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What Unbreakable Looks Like

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  685 ratings  ·  359 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. Doe
Hardcover, 327 pages
Published June 23rd 2020 by Wednesday Books
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Average rating 4.33  · 
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Ꮗ€♫◗☿ ❤️ ❤️
Harrowing tale of recovery from being trafficked as a sexual slave!

This was a gritty realistic tale of a girl who was a survivor of human trafficking in the United States, and it was a very interesting book as well as a good story. When I think of human trafficking, I usually picture American girls who are snatched either here or while traveling abroad and immediately sent to another foreign country never to be heard from again. Either that or Eastern European or Asian women who are tricked into
Jun 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs, 2020

My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

A gritty, honest, and raw story that I couldn’t put down!

“We never asked for this”

This book opens as police raid a motel; rescuing girls trafficked by a local pimp. The motel is both a prison and a home for Poppy (Lex) and Mitch Anderson's other “nighttime girls”.

The noise wakes Lex who then wakes Ivy. They both rush to get dressed. When the cops break the door down, the girls try to run but they don’t make it far. The p
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
ETA: My amazing friend Leelynn read and reviewed this book recently and had such important things to say about it, so please check her review out, too.

Given that sex trafficking is such an under-discussed topic that affects so many teens around the world, What Unbreakable Looks Like had endless amounts of potential to be a new favorite for me. I love when authors are willing to tackle dark, important topics such as this — when it's done well. Unfortunately, this story was quite the disappointing
May 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, 2020
I was a little nervous going into this. A YA novel about a sex trafficking victim seems like something that can go off the rails pretty easily. The subject matter feels like it might be beyond teenagers, but aren’t teenagers the ones who are more susceptible to being trafficked? Maybe I was initially apprehensive, but it turns out that Kate McLaughlin was more than up to the task.

What Unbreakable Looks Like skillfully walks a fine line between being honest about harsh realities without being exp
Apr 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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Thank you NetGalley and Wednesday Books for this ARC. All thoughts and opinions are mine.

"Once you lose control,
it's easier to let other people take it."

After reading the synopsis for this book, I knew that it was going to be moving.

Starting with a whisper and building to a crescendo, the voice of Lex is a beautiful and heartbreaking thing. This is a young woman who has seen and felt everything horrible that can be inflicted upon a person, and survived. Bu
Sandra Hoover
What Unbreakable Looks Like is a raw, gut-wrenching, emotional story of a young girl's long road back to "normal" after being rescued along with a few other girls from a dirty, seedy motel room - all victims of sex traffickers who kept them drugged and in sexual slavery. Alexa spends a few weeks in rehab . . . every minute spent looking for a chance to run back to the only life she knows. She's skeptical of her aunt's offer of a home, family, and love wondering what she and her husband want in r ...more
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow... what a punch to the gut.

Kate McLaughlin delivers a raw and powerful story about sex trafficking, drug use, prostitution, and sexual assault. I will say this is not the easiest book to read but I thoroughly enjoyed this so much.

Lex was taken and is now in the life known as "poppy." Lex was rescued at a hotel with a number of other girls. Lex was taken in by her aunt and uncle and is trying to survive as Lex and not "Poppy."

Kate McLaughlin truly approaches the topic of sex trafficking wit
One of my absolute favorite reads of the year

This amazing, heartbreaking and powerful book blew my mind. It tugged at my heartstrings and will stay with me for quite some time. This is a must-read, everyone.

Lex is human trafficked and becomes Poppy, kept in a hotel with other girls with flower names. But then the girls are rescued, and Poppy must try to become Lex again. She moves in with her aunt and uncle—a place where’s she’s truly safe for the first time in a long time. But she’s been so hur
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an egalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is one of those raw, gets right down to the core of your soul, welcome to my emotional rollercoaster type of books. It's also a very difficult read that presents a lot of very heavy subjects( like rape, slut-shaming, sexual abuse). It is also the first novel(for me) that has dived into the subject of human trafficking.

Our main character, Alexa has escaped this life and the book carries us through t
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 h
Chelsey (a_novel_idea11)
Jun 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways-arcs

Mitch is a pimp and makes his living by seducing teenage girls and grooming them to become sex workers. Housing them in a trashy motel, men (and sometimes women), roll through and have their way with the girl of their choosing. Poppy is one such girl - introduced to Mitch through her mother's boyfriend and ultimately given over to him by her mother in exchange for fuel for her alcohol addiction.

When the motel is raided by police, Poppy and the other girls are taken to a nearby hospital to
Sep 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Incredible book!!!

I was hooked on the audiobook from the very beginning. But fact is that this book won't be the right one for everyone, it just has too many triggers.

It's raw, gritty, and dark at times. But wow, what a book!!!

Full review to come....


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Wow! I don't know what I was expecting from What Unbreakable Looks Like by Kate McLaughlin but it was so much more than I ever could have imagined.

For a debut young adult novel What Unbreakable Looks Like sure hit me hard. I was laughing and had tears in my eyes throughout the entire book and it was a real work of art. I don't think human trafficking gets talked about in books enough as it is but having a survivor story is just even better. This book is raw and emotional and will make your hear
Schizanthus Nerd
He names them after flowers. Daisy. Ivy. Iris.

This is Poppy’s story. She’s one of the lucky ones, if you can call her that, considering all of the trauma she has experienced. He called her Poppy. Her real name is Alexa.
Am I ever going to feel like a whole person again?
If you are on the fence, for whatever reason, about how crucial having supportive people around you after trauma is, this is the book for you. I don’t know how extraordinary Lex’s experiences of trafficking are, although I susp
WHAT UNBREAKABLE LOOKS LIKE is a very dark young adult novel. It focuses on a young woman named Alexa (Lex) and her assimilation back into society after being sex trafficked by her stepfather’s friend. Through rehab and her aunt’s guardianship, Lex learns to try and put the past behind her. WHAT UNBREAKABLE LOOKS LIKE really guts the reader emotionally, so it can allow you to build yourself up with Lex by your side. In a weird sense, this book shows a side of hope in an environment that has ravi ...more
alana ♡
I want to burn down the world, but I’m too afraid to strike the match.”

