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Tricks Hardcover – August 25, 2009
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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 ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I always enjoy Ellen Hopkins style of writing its like a vacation from the regular style of writing. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Katherine
I applaud Ellen Hopkins for writing about such things that most people would be scared to even talk about. Read morePublished 2 months ago by mark Meiri
Ellen Hopkins has yet to disappoint me with one of her booksPublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Tricks by Ellen Hopkins is a multiple perspective prose novel targeting hard topics such as teenage prostitution, drug use, and the negative consequences of trusting in the wrong... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
This might be my least-favorite book I have ever read. The only reason it does not get a one star is because it kept my reading, probably in the same way that awful soap operas... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Nick H.