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Tricks Hardcover – August 25, 2009
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About the Author
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I studied journalism in college, but left school to marry, raise kids and start my own business--a video store, before the mega-chains were out there. After a divorce, I met my current husband and we moved to Tahoe to become ski bums and otherwise try to find our dreams. At that time, I went to work for a small alternative press, writing stories and eventually editing.
When we moved down the mountain to the Reno area, I started writing nonfiction books, many of which you can see here. The rest are viewable on my personal website. I also continued to freelance articles for newspapers and magazines.
All that has changed, with the publication of my novel, CRANK, which has led to a valued career writing YA novels in verse, all of which explore the more difficult situations young adults often find themselves in. Will I ever write one in prose? No doubt! But, for the moment, writing novels in verse fulfills two needs: writing poetry and writing fiction. The combination is so interesting!
Top Customer Reviews
First of all, I'm not an experienced Hopkins reader. I read another one of her books from my library (I'm pretty sure it was Impulse? Staring Tony, and two others in a suicide rehab clinic)
So going in to Tricks I sort of knew what to expect. Gritty, honest writing, emotion, and heartbreak.
Lots of people complain about two things in this book. One, universal with Hopkins it seems, it the writing style. I will admit I was also victim to the old mistake of opening it up, assuming it was poetry, and putting it down. Please, if You pick this book up, give it a chance! It's written in verse, but outside the "A Poem By ___" openers it's all straight prose divided in crafty line breaks that drive subtle points home.
Another thing is that people complain it's just too graphic. I'm sorry, but you're reading about love, heartbreak, and eventual prostitution. People say it's too detailed, and it disturbs them. Imagine how the ones who LIVE this kind of thing feel. When you're being raped there is no neat way to avoid the gritty truth and details. There's no way to forget the smell of sex or scrape away enough skin in the shower to ever feel clean. Hopkins takes that feeling of desperation, fear, and the thoughts of "who will want me now" and instills this into her book.
So if you don't want to feel like someone's gripping your heart with cold fingers, don't read this. If you're light stomached or can't take the truth of what's really happening in this world, this book isn't for you.Read more ›
Hopkins has established herself as a crusader of tough teen issues - drug use, suicide, abuse. This book was no exception. The author approached teen prostitution head-on, not sugar-coating it and without unnecessary moralizing. I applaud Hopkins for that, not many authors have guts to touch this kind of subject. As for the novel itself, it left me cold.
First, I was (to my own surprise) extremely bored by the narration, so much so that I started contemplating to drop the book altogether. I might have felt this way because of the multitude of the POVs - too many switches, too little time to get attached to any character. Very often I found myself confused who was the narrator, the stories started to blend together.
I also thought the book was just too wordy, too drawn out when it didn't need to be (too much info about Cody's gambling problems, for instance) and too quick or superficial when some events needed to be explored deeper. I felt I needed more to understand what drove Eden to so easily give herself over to Jerome for a couple of strawberries or how Ginger took on stripping.
Some events in the book felt a bit too cliche or gimmicky - Lucas' reasons for breaking up with Whitney (because she was a virgin and not great in bed - really?) or Carl's transformation to an abusive sugar daddy in a matter of... minutes.
Long story short, too often I felt I was being emotionally manipulated rather than truly touched by the characters' plight. I read another "issue book" not so long ago - "Living Dead Girl.Read more ›
Hopkins utilizes slightly different styles for each of her five subjects, a distinction that will probably go unnoticed by many readers, especially once they become absorbed in each person's story. She also provides transitions between narrators by repeating key words, further expressing the connections among these young people even before the plot does so. Although these stylistic niceties are subtle, the differences among Hopkins's subjects are not, and readers will likely have no trouble distinguishing the teens' narrative voices because their stories are so singular.
Eden is the daughter of a fundamentalist preacher in Idaho, whose parents send her to a religious rehabilitation camp, where she falls in love with a non-believer and trades sexual favors with a prison guard to try to secure her freedom. Seth is an Indiana farm boy who comes out to his father in the wake of his first gay love affair, only to be thrown out of the house and into the arms of a wealthy but demanding and manipulative older lover. Whitney is a typical wealthy teen from Santa Cruz; when her first serious relationship fails, her insecurities and desire for affection connect her with a charismatic older man who promises her love but may not have her best interests at heart.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
i loved this book. excellent writer. i always have a hard time putting her books down. this one kept me interested all the way throughPublished 1 day ago by Nicole Hook
This is a great book, but it's hard to read. It's important to read it, but still hard. The author does an amazing job examining some of the reasons young people get the involved... Read morePublished 13 days ago by beautybybenz
Love! I love all of Ellen Hopkins books! Especially the Crank series! Amazing writes! Book was in great condition!Published 27 days ago by Amazon Customer
Powerful and haunting with characters I really cared about. I did get confused at times at who was speaking and it might have been easier with one less character voice, but I felt... Read morePublished 1 month ago by J. Perrotta
Not impressed with the style of writing. Also very hard to get into.Published 2 months ago by Kindle Customer