Tricks By Ellen Hopkins
Rating: 4.5/5 stars 

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Published: August 25, 2009

Received: Thrift store find

Purchase: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Book Depository

When all choice is taken from you, life becomes a game of survival. 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 love you, are said for all the wrong reasons. These are five moving stories that remain separate at first, then weave together to tell a larger, more powerful story a story about making choices, taking leaps of faith, falling down, and growing up. And figuring out what sex and love are all about. TRICKS is informed and inspired by living near Las Vegas a big teen prostitution scene and by the fact that teen prostitution is not exclusively the result of kids running away from abuse. Kids from better families are selling themselves for hefty sums in order to finance addictions or even just to buy jewelry or clothing. In some cases, parents prostitute their children for the same reason. So what happens to the kids who are asking themselves, and asking us, Can I ever feel OK about myself? Highly charged, TRICKS is a gripping experience that turns you on and repels you at the same time.”

Musings: 

This book broke my heart. It took me almost a full week to get through because of how hard-hitting it was. It was almost crushing. 

As with all Ellen Hopkins books it was beautifully written, but for this one in particular I would also say jarringly written. 

Important note (trigger warning for rape, sexual violence, prostitution, drugs, drug abuse, depression, and overall emotional pain) 

The themes in this book were handled in such a way that they are impossible not to think about. Not a single person gets a reprieve from their own harsh realities and it was so easy to feel how broken down everything gets, especially toward the end. 

The only reason this book was not a 5 star read for me was because of how worn down I felt while reading it. Whatever joy there was, was fleeting and almost immediately deviant. Any hope I would wish for would be denied and I came out of it utterly sad. (I definitely need a light happy read after this one) 

If you can handle and appreciate the sadness and the darkness of this topic, I would 100% reccomend this book. It is not easy to read emotionally, but it is an important book no matter how much it has made me sad. 

The characters are very real and you will feel for there lives. Bad choices mixed with circumstance and a lot of loss lead to a whole lot of sin and regrets. Tricks is a book that grabs you for better or for worse. 
Thank you for reading. I kept this review short and sweet. Speaking about the subjects and other details surrounding this book is really hard for me. I’m a bit of an empath (especially in books) so this story kind of sucked the life out of me (not really in a bad way the book is incredible). I hope you enjoyed. 

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? If you haven’t read it have you read any of Ellen Hopkins other books? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. 

-Till next time! 

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4 thoughts on “Tricks by Ellen Hopkins: A Review 

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