rescued and has to figure out how to reintegrate back into society andbegin the process of healing.

What follows is a heartbreaking, emotional and at times harrowing account of Alexa trying to find a way of living with what she has been through, and yet I have no doubt that it barely glances across the reality of
Terina Atkins
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What Unbreakable Looks Like by Kate McLaughlin is an incredibly raw read about a young lady who was formally trafficked trying to assimilate back into the “normal” world of being a teenager. The book is definitely an eye-opener, showing how victims are manipulated into becoming trapped in the horrible world of sex trafficking which has become all too common place. Lexi, or Poppy as she is known in the trafficking world, has been through it all, yet when the police raid the hotel where she has ...more
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
What a beautiful story of resilience and recovery! Alexa is a wonderfully written, fully-fleshed protagonist surrounded by lovable characters who make up her support system. The story is well-paced and is perfectly woven with flashbacks of Alexa's time at the motel.
TW for sexual assault, self-harm/suicide, and addiction.

Huge thanks to Alexis at St. Martin's for inviting me to read this title via NetGalley!

If you liked this book, also read: Jane Anonymous, The Lovely and the Lost, Full
Mark Cofta
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Goodreads and Wednesday Books for this ARC.
I really enjoyed What Unbreakable Looks Like. It's a fast and engrossing read, and author Kate McLaughlin's first-person narrator Lex grows convincingly from sex-trafficked teen "Polly" to a more stable and focused young woman. She draws the supporting characters well, and doesn't hold back on the harrowing details of her life as a sex slave or her difficult re-entry into normal life including the worst: high school -- so much so that while
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Jane Anonymous
  • Darling Rose Gold
  • The Second Home
  • Don't Read the Comments
  • Only Mostly Devastated
  • Foul Is Fair
  • Love, Heather
  • The Lucky Ones
  • The Look-Alike
  • Black Cairn Point
  • You Are Not Alone
  • The God Game
  • The Other People
  • Little Secrets
  • The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves, #2)
  • Tweet Cute
  • The Night Country (The Hazel Wood, #2)
  • Full Disclosure
See similar books…