Author: Peggy Kern
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: March 10, 2015
Source: egalley received from publisher via Edelweiss
Rating: 3.5 Stars
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***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way changed my opinion of the book. The review below is my open and honest opinion.***
Synopsis from Goodreads:
What do you do if you’re in trouble?
When Michelle runs away from her drug-addicted mother, she has just enough money to make it to New York City, where she hopes to move in with a friend. But once she arrives at the bustling Port Authority, she is confronted with the terrifying truth: she is alone and out of options.
Then she meets Devon, a good-looking, well-dressed guy who emerges from the crowd armed with a kind smile, a place for her to stay, and eyes that seem to understand exactly how she feels.
But Devon is not what he seems to be, and soon Michelle finds herself engulfed in the world of child prostitution where he becomes her “Daddy” and she his “Little Peach.” It is a world of impossible choices, where the line between love and abuse, captor and savior, is blurred beyond recognition.
This hauntingly vivid story illustrates the human spirit’s indomitable search for home, and one girl’s struggle to survive.
I was so nervous going into this book. Obviously the subject matter is dark. Unfortunately, it’s also realistic. But I had heard good things and I think this is a story that needs to be told. So I risked the emotional onslaught I was sure to feel and dove in.
This story is heart-breaking. And the reason that it’s heart-breaking is that this isn’t just Michelle’s story. This is the story of millions of young girls all over the world. I can’t even imagine the terror of being in Michelle’s shoes. The feeling that you don’t belong anywhere. That the only thing keeping you safe is this life you’ve been forced into. That feeling that these people, even though they are your abusers, are the only ones who care about you and keep you safe. God, my heart breaks for all these girls.
This book is very short. Only about 200 pages so I was finished with it within an hour or two. Michelle kept me engaged the whole time reading. Her experiences were told in a raw and honest way. Her two friends, Kat and Baby, broke my heart as well. Baby, just 12 years old and subjected to this life. And Kat, beautiful, strong, Kat. She put on a tough exterior, but she was hurting just as bad as the rest of them. And Michelle. Just wanting a place to belong. Just missing her grandfather and wanting to feel safe again. Damn, this story broke my heart.
The author did such a great job with this admittedly tough subject matter. I believe that she told the story truthfully and respectfully. There wasn’t anything thrown in that shouldn’t be. She told this story with intensity, intensity that completely fit with the situation.
My only tiny complaint is that I didn’t connect to the story as emotionally as I thought I would or would have liked to. And I honestly think that that was due to the short length. However, with the difficult subject matter, I’m not sure how much more I could have read on it. I think her decision to keep the book short and just give us a glimpse of the horrors Michelle experienced was a good one. This is definitely a story that needs to be told. As hard as it was to read, people need to read this so they become more aware. This is real. This is happening. And it happens right here in America. It’s not just sequestered to poor countries. This book will open people’s eyes to that and maybe, just maybe, we can start to make a change together as the author’s note at the back of the book says.
Have you read this one yet? What were your thoughts?