Going into this I knew it was going to be a tough read just based off the premise but WHEW this was a lot tougher than I thought it would be. While I do think is book can be powerful for some it is most definitely not going to be for everyone largely because of the topic but also because of how raw and real this story is. Nothing is sugar coated and there are plenty of tough scenes with graphic details/descriptions of Lex
Jun 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, audiobook
Loved it! It was difficult but not to much. This is a very serious, important subject. It’s happening right under our noses and it makes me sick. I watched something about this on Netflix and cried almost the whole time.
Very telling story about after someone gets rescued. I highly recommend it.

This was a Netgalley ARC from the publisher and Ive given my honest review.
This book is an incredibly hard read, but I think it's a necessary one. I feel like I need to know that everything in life is not only sunshines and rainbows, and to see the darkness in people, how bad it could get. I wasn't sure about how human trafficking could be brought in a YA book, but Kate McLaughlin explores the subject in all the right ways. I felt a roller-coaster of emotions while reading it, and I am so proud of Lex for facing her trauma and becoming this new version of herself that ...more
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell
Sex trafficking is such an important issue and I'm really excited for this book! ...more
May 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strong CW: sex trafficking, rape, sexual abuse, child abuse, alcoholism

"What if it never happens?" I ask. "What if I never feel whole again?"
"Then maybe – like a lot of us – you'll have to find strength in being a little cracked."

Poppy exists in a motel. She used to be Lex, but now she's Poppy, and under a fog of drugs and abuse, she is forced to have sex with whichever men her pimp sells her to. Until a police raid leads to her being taken in by her kindly aunt, and learning who Lex is, and whe
Jun 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you Wednesday Books for a complimentary copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

What Unbreakable Looks Like
By: Kate McLaughlin

"This book contains depictions of human trafficking, sexual assault, and violence. Please proceed with caution if you have been affected by any of these issues."


"Who the hell wants to take in a seventeen year old who's been passed around and discarded like loose change?"

Difficult. Uncomfortable. Hellish. I could go on
laura ☼
3/5 stars

In this, we follow Lex in the aftermath after she's rescued from being trafficked. This is a pretty heavy read. There's many graphic scenes depicting sexual assault, rape, drug abuse, self harm, and probably some more things that aren't coming to mind right now. There's also a lot of strong language. I usually don't mind graphic scenes or care if the F bomb is dropped a hundred times within a book, but this being a young adult book I didn't expect it to be so crass and explicit. Just st
Alyson Stone
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, teen-fic
Book: What Unbreakable Looks Like
Author: Kate McLaughlin
Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars

I would like to thank the publisher, Wednesday Books, for sending me an ARC.

I’ve actually had this title for awhile now. I’m glad I read it when I did. I’ve been in the mood for a hard hitting book and this one had it for me. The why it was written and the way the characters were presented just hit me in all of the right places. I love how the recovery period wasn’t shown as something quick and easy, but rather w
What Unbreakable Looks Like was a heart wrenching punch to the gut. The topic of this novel is human trafficking. McLaughlin shows how young girls are sometimes seduced into bondage. "Mitch was there for me when no one else was. He took care of me. He sold me. Beat me. Told me I was beautiful and said I was an ugly bitch. He said he loved me . . . " I cried when I read these words. I cried knowing that there are girls out there living in dysfunctional homes who are willing to accept this kind of ...more
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
If you read the description for this novel, then you probably know if comes with trigger warnings. So, for posterity, trigger warnings for human trafficking, sexual assault, violence, and substance abuse.

When I was offered the chance to review What Unbreakable Looks Like, I jumped on it since I assumed it would have a similar impact on me that Sadie by Courtney Summers did. I was not wrong. What Unbreakable Looks Like is a raw and unflinching look at human trafficking and the trauma it inflicts
Yna the Mood Reader
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
The book is about:
What Unbreakable Looks Like is a story about going through the worst things in life and the journey to moving on and recovery. Lex became a victim of human trafficking when a friend of her mother took her and stuck her in a hotel to do sexual favors for strangers. The motel got raided and she gets rescued by the police. This story is told through the mind of Alexa/Lex and how she processes her pain and her past while dealing with her present and finding the chance of healing.

Oh, boy. This book! It was raw and gritty, heartbreaking, beautiful, and also hopeful! (I may or may not have cried)

Full review will be posted soon as part of the What Unbreakable Looks Like Blog Tour! Thank you Wednesday Books for the e-arc!

Find me elsewhere: Blog | Instagram | Twitter
Jun 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
4.5 stars!

This was yet another case of Wednesday Books knowing me better than I know myself. Much like Jane Anonymous, (my review here) it's likely I would never have picked up this book, if left to my own devices. I do read books featuring heavier subject matter, but shy away from choosing certain types of stories for whatever reason. In this case, I'm so glad the wonderful team over at Wednesday Book kindly sent me copies of both books -- I read them out of sheer curiosity, and both turned out
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 lif
May 08, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-releases
July 02, 2020: There's no doubt this book deals with an important, and unfortunately unexplored, theme of sex trafficking especially as a story for the YA demographic. The story is raw and a difficult read; it's evident that the stark reality of it all can impact the readers in an unexpected yet important manner since many teens are sadly living or have lived through this nightmare of sexual assault.

However, the execution was bad. The narration felt off right from the start; the pacing is bumpy
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