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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2011
The story follows the plight of one woman who was, like so many Eastern European women are in real life, lured away from her home under false pretenses by someone she trusted and brutally forced into a life of prostitution. Hodge's portrayal of Elena, the unfortunate heroine, as she undergoes one horrific degradation after another is gritty and realistic. Her desperation, fear and anguish are palpable throughout. Although Elena's one major lapse in judgment (will not detail here because it is a mid-story spoiler)--although a necessary device--did jar me out of the story as being rather unrealistically careless at pivotal moment, Hodge handled it masterfully--using it to deepen the reader's understanding of Elena and how her hopes and dreams are dying a slow and agonizing death as her captivity continues.

This book is absolutely astounding and delivers an important message about the assumptions most of us make about the people who work in the sex trade. As someone who works in the field of criminology, I immediately recognized Elena's plight in the real-life accounts of trafficking victims. Certainly, this book puts a human face on the nameless women (and men) that we, as a society, largely (and wrongfully) view as 'throw aways' who 'made their own choice'. This book is an exceptional tool for raising awareness--not only for fiction readers but also for the classroom. I would recommend this as an accompanying text for any University course on victimology or the sex trade. Without hesitation, if I ever have the opportunity to teach a course on this subject, I will use Trafficked as a required text. It would even be appropriate for young adults at the high school level.

Excellent book! I highly recommend it.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2011
Sibel Hodge paints a vivid picture of a woman caught up in a global travesty of our time: Sex-Slave Trafficking. Using the Diary format to tell Elena's story of betrayal, helplessness, and degradation, Hodge sheds light on an industry that preys on thousands of young women every day. Using a novelist's skill, we come to care for Elena quickly. Women readers can easily relate to Elena and how she feels caught in the trap of prostitution. The piece is gritty, but not gruesome. I read it in one sitting. It left me feeling like I wanted to DO SOMETHING, which I imagine was the reason Sibel diverted from her usual chick-lit fare to tackle a serious subject. Hopefully, the pen truly is mightier than the sword, and "Diary" will help raise awareness and action against one of the most shameful elements of modern times. Change begins with resolve. I admire Sibel Hodge for devoting her time and talent keeping this issue in the spotlight.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2011
This story is so sad. Sibel writes a story so packed with emotion and the trauma sex slavery causes. I cried through out this story. She raises awareness on how you can't trust others at face value, to be careful and take a look at something that seems to good to be true..because in most cases, it is. Snatched from home, Elena endures some one the worst abuse imaginable. Beat on a daily basis, rape hourly, belittled and threaten at every turn, life is a nightmare. Forced to endure her captures abuse, she must play their game in order to save her mother and daughter. One slip-up, and they are gone. How much, is too much? This story shows a woman's struggle to hang on, to fight and survive, to live. This was a gripping story, filled with emotion. This book is not for the faint-hearted. It'll make you cry, it will piss you off and it will make you want to get even.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on February 29, 2012
I tell ya, I stumbled upon this book by complete accident. I was checking out some other authors' books on Amazon, and this came into my view and I clicked on the first page to read, and immediately downloaded it. At first glance, I was under the impression this was a true story, but it wasn't until I got into the book that I realized it was a fictional story, but as far as I'm concerned, it might as well have been a true story because unfortunately, there are many girls and women who actually live this life. OMG, I was blown away by the real accounts of the diary. This was my first reading of a novella and I tell you, Sibel wrote the hell out of this book. I was so terrified reading the pages, I couldn't believe when I was finished. This tale grips you from the very first sentence. Well worth the download! [...]
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2013
The diary of a sex slave is written very simple and honest. It can be a little brutal but this is what makes this book so breathtaking. It is also believable and has a realistic ending. I truly recommend this book to everyone because it is one of those book that makes you see the world from another perspective.
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
This is a book that must be read. It is the story of Elena who is kidnapped and trafficked to work in the sex business. It is a dark, hard-hitting story that pulls no punches. Written in the first person, in the form of a diary similar in style to the Diary of Anne Frank, it takes the reader right into the mindset of Elena. The reader shares her distress, her worries, her pain, and her fears. It succeeds on all levels as a story and I wouldn't be surprised if it became a classic.
I have no hestation in recommending this. Sibel Hodge is a writer to watch.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2012
I mistakenly thought this book was an actual diary/memoir... after all it was in the biographies/memoirs Amazon department. IT IS FICTION! Although "inspired" by the author's research on the subject of human trafficking, I couldn't help but be disappointed after finishing the book to discover that it wasn't real.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2011
When I read the first page of Sibel Hodge's Trafficked: The Diary of a Sex Slave, I knew to proceed with caution. Hodge notes that the novella is inspired by "real victims' accounts and research into the sex trafficking underworld." I wondered if Hodge would be able to engage the reader while drawing attention to the actual issue or, on the contrary, entertain readers with a story loosely based on an important issue à la Stieg Larsson's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series. Not to disparage Larsson's juxtaposition of a touchy subject with an entertaining storyline but the socially conscious writer must realize the importance of balance and these two possible outcomes when writing a book with a phrase like "sex slave" in the title.

Fortunately, the novella does seem more focused on bringing attention to the issue rather than simply entertaining readers. While the story is obviously engaging, as evidenced by my finishing the fifty-three pages in one sitting, I do have one suggestion for improvement. Rather than being told that "people [are] going about their life as if everything in the world is normal" (pg. 12) or having it pointed out how unnatural it is for a woman to be a part of the trafficking industry (pg.6), I wish I was provided with the sensory descriptions and/or details necessary for me to make these conclusions myself. Readers, by their very nature, have the imagination necessary to draw conclusions or understand irony on their own. The novella may have been more successful at drawing attention to the horrors of sex slavery and the trafficking industry by allowing the reader to use these innate skills more often. Once, when she has obviously gone through a horrid ordeal, Hodge's main character, Elena, does make the following statement: "I have not written much because I do not want to describe the things they make me do. You can imagine every depravity and increase it a hundred times, then you will understand" (pg. 16). From that statement I know that Hodge has faith in her readers' imaginations. I just wish she would have more readily relied on it throughout the novella.

In conclusion, I laud Hodge, a self-described "chicklit" author, for stepping outside of her preferred genre to draw attention to such an important, under-addressed twenty-first century issue. By doing this herself, she will most likely draw the attention of a whole readership who may not have been aware of the pain and suffering many women across the world still go through today in the unfortunately enduring practice of sex slavery.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2013
I read this book in two hours. It was very interesting and eye-opening. Unbelievable at parts and the ending put a nice neat bow on what can only be described as a horrific and most often hopeless scenario, but otherwise a moving and well-written story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2013
It comes across as rather fake, and I don't know why. Maybe because it does not have all the details of a novel. There is little in description of people or location. At the end I didn't feel like I really knew the main character.
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