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Showing 1-10 of 432 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 468 reviews
on March 1, 2015
This was an awesome story, of courage, hope, and redemption! I have read all of the reviews, and I disagree with all the negative ones! I am reviewing this book, and the 2nd one, as well. You have to read both books, to complete the story. Mark Finks has done an awesome job, in his resurch, and imagination, in writing this fiction story, of an ugly truth. Both of these books are a must read! The main character is a 13 year old boy, named Tavi. I will not tell you A whole lot about the story, because I do not want to ruin it for you. This is an awesome story, that is action packed full of twist, and turns, that will keep you On the edge of your seat! You will not put this book down! Tavi is an intelligent 13 year old boy, that came from a poor village. Two men came from the city to his village. They convince his parents that he should come to a special boarding school in the city, because of his intelligence. They even paid his poor family a certain amount of money, for the inconvenience, not having their son around, for the next 5 years. After arriving at what was supposed to be a school, was a bar called "SCHOOL HOUSE". Tavi, and his family thought he was going to a nice boarding school. Little did anyone know, Tavi was bought for boy prostitution. Later on in this story, he escaped his abusers, and is able to help other children, as well. Tavi is a natural born leader. He has proven that in his village, before he was taken. SO...........To all of you negative viewers out there, read the book again, and read the 2nd one. I highly recommend both of these books! They were an awesome read, I was on the edge of my seat, the whole time, I couldn't put the book down! Tavi was a poor village boy, who became a hero, in this story. I would like to see a 3rd book come out, where Tavi grows up, and continues to save children. I would like to see this story made into a movie.This book has an awesome ending!
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on February 7, 2014
The author did an excellent job of conveying the sad realities of children sold into slavery. I'm sure he had a tough time deciding exactly how much detail was just enough to get his message across, entertain us, and yet not offend. In my opinion he provided the perfect mix. Although I wouldn't have been offended by greater detail when it came to the boys experiences with their renters, I know that many people would find it overly offensive and would have given the book poor reviews. No, I'm not a weirdo - I just wanted to "feel" how they felt and what they thought in their uneducated, immature minds. It's a tough issue to address and the author did a great job - that's for sure.

I found myself really rooting for the children in the story. It's very sad to be reminded that there are sick individuals in this world that travel to poor countries tricking uneducated people into selling their children. Some sold their children because they needed the money and felt they had no choice and yet others didn't realize they were selling their children at all. I am utterly disgusted by the way human traffickers prey on the ignorance of others.

Human trafficking is a real and serious problem plaguing the world. Books like this are necessary to bring the issue to the attention of those that go about their day-to-day lives without a clue about the existence of such atrocities. Victimization of anyone is unacceptable, but there is a special place in the bowels of $#%% for individuals like those portrayed in the story that are actually doing this to children.

I highly recommend this book. I am currently on Book 2 (available to borrow for free for Prime Members) and feel even closer to the characters I've grown to love.
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on March 1, 2015
An honest and moving exposition of one of the worst perversions - organized human trafficking of children for sexual abuse. I cannot disagree strongly enough with those readers who found this book sensational, offensive, or pornographic. On the contrary, the author takes great care to present this disgusting and most troubling subject, from the subjective viewpoint of a smart, courageous, self-determined, naive, and innocent young boy. Whereas there are myriad appalling scenes of sexual abuse and violence, the author does not go into the prurient details of sexual abuse for sensational or pornographic effects. On the contrary, for the most part, Marc Finks leave the details of physical, sexual and psychological abuse to the imagination of the reader by avoiding unnecessary prurient or sensationalist details. The novel is well written in simple, unassuming everyday lay language appropriate for the age and psychosocial backgrounds of the main characters. The plot develops fast and coherently, resulting in the immediate sympathetic protective identification of the reader with the abused boys, which makes it impossible to put the book down or buy the conclusion of the struggles a most courageous and decent main character in Book 2 - The Redemption. I recommend this book to every parent with young children and to anyone interest in taking an active participation against human trafficking.
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on May 3, 2015
Have you ever read a book where you liked a character so much until you found out that person wasn't so great after all? And then you wish for something really horrible happen to that person and it does?
Be careful what you wish for, because in this story that is sadly based on the real world, in every country, probably every state, maybe even your own neighborhood, sometimes those wishes turn deadly nightmares come true, and you never even realized what you've risked by that one wish.
I found myself ashamed of me for thinking, 'Good for ya, you Monster!' even if only a brief moment because I sincerely dreaded the sacrifice that turned out to be punishment or karma or whatever it is you want to call it that was 'payback' for the evil men and women this character sold little children to.
I didn't want to read one more page because it broke my heart, yet because it's so close to my heart, I couldn't put this down.
I wish I had the money for the next book in the series. I'd recommend this book to anyone who honestly loves kids and wants to help them live a life they were never intended to live.
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on March 5, 2014
I read this book in one night. I found parts of it hard to read to the point that I did a lot of wincing. I almost put it down once, because it was at points very upsetting, not to mention depressing. The evils of humanity at its worst are always hard to look upon.
Having said that - I kept reading because it was important I read it. If children all over the world are bearing the things I had difficulty reading, the least I can do is read and learn of their terrible lives.
(spoiler alert)

