Bonnie's Reviews > Traffick

Traffick by Ellen Hopkins
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bookshelves: arcs-edelweiss, contemporary, poetry-verse, ya, lgbtqia

‘How am I supposed to stay clean
when the truth of what I’ve done
closes in around me, squeezing
hideous memories from the deep
recesses of my brain […]’

Tricks is a novel that leaves you haunted for a group of incredibly real individuals that wound up in unimaginable situations. It told the story of five individuals: Seth is kicked out of his home after his father finds out he’s gay. Ginger is forced to run away after she’s raped and finds out that her mother collected cash from the experience. Eden is sent to a religious reform camp after her parents discover she has a boyfriend. Cody and his family find themselves in a financial hole after the death of his stepfather and he begins collecting money anyway he can. And Whitney who ends up with an older man simply because he gives her the attention she craves. What’s most shocking is how vastly different their stories are yet how they all seem to wind up in the same situations: selling their bodies in order to survive.

Traffick is their follow-up story that once again forces these same characters to face their demons while giving them the opportunity to find some semblance of a future that none of them ever thought they would live to witness. It’s no doubt a bleak tale but it effectively brings to life the harsh realities of sex trafficking and child prostitution and what many are forced to undergo. It also productively breaks many of the stereotypes surrounding the beliefs regarding how individuals find themselves in these situations. They aren’t all doing this work of their own free will, some are forced into it by intimidation, some do it out of a misguided act of love, and some do it out of sheer desperateness and being unable to do anything else with their lives.

Ellen has said that she worked with rescue groups and survivors of sex trafficking to make this story as honest as possible, and it’s obvious. While Traffick doesn’t give these victims a complete happily ever after, I appreciated it more because it didn’t. What these individuals endured is something that will stay with them eternally and forever change who they are. What this story did do was give these characters, and any individuals that find themselves in similar circumstances, the possibility of hope. Hope that there is a future for them, no matter what, despite their experiences.

I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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Reading Progress

September 3, 2014 – Shelved
September 3, 2014 – Shelved as: not-yet-released
August 10, 2015 – Shelved as: tbr-review-books
August 10, 2015 – Shelved as: arcs-edelweiss
August 10, 2015 – Shelved as: contemporary
August 10, 2015 – Shelved as: poetry-verse
August 10, 2015 – Shelved as: ya
November 3, 2015 – Started Reading
November 3, 2015 –
page 79
14.96% "So far, this seems to be a completely redundant sequel."
November 4, 2015 – Shelved as: lgbtqia
November 4, 2015 –
page 225
November 6, 2015 –
page 419
November 6, 2015 – Finished Reading

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