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(Tricks #1)

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  34,664 ratings  ·  1,785 reviews
Five teenagers from different parts of the country. Three girls. Two guys. Four straight. One gay. Some rich. Some poor. Some from great families. Some with no one at all. All living their lives as best they can, but all searching ... for freedom, safety, community, family, love. What they don't expect, though, is all that can happen when those powerful little words "I lov ...more
Hardcover, 627 pages
Published August 25th 2009 by Margaret K. McElderry Books (first published August 20th 2009)
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Average rating 4.29  · 
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 ·  34,664 ratings  ·  1,785 reviews

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Posted at Shelf Inflicted

When I went to pick this book up at the library, I was surprised at how small and fat it was. Great, just what I need…a 600+ page book and hardly enough time to read. When I opened up the book and glanced at the first few pages, I was delighted and shocked the margins were so wide and there were no more than seven words per line. Then I thought, “wait a minute, this is freakin’ poetry!” Since I read so little poetry and never developed an appreciation for it, I left the
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Sep 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own

Damn. All of Ellen's books are rough as hell. I love them, but they get right into your bones and tear you apart!

I have to share an excerpt from the book that I'm all too familiar with:

Some People
Never find the right kind of love.
You know, the kind that steals

your breathe away, like diving into snowmelt.
The kind that jolts your heart,

sets it beating apace, an anxious
hiccuping of hummingbird wings.

The kind that makes every terrible
minute apart feel like h
Sep 01, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: readers who don't shy away from disturbing and uncomfortable books
Recommended to Tatiana by: Heather, Ryan, Crystal
Shelves: 2010, verse, ya
"Tricks" was my second Hopkins' book. I read "Impulse" a while ago and remember devouring it in a matter of hours and loving it. I wish I felt the same way about "Tricks."

Hopkins has established herself as a crusader of tough teen issues - drug use, suicide, abuse. This book was no exception. The author approached teen prostitution head-on, not sugar-coating it and without unnecessary moralizing. I applaud Hopkins for that, not many authors have guts to touch this kind of subject. As for the nov
Lindsey Rey
Aug 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, young-adult
So painful, oh so very painful.
Aug 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone who's 13+
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
Wow! I'm not sure whether it's Hopkins writing style or subject matter that shakes you to your core, or both, but either way, it's nothing short of spectacular and I know that days from now, I will still be thinking about this book. Well, perhaps haunted would be a better term.

By the title alone, you can deduce what awaits these characters, a life of teen prostitution, but what you will not expect is the events and choices that will lead them there. It's enlightening and heartbreaking, it will m
Schizanthus Nerd
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
You can read this book for FREE at until 9/9/18! 😊

That’s what I did! Naturally I loved it so much that I bought the ebook as soon as I finished reading (as well as the sequel!) and quickly re-highlighted all of my favourite first read passages before agonising about what I could write about this book without wandering into spoiler territory.

Trigger warnings include sexual assault, gambling, abandonment, alcohol and drug use, murder, homophobia, seriously dodgy parenting, religion
May 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 Stars.

I liked this one. I appreciated all the different narratives going on in the book although I did wish that some of the characters stories would just have keep going. I found myself not wanting to be interrupted by some of the other characters stories, not that they weren't interesting just I found I connected, was more intrigued and got so into some stories more than the others but, as always I love Ellen Hopkins style of writting in verse and the depth I find in her characters.
Maybe I've just overdosed on Ellen Hopkins (again), but the overwhelming emotion this book left me with was relief. Relief that this book was done, relief that there wasn't another of her books in my stack at home. That makes it sound like I hated this book, and I didn't. Maybe I'm just emotionally exhausted by her writing, which can best be described as intense. Maybe if I read this book again in a year or two, maybe after a cheerful middle grade fantasy, I'd like it better. And maybe one day I ...more
May 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
"That's what he said
Follow me, and find
The meaning of love
In my bed.

I followed,

Found sheets cold
As death. Neither of us
Could warm them,
Not me, not


Not a maelstrom
Of body heat so intense
It felt like fever. After
We slept, chilled.

He tossed

And turned, lost
In some obnoxious
Dream. And when we
Woke, he ordered me


*trigger warning for rape, depression.

Tricks is, in true Ellen Hopkins fashion, a tough book to read. It follows five young teenagers as they explore sex for the first time a
Elle (ellexamines)
4 stars. I don’t consider myself a Hopkins fan; I’ve read many of her books and hated most of them. But I actually genuinely love this book.

