I had no idea what to expect when I first started reading Tricks, by Ellen Hopkins, other than fans of TheYAGal’s Facebook page had said it was good. I didn’t even pay much attention to the title. “Tricks” can mean a lot of things…magic…pranks…a misspelled children’s cereal. Or as it turns out, prostitution.
Tricks is not only the most unusual YA book I’ve read, it’s probably one of the most unusual books I’ve read ever. It’s entirely written in poems, making it an epic poem. It tells the stories of five teenagers living in different parts of the country who end up in the Las Vegas sex trade industry.
There were a multitude of sections in Tricks that were so horrifying to read my stomach actually hurt. The worst part is knowing that even though this book is fiction, there is truth on every page.
Ellen Hopkins takes readers on a dark journey and I was really glad when Tricks was over–but not because it wasn’t brilliant.