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Tricks by Ellen Hopkins
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's review
Dec 16, 2011

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Read from December 16, 2011 to January 04, 2012

Rhyanne Lynch
January 18,2012
Period 2

“Tricks” by Ellen Hopkins Review

How much of yourself are you truly willing to destroy in order to survive? And once you have made these decisions, will you ever be the same? After dwindling down to nothing, and realizing there is no one to save you, what would you do? Most could never imagine having to answer such drastic questions, but for five teenagers, these are questions they have asked themselves before.

In the novel “Tricks” by Ellen Hopkins, descriptive and realistic scenarios are portrayed about real life situations that teenagers are faced with everyday, regardless of whether others want to think so. Five young adults begin to understand the consequences of certain actions. Eden, Seth, Whitney, Ginger, and Cody lead completely different lives, filled with all types of people, but somehow all end up with the same occupation: turning tricks. For a few, this was there own decision- wanting to leave their miserable life behind, while for others it was their only shot at survival.

Eden, a young preachers daughter is a poster child- sweet and understand, who has just found her first love. But, when her parents find out about her secret romance, she is immediately sent to an asylum for troubled teens. She feeling betrayed by everyone except the one she loves, does everything in her power to escape.

Seth was a seemingly ordinary teenage boy to the common eyes. But kept a secret hidden inside himself that not even he wanted to admit. Being gay was not something he wanted, espicially sense his mother had just died and his father would never forgive him- nor would God. All he wanted was acceptance, and realized he could only find it in men online.

Ginger, however, had an extremely hard upbringing. Having a drug addict as a mother, she was forced to raise her younger brothers and sisters with only the help of her grandmother. Until one day, one of her mothers “friends” rapes her and claims it was her mother who was the one selling her own daughter for drugs. She knew it was time to escape; with the help of her best friend/girlfriend Alex, the two runaway to Las Vegas,

Cody was a normal teenager until after coming home one day, to finds his step dad had stage four stomach cancer. Within a few weeks his idol was dead and all that were left in remembrance were medical bills. In an attempt to help with family finances, Cody begins to play online poker, and quickly becomes addicted. Realizing he is more in debit then before, he turns tricks in order to make fast cash.

Whitney, a rebellious teenager who had problems with her mother, met an older man at the mall who she seemingly fell “in love” with. After running away with him, Whitney begins to realize her lover is not the person who she though he was. Though by then he had addicted her to heroin, so it was not an issue when he would come and go, hit her, or sell her to men on the streets.

Life is full of things that one person could not expect for themselves, and for these unfortunate minors, their unexpected was unimaginable. Delineated through the eyes of a young individual, Ellen successfully creates situations in which there is no happy ending.
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