This is my favorite of Ellen Hopkins’ series mostly because it doesn't just read like torture porn. A lot of her books don't even have hopeful endings: someone dies or doesn’t make their way out, every single time. Tricks allowed the characters to leave and improve their lives. With emotional and physical trauma, but not dead. This book was ultimately hopef
Krista Ashe
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book and I have an absolute love for all of her books! This book is by far the best of her works that I have read. I can't wait until this fall when the sequel comes out. All the characters and plot were amazing. I just don't know what to say because she always makes me speechless. ...more
Nov 18, 2009 rated it did not like it
In typical Hopkins fashion, she spends the entire book creating salacious details and very little time with the consequences of her characters actions. Skip it and hid it from young readers!
Jun 28, 2015 rated it did not like it
Tricks, a novel by Ellen Hopkins, introduces five teenagers and their initial struggles with love. Eden, the daughter of religious zealots, is torn between their strict teachings and her desire for Andrew, her caring boyfriend. Seth is a farm boy who wants (but can’t have) both his father’s approval and the warm embrace Loren, the boyfriend he met through a personal ad on the Internet. Whitney tries to find the love her mother has always denied her by turning to a boy named Lucas. Ginger tries t ...more
Aug 26, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2009
Tricks tells the stories of 5 teens who find themselves, due to various situations, leading dangerous lives in prostitution and "turning tricks". Eden is from an ultra-conservative and religious family who disapprove of her dating; Seth works with his father on a farm in a rural area and struggles with his homosexuality; Whitney can't seem to live up to her sister or earn her mother's love; Ginger's own mother is addicted to drugs and engages in prostituting herself; and Cody finds himself in fi ...more
Janie Johnson
Did a reread of this book this year, and my thoughts are pretty much the same from the first time that I read this back in 2014.

Another profound read from Ellen Hopkins. Whether she is telling a true to life story or a fiction each of them always touch me in a very emotional way. She writes with such realism that you have no choice but to feel what our characters are feeling, and to experience what they are going through. So much emotion comes to the forefront when I read one of her books.

In thi
Mar 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Five teens share the traumatic events that lead them to prostituting their bodies.

Meet Eden, Seth, Whitney, Ginger and Cody -- all average teenagers from moderate income homes. In the course of the story, most of them will lose their virginity in traumatic ways, get disowned by their parents or simply fall into the vicious circle of drugs. But once you spiral down into the world of prostitution, can you just as easily get out?

I'd never do that is something you stop saying as you grow up. It's i
Lacey Oliver
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“When all choice is taken from you, life becomes a game of survival.”

“Tricks” is the second book that I have read by Ellen Hopkins and once again, she left me feeling so many different emotions. Something that I have learned to appreciate in her books is her poetry. Ellen Hopkins really speaks through her poetry. The book itself isn’t exactly poetry but has parts in it that are novels, written through poetry. Ellen Hopkins doesn't sugar-coat in this book at all. She hits prostitution head-on. Th
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2016, poetry
When you sell your body,
you also sell what's inside.
Piece by piece, you sell your soul.

Tricks has a ton of glowing reviews, so I was expecting to enjoy this one when I picked this up. To add to that, I just recently finished Impulse and really liked it. However, this one fell flat for me. I tried so hard to like it, but I rarely felt sympathy for the characters and the plots all kind of ran together to the point where I forgot who was who.

This book has five points of view. Five. Usua
Mariah Roze
Jul 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this book for the Goodreads' book club: Diversity in All Forms!
If you would like to participate in the discussion here is the link:

"Five teenagers from different parts of the country. Three girls. Two guys. Four straight. One gay. Some rich. Some poor. Some from great families. Some with no one at all. All living their lives as best they can, but all searching ... for freedom, safety, community, family, love. What they don't expect, though, is all
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Similar to Ellen Hopkins’s other books, this book is written in prose. It is written from the perspectives of five teenagers across the US, who, for various reasons, find themselves entering the world of prostitution and the downward spiral that brought them there.
May 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reads-of-2016
"When all choice is taken from you, life becomes a game of survival."

I was a bit skeptical when I found this for cheap at a used bookstore. All I've heard of Ellen Hopkins is glowing praise, but I wasn't sure whether I would enjoy reading a book written in verse, but her subject matters won me over.

I am so glad I finally read this. The sequel is already on my Amazon wishlist, and I'm on the lookout for more of her works. Turns out that part of what makes her books so emotional and heartfelt
Jamika Monroe
May 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Tricks is a riveting tale of the struggle between acceptance and survival. 3 girls and 2 guys must make life changing decisions in their quest to find peace, love and happiness.