I had some problems with character development. It's hard for me to believe that one character would order a child beaten to death and then a short time later decide to become a "good" person and be horrified at the very stuff he was selling. It was a sudden jump and my mind resisted. I understand I am to accept that because things hit home in an awful way, he was rethinking his livelihood and life of crime, but it was hard to swallow. It's also hard to imagine that he would allow the perpetrator of the crime against his family to live even a moment or two after he learned of the molestation. I mean, this guy kills kids routinely.
I do understand the author, in writing this book, seems to be more engaged in raising awareness than in merely telling a story, so I went ahead and gave it three stars because I understand and appreciate the motive.
Unfortunately, I also kept waiting for the events to lead up to what I read in the prologue, but they never did. I guess that is for Book 2, which the author has promised.

Dialogue is handled pretty well, although at times I found it didn't really move the story along much and became a little tiresome. Apart from the awakening and miraculous change of one of the main characters, I also noticed a few more problems. The relationship with the wife, for instance, was unnecessarily mushy, I thought, and she wasn't believable as the professional she was said to be. But it wasn't a major factor to me.
If one doesn't know about anything about child sex slavery and the cruelty and nightmare tactics involved in getting children to cooperate, this book is definitely important as a start to self-education on this topic If previous knowledge, such as research or experience has already raised one's awareness, it's doubtful one will get much satisfaction from reading it
I do have a tiny concern that the details of the sexual acts perpetrated on these boys might be good reading for a pedophile, and think a little less detail in some scenes wouldn't hurt the story. I know the author would be horrified to imagine that could happen, but there's quite a bit of detail, and the same scenes which made me nauseous might be titillating for some sickos.
Once again, as is the case in so many books published on Kindle - I don't understand why authors don't get these things edited so the reader isn't distracted by errors, unexplainable statements, events, etc.
But I do not regret reading it.
It is important if it raises consciousness on this extremely unpleasant aspect of the underbelly of humanity.
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on March 19, 2015
I found this book wonderful and terrible at the same time...I raised five sons, sometimes on my own and sometimes with a husband. I cannot imagine any of them being in this situation. I cannot comprehend how anyone could make a child do what these children were forced to do nor can I understand how these children endured what they had to. If enough people read this, might we someday eliminate this kind of practice. I am going to do something now I don't usually do. I am going to buy book 2 and keep on reading.
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on June 14, 2015
This book has a good premise but the story fell a little flat. It started out with a prologue that was never re-visited in the book again. Perhaps that will be in the second book. Also, the characters had very little development. You don't know why they ended up in the sex trade other than a veiled reference to coming from poor families. But where? No one knows because the author doesn't reveal locations for any part of the story. There are alot of exotic names -- Tavi, Yuri, Chouji, Vikram -- so it makes the reader assume maybe they are in Asia or a similar country. You also don't really get a sense for what they are feeling while enduring this horrible experience. I thought the author could've gone deeper into that.

