Author: Ellen Hopkins
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Reading Level: YA, 14+
Publication Date: August 25, 2009
My Edition: ARC
Plot - 18/20
Characters - 20/20
Writing - 20/20
Originality - 18/20
Entertainment - 7/10
Recommendation - 7/10
Five teenagers from different parts of the country. Three girls. Two boys. 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 that they can have all of these things when those powerful little words "I love you" are said for all the wrong reasons. Five moving stories remain seperate at first, then interweave to tell a larger, powerful story- a story about making choices, taking leaps of faith, falling down, and growing up.
Before I start, I just want to say that, in the ratings, I'm not sure if the Entertainment and Recommendation should apply. Tricks was a story of prostitution. (Something I didn't really realize until I started it.) It was entertaining, the novel. But it was not a happy entertainment. These stories are so hard to read and so hard to really enjoy. You can't enjoy it. But you can't stop reading either. The recommendation is hard too. How can I recommend something that is so terrible, so horrible (In the sense of the of the story.) but how can I not recommend something that is so amazingly crafted and incredibly written? How can I? Either way, I'm not going to fuss about the rating. This book was so horribly amazing and that is all you need to know for a rating.
Ellen Hopkins has such an amazing talent for writing verse novels and I can't ignore the fact that all of her novels tackle the most roughest, most terrible teen difficulties out there? The writing was incredibly done. The story was terrible to read, but it was also fantastic. What I'm trying to say is, the story, the lives of the five people in this novel and what happen to them is the most terrifying thing I have ever read. But Ellen Hopkins, she wrote it so well that it is just an amazing novel.
How Hopkins combines all of these stories together in the tiniest of ways. How these characters can do these things. How they each of the characters were so different and how each of their lives were so far from each other, but yet, they ended out the same way. How someone can do that just blows my mind. But she did it. And how she can write about these issues without having a mental breakdown herself, well, give her a million cookies.
I'm on the fence. As much she's a great writer, I don't know if I can handle reading another one of her stories, but I know, if I pick one of them up, I definitely won't be able to put it done.