October 15, 2009

Tricks - Ellen Hopkins

Young Adult
Pages: 640
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Release date: August 25, 2009

"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.

Five moving stories remain separate at first, then interweave to tell a larger, powerful story — a story about making choices, taking leaps of faith, falling down, and growing up. A story about kids figuring out what sex and love are all about, at all costs, while asking themselves, "Can I ever feel okay about myself?"

Beware: this book is utterly dark and haunting. It's a quite explicit tale of teen prostitution. Five characters, five stories, that could have been so different, but they're not. The poetry writing format blew my mind. I feel stupid that I hadn't picked her books up before because of it. She's actually a genius. I mean, all the creativity it must have taken to step out of the box and write like this? Awesome!

Every character has their own format for writing their story and every character starts their turn with a poem of their own. The characters were real people, real teenagers with crappy problems. It absolutely heartbreaking to see them change as they do. All I kept thinking was "if only... then maybe it would be different". And I kept wondering what I would have done in their same situations; only to realize I could not assure I wouldn't have done what they did.

The cover is probably one of my favorite Hopkins cover. If you like dark books exploring real issues, prepare yourself and go grab this one!


  1. it is a really darjk book. I love ellen hopkins. i really liked this one

  2. I've been wanting to read her books lately and I think now I will invest some money and time with her. Maybe I'll spotlight her my blog in the near future....hmmmmm

  3. Wonderful review. This book seriously sounds amazing. I have recently decided I'm definitely going to check out some Ellen Hopkins, and I'm leaning towards this one now.

  4. I already place a hold on it!! :D Awesome review!


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