What he did go deeper into was the owner's home life (the man who owned the bar the boys worked at). His life seemed very apple pie and normal but it was never explained why he was in the business in the first place. Then he has a change of heart because his son becomes a victim of a predator. He wants to start treating the boys better. Totally unbelievable.

I stayed up all night reading this book because the story sucked me in. The author knows how to write but more details would've made a good book a great book.
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on November 7, 2016
This really is broken into two books, you need to read both books to really get the full effect of the theme of the stories. Boys for sale, tell how parents are trick into giving their young sons over to people, who said that they would be going to a good private school, which they would not be able to afford on their own.
The boys are instead put into bars, that deal in sell them for sex with men. They are beaten and drugged to control them.
This books cover that aspect of the story.
The second book called Redemption, tell the after effect of this and how they are able to broke free. There are detail account of the beating, sex abuse, and torture that these boys face in both books
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on April 18, 2013
It is rare to find a book of fiction that délas with the harsh reality of human trafficking; and, specially, when it involves boys. All sex-related crimes and also crimes related with sexual perversion are usually taboo. The fact that they can affect boys too is a taboo within the first one.
In this sense, I think Marc Fink's book is worth advertising, worth reading and a valuable addition to fiction literature.
It's not a literary masterpiece, and I found a couple of typos, but it is written correctly, and the story turns to be engaging and interesting; specially if you are unaware of how persons who deal with other people recruit them, break them and shove them into a vicious cycle of shame, addiction and crime that is really difficult to get out of. These aspects are well shown in the book, and -for the faint harted- the grimmest parts are very carefully handled; manageable descriptions that get the point across (however, I think the author becomes too careful in the firsts chapters -before Tavi leaves the village--and why the local kids are afraid to go near "the rocks" when they play could be better described).
I also liked what the author says in the prologue, which has to do with people not being all good or all bad. And I think this is a valuable approach to any character depiction, because I agree with this point of view. I think the author has managed to depict this in some ways. However, I must say, I didn't feel the way Javier López turns around at the end of the book. His double life was completely believable; I was hoping to get to know the "why" and the "how he got in that kind of business", but I've known of people who do terrible, criminal, things for work (or in some part of their life) and then come home and be "the perfect husband", "the perfect dad", "the perfect neighbor". You get that feeling with Lopez, until he changes his heart, so to speak, in a way that didn't seem realistic.
I also think you shouldn't start a book with a prologue when you are not going to mention the main characters of that prologue again in the book. When I first read it I thought "And what about the lady and her son?" Now, I know the book is part of a series, so we'll probably know more in the following book. However, maybe it is a question of style, but I wouldn't mention characters in a prologue that are not going to appear again -albeit briefly- in the same work. But, again, it is a minor issue.
Finally, another interesting aspect of the book is the mixture of landscapes, name origins, and situations. Some times you feel you are reading a story that takes place in India, and sometimes in the States. I think you could make a point of that, showing that human trafficking is a widespread problem; it happens everywhere.
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on June 1, 2014
Tavi is bought from his parents with the promise that he will attend a great school, get a wonderful education and make good money to help his family out. I find it hard to believe that parents sell their children but what do I know?

The School only takes the best, the brightest and the most handsome boys from the poor villages. Then they are barely fed or clothed & the education that they do receive is only so they can fetch the highest dollar from dirty men.

Javier is the man that runs the school. He is such an oxymoron. He is the scum of the earth selling these boys, some as young as 8 years old but on the other hand he is a loving father and husband. His wife Laura a smart attorney has no clue what he does to support his family in their lavish lifestyle? Some reviews said she is money hungry and always pushing him to make more and spend more? I never saw that. Naive and clueless, yes she is definitely those. Sure she spends and has nice things but she was never forcing him to get those.

Mr. Finks does a great job of portraying the graphic side of this whole situation without being to graphic. Alarming yes, but no matter how innocently he portrays these situations the matter will always be graphic. Young boys being bought and used by men who should know better is tough no matter how you write about.

This is a very tough read. The strength of Tavi and how these 'street rats' band together is amazing though. We complain about how bad our government is and Obamacare, etc BUT really? We are living in a fairy tale compared to these boys.
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