Ive read only one of Ellen Hopkins books before (Impulse) and was blown away by it. Besides the fact that her books are written in prose, Hopkins brings out the purest, rawest part of the human condition. The story flows from bad to worse and even through all the horrible decisions and horrifying experiences, you can't h
Eva Marie
Jun 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Hopkins fans
Recommended to Eva Marie by: I like Hopkins' other books
I'm a little biased here so this will be short. My favorite books by Ellen Hopkins, by far, are her Kristina books. Those, in my opinion, far surpass anything else I've read by her, including this.
I don't mean to say this isn't good - it's great. I'd definitely go higher than the four stars if I could do a half but it's just shy of the five star rating for me.
Hopkin's manages to intertwine five different teenagers lives, all very different lives at that, and connect them together in the way she
Sep 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars
Tricks (Tricks, #1) by Ellen Hopkins

Wow, I honestly just noticed the amount of pages this book has. I read it in 3 days! I flew through it, because the chapters were so short. Also, I fell in love with Ellen Hopkins' writing style. It was once again confirmed I love these kind of poetic writings.

I have to be honest here: I did like this book, but I forgot what was going on with each of the characters every single time. When I saw their name pop up again, I was like: 'Wait, who was this again?' The characters don't cross paths
Oct 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Oh man this book was intense. Was a nightmare! Pretty sure I need therapy after reading this book. This was definitely a hard book to read and I felt really uncomfortable, sick, saddened and somehow I just couldn't stop reading. But I need to go read a happy book now. DAMN ...more
Jun 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
First read in high school.

Re-read November 2015. Still just as good and now there's a sequel. I love Ellen Hopkins so much.
May 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
For starters there was a lot of people to keep track of and remember the story before the other. I feel so bad for these 5 people who were dealt a horrible hand in life. I m super happy to know there is a second book, due to where this book ends. It dose not have closure which I have to have or I will go crazy. I do not ever what to visit Los Vegas or Reno. Her stories really who what happens on the street, if I were to ever go there I would want to save as many teenagers as I could. My love goe ...more
Patrixia Lansangan
I read this book when i was a junior in high school and thought it was really dark and crazy.
It discussed such deep topics about youth and the dark side of being a teenager which intrigued me and back then i enjoyed it and felt i learned from it. And I don't even remember if I finished it.

Now, reading this story as a young adult was so much more. Knowing more about the world made this book have so much more sense to me...

How as a teenager, I related to the characters and now as a young adult,
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Diversity in All ...: Tricks & Traffick (March 2020) 10 23 Mar 22, 2020 05:34PM  
Around the Year i...: Tricks, by Ellen Hopkins 1 7 Aug 02, 2019 08:16AM  
Ellen Hopkins - Favourite Book? 1 4 Feb 04, 2017 10:41PM  
tricks appropriate? 42 194 Oct 29, 2016 09:36AM  
Mentor Texts: Mentor Texts 1 1 Apr 17, 2016 09:44AM  

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Ellen Hopkins is the New York Times bestselling author of Crank, Burned, Impulse, Glass, Identical, Tricks, Fallout, Perfect, Triangles, Tilt, and Collateral. She lives in Carson City, Nevada, with her husband and son. Hopkin's Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest pages get thousands of hits from teens who claim Hopkins is the "only one who understands me", and she can be visited at ellenhopkin ...more

Other books in the series

Tricks (2 books)
  • Traffick (Tricks, #2)

Related Articles

Known for gritty novels in verse for young adults, the narrative poet talks about her first book for an adult audience. Triangles explores...
19 likes · 7 comments
“Some people
Never find the right kind of love
you know, the kind that steals
your breath away.
Like diving into a snowmelt.
The kind that jolts your heart,
sets it beating apace.
An anxious hiccuping of hummingbirds wings.
The kind that makes every terrible minute apart feel like hours.
Some people flit from one insane possibility to the next.
Never experincing the connection of two people.
rocked by destiny.
Never knowing what it means to love someone else,
more than themselves.
More than life itself, or the promise of something better.
Beyond this world,
More even (forgive me!) than god.
Lucky me, I found the right kind of love.
With the wrong person.”
“Eyes Tell Stories
But do they know how
to craft fiction? Do
they know how to spin
His eyes swear forever,
flatter with vows of only
me. But are they empty
I stare into his eyes, as
into a crystal ball, but
I cannot find forever,
movies of yesterday,
a sketchbook of today,
dreams of a shared
His eyes whisper secrets.
But are they truths or fairy tales?
I wonder if even he
More quotes…