Tricks, Ellen Hopkins



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One Response to “Tricks, Ellen Hopkins”

  1. bachbooks Says:

    In Tricks, Ellen Hopkins focuses her trademark narrative poetry on the lives of five teens who start in different places and all end up as prostitutes on the streets of Las Vegas. Eden, Whitney, Ginger, Seth, and Cody each have to deal with some hardships in their lives ranging from overbearing parents, self-absorbed parents, and even deceased parents. These kids’ problems start with their parents. A failing economy compounds each situation. In addition each teen has some flaw which leaves them marginalized and susceptible to “grooming,” and exploitation by people they mistakenly trust. Drugs and alcohol also grease the skids of their descent. As the book wears on, all five lives spiral from bleak to miserable to destitute with only false hopes of relief.

    Not since viewing Requiem for a Dream have I felt this bad about finishing a work of fiction. This may be the most depressing book I have ever read. I can’t really recommend it to anyone. (Unless you think your life is awful, then you should read this book to see how horrific life can get. Hoping against hope that no one really has a worse life story than this.) Perhaps Hopkins intends Tricks as a warning for teens to avoid drugs, alcohol, gambling, addiction, forbidden relationships, and sex, but the book really seems to warn parents that if you fail to connect with your children and offer them unconditional love, someone else will offer them “conditional love” and may even leverage this into exploitation and debasement.

    Rating: 1 star

    Recommendations: Why We Broke Up, Eleanor & Park, Romeo and Juliet, Crank

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