Oct 16, 2009

Tricks by Ellen Hopkins

The master of prose-written novels has done it again. Ellen Hopkins has delivered yet another amazing novel dealing with difficult, but applicable subject matter.

Usually a taboo subject, Tricks follows five different teens through their decisions regarding sex. Hopkins deals with the reality of what can happen when things go horribly with careful consideration and a thought-provoking situations.

Eden is the sweet, innocent daughter of a hell-fire-and-brimstone pastor. Her mother and father have forbidden her to date until she is ready to marry, so meeting Andrew was definitely not planned. They shared a love that they hoped could withstand anything. That love is tested when she is sent off to a secluded, religious, reform center to have her "demons" excised. Eden holds on to her memories as she is forced to do unthinkable things in the name of escape and freedom.

Seth is a farmer's son who has hidden his true self for far too long. After finding and losing his first love, Loren, Seth is forced into outing himself as gay to his conservative father. Being forced from his home and everything he knows, Seth becomes the kept arm candy of an older gay gentleman, only he's not so gentle.

Whitney really just wanted to fall in love. She thought that Lucas was the one and even gave him her virginity. Sadly, he used her and then threw her away. Hurt and depressed, Whitney reaches out for help to the only person she can think of. Bryn promises to take care of her, she believes him, and he makes good on his promise; at least in the beginning.

Ginger hates her mother Iris but there's not much she can do about that fact. Being the eldest of six children, the responsibility of taking care of those younger than her falls on Ginger. While her mother is out with her new dirtbag boyfriend, turning tricks, or buzzed out of her mind, Ginger and her grandmother work hard to provide for the little family. After one of the youngest children is severely injured in an automobile accident and Ginger has an all-too-familiar encounter with one of Iris's "friends," Ginger decides to skip town with a friend. The two girls didn't really know how much worse things could get for them.

Cody doesn't know how to make things better. His mom and stepdad Jack are quite happy, until the unthinkable happens and his mom is left on her own with Cody and his little, troublemaker brother Cory. Cody retreats into a world of sex and drugs to cope. Unfortunately he can't shake the responsibility he feels for his family. Desperate time call for desperate measures, but even Cody is a little anxious about the lengths he is willing to go for his family.

Spellbinding and captivating, this book will ensnare your sensibilities and leave you breathless. Hopkins has an interesting way of weaving stories together just enough that you can see characters from another character's point of view. It gives a truly insightful glimpse into the truth that we are all interconnected on some level.

No comments: