Read Tricks by Ellen Hopkins Online


Five teenagers from different parts of the country. Three girls. Two guys. Four straight. One gay. Some rich. Some poor. Some from great families. Some with no one at all. All living their lives as best they can, but all searching...for freedom, safety, community, family, love. What they don't expect, though, is all that can happen when those powerful little words "I loveFive teenagers from different parts of the country. Three girls. Two guys. Four straight. One gay. Some rich. Some poor. Some from great families. Some with no one at all. All living their lives as best they can, but all searching...for freedom, safety, community, family, love. What they don't expect, though, is all that can happen when those powerful little words "I love you" are said for all the wrong reasons.Five moving stories remain separate at first, then interweave to tell a larger, powerful story -- a story about making choices, taking leaps of faith, falling down, and growing up. A story about kids figuring out what sex and love are all about, at all costs, while asking themselves, "Can I ever feel okay about myself?"...

Title : Tricks
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781416950073
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 627 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Tricks Reviews

  • Nancy
    2018-10-02 22:44

    Posted at Shelf InflictedWhen I went to pick this book up at the library, I was surprised at how small and fat it was. Great, just what I need…a 600+ page book and hardly enough time to read. When I opened up the book and glanced at the first few pages, I was delighted and shocked the margins were so wide and there were no more than seven words per line. Then I thought, “wait a minute, this is freakin’ poetry!” Since I read so little poetry and never developed an appreciation for it, I left the library slightly disappointed. Well, Tricks isn’t exactly poetry, but a novel written in verse. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put the book down. Dishes were piling up, dust bunnies were fighting back, and I was late to work. Tricks is a story about five deeply troubled teenagers, all from different areas, backgrounds, and family situations who end up falling into prostitution. Each character has a story to tell. These stories are brief, and jump from one character to the next and back again. At the beginning, I was a little frustrated at how short their stories were and was afraid that I would not be able to distinguish one character from the next. It turns out there was no need to worry. Hopkins does a brilliant job of infusing her characters with life, personality and emotions. As I continued to read, and the characters’ situations became more harrowing, I found the stories very intense and was relieved there was some separation. I was also surprised at how much I enjoyed the writing style. These stories told in verse allowed me to get into the minds and feelings of the characters without extraneous detail, and helped me feel a deeper connection with them. Tricks broke my heart and made my stomach churn. The stories were gripping, painful, and honest. My own teenage years, painful memories, wrong choices, and difficulty with parents all came flooding back. I wish my own parents could have read a book like this, just to see how their own behavior and actions could irreparably damage a child’s life.

  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
    2018-10-21 15:33

    www.melissa413readsalot.blogspot.comDamn. All of Ellen's books are rough as hell. I love them, but they get right into your bones and tear you apart! I have to share an excerpt from the book that I'm all too familiar with: Some PeopleNever find the right kind of love. You know, the kind that stealsyour breathe away, like diving into snowmelt.The kind that jolts your heart,sets it beating apace, an anxioushiccuping of hummingbird wings.The kind that makes every terribleminute apart feel like hours. Days.Some people flit from one possibility to the next, never experiencing the incredibleconnection of two people, rocked by destiny. Never knowing what it means to lovesomeone else more than themselves. More than life itself, or the promiseof something better, beyond this world. More even (forgive me) than God. Lucky me. I found the right kindof love. With the wrong person. I feel so bad for these kids, it's so hard to be a child. I am going to tell you the names of these 5 kids, but I'm not saying which one is going through what exactly. You have Eden, Seth, Whitney, Ginger, and Cody. Each of these children have a shitty home life, but in different ways.One has a mother who is a hooker and there are 6 children which includes one of them. They all live with their grandma, two of them have the same dad, the others all have different dads, no dad comes around. One child is sold by their mother to their boyfriends for sex.. after the second time and the realization of this comes out, they run away with their best friend. One child is gay, but can't tell their father or they will be shunned until the day the father reads a letter and kicks the kid out. Another kid has a history of drugs in the family, loses a family member and has to find a way to pay all of the bills. One child has a father that is a preacher and not the nice real preacher kind, the brimstone and.. well from what I read... torture kind of preacher. And the final child has a mother that ignores them and lavishes their sister and a dad that comes home occasionally. Now a couple of these kids are mistreated by their boyfriend or girlfriend. All of these things lead to one thing... these kids are all on the run and they all in up in the most horrible of situations, hence the name of the book. It's a vicious book, but great none-the-less. FYI: I would like to beat the shit out of every jerk in the book.. just saying.

  • Lindsey Rey
    2018-10-06 23:46

    So painful, oh so very painful.

  • Tatiana
    2018-10-23 21:36

    "Tricks" was my second Hopkins' book. I read "Impulse" a while ago and remember devouring it in a matter of hours and loving it. I wish I felt the same way about "Tricks."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." Alice felt real to me, I never truly believed in Seth, Cody, Whitney, and Eden, only Ginger and her story had some authenticity. The story picked up significantly in the last 100 pages or so, once everybody hit the rock bottom. Those pages were great, gritty and disturbing and painful to read. But it took way too long to get there and by that point in the story I was already tired of the book. Will I recommend this book? Absolutely, the subject of it is important and has to be brought to light. Is this the best written book about teen prostitution? I don't think so.

  • Thomas
    2018-10-09 18:51

    Oh my god. So I got this book the first day it became available at the book store (yesterday), and I couldn't wait to read it. So I did. And it was AMAZING. Ellen Hopkins does it again in this beautifully written novel told in verse titled "Tricks". It is about five teenagers who each come from different backgrounds, some in the upper class, some in the lower class. Three girls, two boys. Four are straight, one is gay. But they all have one thing in common: they are all searching for acceptance, love, freedom, and they will all do whatever it takes to survive, in the unrelenting cold, cold world they will each be a part of. By the way, the last paragraph of the review will contain *major* spoilers.Eden Streit is an innocent girl. She really is. Her mother and father are both heavily religious folk, her dad being the lead priest of their local church, and her mom being the trophy wife that he's always proud to come home to. Eden and her sister Eve (get it?) are both obedient and never cause any trouble. But when a decent young man who is two years older than Eden, named Andrew, decides to come into Eden's life and sway her off her feet, her parents are not happy. In fact, they send Eden away so she can reform her sins. And Eden will do absolutely anything to get out of that horrible place. Anything.Seth Parnell is an Indiana country farm boy. He lives with his father, and they are both living through a terrible loss. The loss of a wife, and a mother. Seth also has to deal with the fact that he's gay. So when Seth decides to act on his urges, he comes to face to face with a nice man named Loren. Everything seems good for a little bit, with Loren treating Seth out to musical theather and to eat at fancy dining, but good things never last. So when Seth is cast out on his own to survive, there is nothing much he can barter with... besides his body.Whitney Lang is the epitome of popularity and beauty. Although she would probably be better off without her mom and sister, she still has her loving dad and caring boyfriend Lucas to come home to every day. But what happens when Whitney gives something away to Lucas, something precious that a girl must be careful with, and it turns out that Lucas dumps her because of it? Whitney makes a rash decision driven by teenage rebellion - a decision she will soon regret.Ginger Cordell just might want to be a writer when she grows up. But it's hard to focus on that when she has to take care of her four brothers and sisters, escpecially when her mom is always out hooking up with strange men to pay the rent. She is sick of always being surrounded by the stench and disgusting feeling of sex, so she decides to run away with her friend. But this change of scenery will not be just any walk in the park.Cody Bennett has a nice, civil family. He has a younger brother named Cory, a loving mom, and a stepfather named Jack. He pretty much is living the life. But when Jack suddenly passes away, his family is torn apart and sinks faster than the Titanic while hitting the iceberg. With his mom out of commision and a younger brother that gets sent to juvy, Cody has to find a way to pay the bills somehow, right?Gahhh I loved this book. Seriously, it was just amazing... breathtaking. Hopkin's prose is beautiful, this book just made me want to read more even though at times I was absolutely disgusted. Like a car crash you can't look away from. Everything about this book, the characters, the plot, it was just so magnificent. *spoilers beyond here*Eden's story was probably the "happiest one", I think she was the character that only got the happy ending. Seth's ending really sucked for me, he never even gets out of prostitution! That made me really sad and depressed. I really liked him. Whitney... she was okay, she had a nice ending too, although for most of the second half of the book she was too buzzed for me to really get deep into her character. I felt so bad for Ginger, and this may be a bad thing to say but Iris totally deserved to get HIV. I can't believe she would sell her own daughter's body! What kind of sick parent would do that to her own child!? And last but not least, Cody. I felt for him too, although it would've been nice to be able to see if he could resolve the issue about his sexuality.FIVE STARS!!!

  • Heather
    2018-09-28 16:41

    Wow! I'm not sure whether it's Hopkins writing style or subject matter that shakes you to your core, or both, but either way, it's nothing short of spectacular and I know that days from now, I will still be thinking about this book. Well, perhaps haunted would be a better term.By the title alone, you can deduce what awaits these characters, a life of teen prostitution, but what you will not expect is the events and choices that will lead them there. It's enlightening and heartbreaking, it will make you cringe and it will make you cry, it will probably even make you thank your blessed stars that you were lucky enough not to suffer from the same fate, and wonder if you could have these characters brand of courage and determination. It is nothing short of amazing to see how something as simple as choosing to love someone can alter your life so completely, and not always for the better, even with the best of intentions. And it's terrifying to know what a guise love can be, and how easily people can play upon it. Some of these characters make stupid choices, one's that you will scoff at, some make the only choices available to them, and more than one never had a choice at all. Some of these characters you will become endeared to from the start, one in particular will make you want to write him off (I thought Cody was a loser), but by the end, I found myself crying for Cody, though I disliked him tremendously. Why? Because no one deserves his fate. I suppose it was Hopkins's genius to throw in such a gray area as Cody.This book is not an easy read, it’s vivid and graphic and deals with a very risqué subject matter but I would encourage everyone to read it, especially teens. I’m amazed this made YA standards, but thankful that it did, because teens are the very ones who should read this book. Parents, if you are reading this review, read this book with your teen. False beauty can hide ugliness, just as ugliness can hide beauty and you will be doing your child a tremendous injustice from hiding knowledge of either from them. It may prevent them and you from making monumental mistakes. I’m certain that Hopkins has brought hope and understanding to more than a few readers.

  • Sesana
    2018-10-05 16:25

    Maybe I've just overdosed on Ellen Hopkins (again), but the overwhelming emotion this book left me with was relief. Relief that this book was done, relief that there wasn't another of her books in my stack at home. That makes it sound like I hated this book, and I didn't. Maybe I'm just emotionally exhausted by her writing, which can best be described as intense. Maybe if I read this book again in a year or two, maybe after a cheerful middle grade fantasy, I'd like it better. And maybe one day I'll do that, but right now it isn't looking likely.I've complained about Hopkins using too many viewpoints before, but this time I just can't bring myself to complain about the five (five!) viewpoints in Tricks. She isn't telling the same story five different ways, or five different stories that don't really have much to do with each other. This time, she's using the multiple viewpoints to show that teen prostitutes don't all have the same story. They get there different ways, and they get out different ways. If they get out. She couldn't have really done that with just one viewpoint character, so in this case it worked.I did have some trouble truly connecting with many of the characters, though. I felt for all of them, to varying degrees and with varying frequency. But I didn't really connect like I have with some of her other books. This is probably just me, having read too much of her work in too short a period of time. It may also be because I disliked Cody from very early on, and I never really did get over that. And yet, Hopkins is a skilled enough writer that she can make a character hard to like and still make me care about what happened to them. I went back and forth on the star rating for this book more times than I can count. I liked it, but not four stars' worth. But it is very well-written, and about a very important subject. 3.5 stars sounds right, for a good book with a topic that needed to be covered, that probably just hit me at the wrong time. But we don't have half stars on Goodreads. In the end, I decided to bump it up instead of down. I guess I just admire Hopkins as a writer, for her skill and her boldness, enough to give her the benefit of the doubt.

  • Nadine
    2018-09-30 15:45

    "That's what he saidFollow me, and find The meaning of loveIn my bed. I followed, Found sheets coldAs death. Neither of usCould warm them,Not me, notHim. Not a maelstrom Of body heat so intense It felt like fever. AfterWe slept, chilled. He tossedAnd turned, lost In some obnoxious Dream. And when we Woke, he ordered meAway."*trigger warning for rape, depression.Tricks is, in true Ellen Hopkins fashion, a tough book to read. It follows five young teenagers as they explore sex for the first time and their eventual downfall into prostitution. Each story in unique in that the characters have different motivations, feelings, sexual orientation, and views of love. This book gets progressively harder to read the further you get into it. I had to put it down a few times and focus on something more uplifting. Hopkins captures the desperation and bleakness of each situation with intense clarity. I first read this book sound 7 years ago and rates in a four star, however I am changing my review to 5 stars. I don't think I fully understood and grasped the point of the novel. Overall, Tricks is not for the faint of heart. It deals with teenage prostitution in harsh light and will most definitely leave you feeling disgusted.

  • Rebecca
    2018-10-20 21:48

    Tricks was my first Ellen Hopkins book and I have to admit that I underestimated her. Not many books have the ability to make me feel as much as Tricks did. This will probably be the hardest review I’ve ever written, because I don’t think I can properly find the words to explain my feelings for this book. I’m in awe.In Tricks, there were five main characters whose perspective we read from - three girls and two guys. Each character was so different, particularly in who they were and how they found themselves where they did, yet by the end they all seem connected somehow. I cannot possibly begin to relate to what they experienced, but I recognised just how real the characters were. Through the beautiful verse, they came to life and I understood them more with each poem I read. Despite each of their chapters being so short, I never failed to remember who was who and what had just happened to them. It was such an effective way to tell the story, the verse being far more poignant than a narrative ever could be, in the way that it allowed the reader to get into the heads of the characters. My connection to them grew more and more as I continued reading. The writing itself was so beautiful. It didn’t feel like an adult writing about teenagers; it felt like a teenager writing about teenagers. She wielded words almost as if they were a weapon and I’m not sure if it was my heart or my stomach that took the worst damage.Ellen Hopkins mentioned in the author’s note that she was inspired by a statistic she read on female prostitution. She said that 'Tricks looks at a handful of reasons that might drive a young adult to sell his or her body. Here, and in real life, almost always you can distill the reason to survival.' It’s not nice to think about, but it’s a fact; it’s reality. The subject matter alone is very distressing, but the reality of the situation intensifies it. Prostitution does happen. It does happen in young people - male and female. Young people are raped. They do become addicted to substances. They don’t always have a loving family to accept them for who they are, who they love or what they do. They do sell their bodies, their souls.There were many times while I was reading Tricks that I felt uncomfortable. It was not an easy read for me at all, as it deals with such a risque subject in a harsh and vivid way. There’s no hiding from it and it can be very intense. Ginger’s story shook me in particular, but there’s little between each character in the extent of what they need to do. I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone who was sensitive about such things as prostitution, sexuality, rape or substance abuse. It is definitely the kind of read that is far from my comfort zone, yet I have no regrets for reading it. That world is so separate from mine, yet the reality is that it could so easily be my world or anyone else’s. What the characters in Tricks face stresses that - they add reality to a situation that I’d honestly never really considered before. I really admire the author for writing about such a dark topic, one that’s barely touched upon in fiction, let alone young adult fiction. This book opened my eyes to a lot of things. This is exactly the kind of book that young people should read and I think that parents could learn a lot from it as well. Tricks is definitely one of those books that is going to stay with me and I’m both looking forward to and dreading the next Ellen Hopkins book that I decide to read.This review is also on my blog

  • Janie Johnson
    2018-10-05 16:53

    Did a reread of this book this year, and my thoughts are pretty much the same from the first time that I read this back in 2014.Another profound read from Ellen Hopkins. Whether she is telling a true to life story or a fiction each of them always touch me in a very emotional way. She writes with such realism that you have no choice but to feel what our characters are feeling, and to experience what they are going through. So much emotion comes to the forefront when I read one of her books.In this story we journey with 5 teenagers, Eden, Seth, Whitney, Ginger, and Cody. They have experienced horrendous people, acts, and situations in their lives that I could never even imagine being witness to. They each have to struggle through situations and figure out how to climb back out of the abyss where their lives had pushed them. So many bad elements surround each of them pushing them to limits unknown.The characters are all so very real in this story that it is hard to choose any favorites. All of them had very bad outside forces which led them to the positions they found themselves in. I would love a book just on those people and make them pay for the harm that they exposed these kids too. Or make them live the same type of lives.The story itself is so profound yet so heartbreaking because we know these things are happening in our world today. And maybe if there were better parents, and less judgement of others we could live in a different kind of world, but then again that would be a perfect world and that could never happen anyway. If you have never read a Hopkins book, pick one up, you wont be sorry. Please be warned though, this book has many triggers that could affect some people, so read at your own risk.

  • Krista Ashe
    2018-10-05 15:51

    First of all, let me say I'm about 100 pages from finishing and I just simply can't. It's not that it isn't good. It is. It's just the subject matter is so heartbreaking, terrifying, and too voyeristically gratituous that I can't bring myself to do it. Frankly, the descriptions of the rapes, kids prostituting themselves, etc, were just too much for me...I literally became nauseated. It's the same feeling I got after reading Living Dead Girl. Yes, these are characters, but the fact that you KNOW it really happens to children disturbs you on so many levels that it is unbearable. It's also something that you feel very helpless about. I'm not naive enough to believe that things like this aren't happening every day. I know they do. I work with kids that molestation and rape have been a part of their lives. Therefore, I'm very sensitive it it. I do not feel, however, that they need to be described in such detail. And the excessive detail concerns me for some teens. Eden's story for me did not seem believeable at all. A virgin so in love with Andrew, her love, that she's willing to prostitute herself out of the facility her overzealot religious parents sent her too? It just didn't bode well with me. And the studly Cody working as a male escort?

  • Heather
    2018-10-12 18:26

    I absolutely loved this book and I have an absolute love for all of her books! This book is by far the best of her works that I have read. I can't wait until this fall when the sequel comes out. All the characters and plot were amazing. I just don't know what to say because she always makes me speechless.

  • Cassandra
    2018-09-22 19:44

    "When all choice is taken from you, life becomes a game of survival."I was a bit skeptical when I found this for cheap at a used bookstore. All I've heard of Ellen Hopkins is glowing praise, but I wasn't sure whether I would enjoy reading a book written in verse, but her subject matters won me over. I am so glad I finally read this. The sequel is already on my Amazon wishlist, and I'm on the lookout for more of her works. Turns out that part of what makes her books so emotional and heartfelt is the fact that they're written in verse. The use of verse allows Hopkins to make scenes as detailed or vague as she chooses, without the problem of her prose seeming inconsistent. I was also a bit nervous about there being five different POVs that all started out in very different locations. The characters start out in Kentucky, California, Idaho, Indiana, and of course, Nevada, where they all cross paths in the end. The variation of lives the characters lead before all falling into the same dark circles is frightening. It showed that while your current situation has factors, anyone, regardless of risk, can fall into the dark underbelly of society.While I was gripped by some of the characters quicker than others, by the end of the novel, I loved them all as if they were my own children. They each came from different situations, and while some would be looked at as better off due to family situation or financial status, every one of them faced their own issues. I especially enjoyed the look at Eden's situation, since I've seen it so many times growing it up.I thought the look at the life of a well thought of pastor's kid (or PK as I used to call them) was perfectly ironic and true. Sadly, (at least in my personal experience) the most religious people tend to make the most mistakes. And that was definitely the case in Eden's parents' case. (view spoiler)[(While reading Eden's chapters, I couldn't help thinking of all the people I've known from old churches who have ended up in the same place or at least close. Even though it's cliche, I'm glad she got a happier ending.) (hide spoiler)]Seth's story is the story of most gay children living in the "Bible belt." For a group of loving people, they always seem to shy aware from the word "gay" as if it were yet another profane term that gets you sent to the fire filled pit. Since I'm currently stuck living in the "Bible belt," I can say, like Eden, I've seen a bunch of kids going through the problems Seth faces. It's horrible, and makes me want to cover their whole home in rainbow duct tape, but happens all the time. (view spoiler)[(I wish Seth had found someone to love him, instead of becoming yet another man's "trophy husband." Cody and Seth are the main reason I'm itching for the sequel. Their endings were not happy enough for my HEA loving self.) (hide spoiler)]I've read quite a few books on situations such as Whitney's, and it still kills me to read them. Someone a little too desperate for love, get's sucked into something they would never have agreed to otherwise. (view spoiler)[(I loved the portrayal of her drug addiction. Spot on, and heart breaking. Especially with her opposition to drugs in the beginning, and her nearly deadly OD at the end.) (hide spoiler)]Ginger's life was another sort I'm no stranger to reading-wise. I've read countless novels on her situation. Like Whitney's, no matter how many times I read stuff like this, I count my blessings and cry like a baby. (view spoiler)[(Her relationship with Alex was the best part of Ginger's story line for me. I also loved how she stayed true to her convictions to not be her mother, no matter what.) (hide spoiler)]Unlike the rest, I have never read anything like Cody's decline. Since almost everything that happens to Cody happens more towards the center of the novel, I'm going to mark everything I saw about him as a spoiler. (Just to be safe.) (view spoiler)[(I have never read anything about someone with a gambling addiction. I always thought of obsessive gamblers as middle aged men with woman and balding issues. To see a teenage gambler prompted by the death of his stepfather, and his family's declining finances, was eye opening. Cody started out as my second to least favorite character, and ended up being one of the best. His decline into prostitution was sob inducing, and everything about his story made me mad that a book could emotionally ruin me like this. His ending was also not okay.) (hide spoiler)]It you love verse, darker novels, or just books that will keep you up late and stress you out as you read them, this is perfect for you.

  • Jenny
    2018-10-01 18:49

    Tricks tells the stories of 5 teens who find themselves, due to various situations, leading dangerous lives in prostitution and "turning tricks". Eden is from an ultra-conservative and religious family who disapprove of her dating; Seth works with his father on a farm in a rural area and struggles with his homosexuality; Whitney can't seem to live up to her sister or earn her mother's love; Ginger's own mother is addicted to drugs and engages in prostituting herself; and Cody finds himself in financial straits after becoming addicted to gambling. The book describes how their situations lead them to prostitution and then further illustrates typical scenarios they deal with.I realize Ellen Hopkins takes on issues that many people shy away from or are scared to confront. Teenage prostitution is definitely one of them. However, I felt that this book did almost nothing but describe sex scene after lewd sex scene. I couldn't help but feel "dirty" after I read this, and I don't consider myself a prude. I mean, at my job I interview children about sexual abuse on a daily basis and the descriptions in this book still bothered me. I felt the book was overly focused on the sexual scenes and less on the actual stories.One thing that may have made this book more enjoyable/tolerable was to tell each character's story straight through, making the book almost like a collection of "short stories" of teens who have been in this situation. It would have been just over 100 pages per character which isn't bad when written in free verse. Instead, the book focuses on one character and then abruptly stops and changes to the next character all throughout the book. It was advertised that the stories would interweave to tell one powerful story, but that HARDLY happened. The characters mentioned one or two of the other almost in passing. The stories really had nothing to do with each other except that they were each about teen prostitution. The start and stop of each character's story made it more difficult to get to know each character and it made their individual stories too choppy.So would I still recommend Ellen Hopkins's books to readers? Absolutely. She grapples very difficult topics that need to be brought to life and her verse writing is so alluring. However, I would NOT recommend this as one of the first books to read by her. I do feel that this book could have been done much better and would have had a much better impact, at least for me.

  • BookCupid
    2018-10-06 21:39

    Five teens share the traumatic events that lead them to prostituting their bodies. Meet Eden, Seth, Whitney, Ginger and Cody -- all average teenagers from moderate income homes. In the course of the story, most of them will lose their virginity in traumatic ways, get disowned by their parents or simply fall into the vicious circle of drugs. But once you spiral down into the world of prostitution, can you just as easily get out?I'd never do that is something you stop saying as you grow up. It's impossible to predict how you'd handle mockery. being cast aside by a parent, rape, poverty -- anything that threatens to permanently remove a smile off your face. Hopkins writing style (verses) is a lot more effective than Crank, perhaps due to the shared spotlight between the five teens. Scenes were cut short, all containing raw details of tricks the characters were forced to perform just so they could survive in the streets.Not for the fainthearted.

  • Tami
    2018-10-10 23:41

    In typical Hopkins fashion, she spends the entire book creating salacious details and very little time with the consequences of her characters actions. Skip it and hid it from young readers!

  • Megan
    2018-10-19 23:50

    When you sell your body,you also sell what's inside.Piece by piece, you sell your soul.Tricks has a ton of glowing reviews, so I was expecting to enjoy this one when I picked this up. To add to that, I just recently finished Impulse and really liked it. However, this one fell flat for me. I tried so hard to like it, but I rarely felt sympathy for the characters and the plots all kind of ran together to the point where I forgot who was who.This book has five points of view. Five. Usually, I wouldn't mind that. After all, one of my favorite series, Unwind, has more than five POVs. It's all about how the author handles that many characters voices. In Unwind, I could distinctly tell who was narrating. In Tricks, all of the stories kind of blend together, and I had to constantly flip back to see who was currently speaking.Besides that, I never really liked any of the characters. Of course I felt bad for all of them. Either they had a mother who sold them into prostitution, or a boy kicked out by his father for his sexuality, or a religious mother who sends her daughter to a rehabilitation facility. This book has too many terrifying topics in it packed into it. Whereas Impulse mainly focused around suicidal teens, this one had no main focus. It was everywhere and it became overwhelming for even myself. It was hard to like some of the characters. I mean, the girls do absolutely idiotic things that make us seem like we don't have a brain. They're kind of rude too.Someone should tell Paige that "skinny jeans" aremost def not her best friend.Some of the poems in this left me utterly confused. They didn't flow with the story or provide any significant value in my opinion. They just seemed thrown in there to make this already 600 page book longer. The poems at the beginning of each POV didn't sound like something a teenager could write. The ones in between, yes, because they're just sentences shaped like prose. I mean, sometimes they had a cool rhyme scheme or something interesting about them, but for the most part...not really.I do appreciate how Ellen Hopkins is trying to educate her usually teenage readers about how bad influences can lead you down a dark road with no escape. Whether it's substance abuse, teenage prostitution, etc, she really knows how to scare the reader into never venturing into those horrific worlds. However, all of her stories run together. I've read pretty much all of her books except for a few, and if you asked me a couple years from now what happened in each book, I don't know if I'd be able to correctly answer.I'm sad to say this might be my least favorite Hopkins book to date. There was just too much going on, and I never felt like picking this up. I might read the second one sometime in the distant future, but it's definitely not at the top of my priority list.

  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    2018-10-08 19:43

    4 stars. I don’t consider myself a Hopkins fan; I’ve read many of her books and hated most of them. But I actually genuinely love this book. This is my favorite of Ellen Hopkins’ series mostly because it doesn't just read like torture porn. A lot of her books don't even have hopeful endings: someone dies or doesn’t make their way out, every single time. Tricks allowed the characters to leave and improve their lives. With emotional and physical trauma, but not dead. This book was ultimately hopeful, which is very different from many of her others. The characters in here are very well developed. Ginger is the best character by far, with a great character arc and a likable personality. She’s so realistic and she feels like a completely real person. Her resentment for her mother and love for her grandmother contrast well with each other. Also, that “four straight one gay” thing which seems to ignore bi people exist? (view spoiler)[Yeah, that’s bullshit, and Ginger is bi as hell. (hide spoiler)]The other characters stand out as well, although not to the same degree as Ginger (for me personally). Eden has a bit of instalove in her plotline, but her desire to escape her parents is very well portrayed. Seth wants to be accepted for his sexuality. Whitney comes off as whiny and annoying for much of the book, yet Hopkins gets you to feel immense sympathy for her. She wants to be loved, and that leads to her downfall. Cody is maybe the weakest character here. He comes off as a bit of a fuckboy, frankly, although he did become more sympathetic later on. In terms of plotting, this book suffers from the same pacing issues as many of Hopkins' books. But ultimately, that can be forgiven due to the excellent character work and prose. I highly recommend this duology.

  • Jamika Monroe
    2018-09-22 18:50

    Tricks is a riveting tale of the struggle between acceptance and survival. 3 girls and 2 guys must make life changing decisions in their quest to find peace, love and happiness. Ive read only one of Ellen Hopkins books before (Impulse) and was blown away by it. Besides the fact that her books are written in prose, Hopkins brings out the purest, rawest part of the human condition. The story flows from bad to worse and even through all the horrible decisions and horrifying experiences, you can't help but root for the main characters. I can't even express what her books make me feel. It opens my eyes to a world I know nothing about and yet, these characters are 100% relatable. The situations and the lifestyles of these kids could be felt throughout the whole teenage community and that's why I respect her books so much. The raw imagery and the stone cold acts of these teenagers point to a life that isn't all perfect. Not every teenager has a house to call home, or a loving person in their life. I respect that Hopkins has the respect and decency to open the general publics eyes to these facts. I have nothing bad to say about this book. I am definitely not a poem buff and I am far from being an expert in literature, but anyone with a brains can appreciate the true aspects of the story Ellen Hopkins so masterfully tells.

  • Jay G
    2018-10-16 18:24

    Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my Youtube channel: Stars 5 deeply troubled teenagers, living all around the world are trying to deal with their hardships end up turning to prostitution. This is the story about Whitney, Seth, Cody, Ginger and Eden and what led them to become teenage prostitutes.I love Ellen Hopkins and her writing style. It's so easy to read and her stories are always so gripping it makes it impossible to put her books down. Even though each characters POV is short, you become connected to their pain almost instantly. The subject matter is definitely hard to deal with at times and people should go into the book with caution if they are triggered by rape. I love how Hopkins deals with such intense topics in a way that isn't too in your face. I loved all 5 of the teens and my heart definitely broke for them and what they were going through. Overall, an important and quick read.

  • Eva Leger
    2018-10-21 18:38

    I'm a little biased here so this will be short. My favorite books by Ellen Hopkins, by far, are her Kristina books. Those, in my opinion, far surpass anything else I've read by her, including this.I don't mean to say this isn't good - it's great. I'd definitely go higher than the four stars if I could do a half but it's just shy of the five star rating for me. Hopkin's manages to intertwine five different teenagers lives, all very different lives at that, and connect them together in the way she's so good at. I can truly understand why teens feel the ability to relate to her. I feel like she's relatable and I'm more than twice the age of her target audience. :)I don't think her fans will be let down- this is an amazing book. I read it in under a day and would have been much faster with a little more down time. Ellen Hopkins is probably the most powerful writer in her class today. Our teens are lucky to her her writing to go to when they feel the need.

  • Kristi
    2018-10-15 21:52

    Three words; heartbreaking, depressing & nightmareI had a really hard time getting through this book. Not because it was poorly written, but because it was heart-wrenching. I was disgusted, I was appalled, I was depressed.I couldn't definitely feel a emotional change in myself the week I read this book. It took me a long time to want to read something again... and I just wanted something light and fluffy.Hopkins is a powerful writer and I give her kudos for writing about these issues, I know I could never do it. I can't imagine the state you would feel after writing something like this. Hopkins amazes me, she never fails to touch a cord with me.Thanks Ellen.Gritty, graphic, real. Tricks is a powerful read.

  • Raeleen Lemay
    2018-10-20 15:33

    'Twas a bit hard to follow, being told through the perspectives of five different teenagers. I could always remember what was going on with the first two characters, Eden and Seth, but the others got mixed up and forgotten about in my heard sometimes.Overall though, very good book, and it's definitely something everyone should read. It really opens your eyes to some of the horrors that exist in the world. And as always, I loved Ellen Hopkins's writing.

  • Kim
    2018-10-18 16:43

    Oh man this book was intense. Was a nightmare! Pretty sure I need therapy after reading this book. This was definitely a hard book to read and I felt really uncomfortable, sick, saddened and somehow I just couldn't stop reading. But I need to go read a happy book now. DAMN

  • Emerald
    2018-09-29 19:38

    Never knowing what it means to love someone else,more than themselves.More than life itself, or the promise of something better.

  • Patrixia Lansangan
    2018-10-19 20:33

    I read this book when i was a junior in high school and thought it was really dark and crazy. It discussed such deep topics about youth and the dark side of being a teenager which intrigued me and back then i enjoyed it and felt i learned from it. And I don't even remember if I finished it. Now, reading this story as a young adult was so much more. Knowing more about the world made this book have so much more sense to me...How as a teenager, I related to the characters and now as a young adult, it was like the innocence of youth. Like there's things I know now that I wish I knew when I was a teenager and most of the time, you question the whole thing when you're young because you're so innocent and still oblivious to the rest of the world. I thought that was extremely fascinating how the same book changed my views as a teenager and as a young adult. All these characters were amazing but I think my favorite story is Eden because she was so innocent, but she can distinguish between right and wrong. The valuable truth about this book is when you're a teenager, and someone tells you they love're gonna believe them...(Quoting Taylor Swift fifteen lyrics XD) That's so true and we've all been there...>.<I love Ellen Hopkins books and the poetry is so creative and even though you're reading such a deep topic, it is so interesting :)

  • Maven
    2018-10-20 21:26

    Tricks, a novel by Ellen Hopkins, introduces five teenagers and their initial struggles with love. Eden, the daughter of religious zealots, is torn between their strict teachings and her desire for Andrew, her caring boyfriend. Seth is a farm boy who wants (but can’t have) both his father’s approval and the warm embrace Loren, the boyfriend he met through a personal ad on the Internet. Whitney tries to find the love her mother has always denied her by turning to a boy named Lucas. Ginger tries to take care of her younger siblings with her grandmother while avoiding her irresponsible mother and her abusive boyfriends. Cory tries to help pay the family bills with his gambling addiction while his step-father grows increasingly sick. Most are rejected by those they trusted, all are taken advantage of, and eventually the five find themselves in desperate situations. The only way out seems to be turning tricks… or is it? Teenagers should be allowed, even encouraged, to discuss and read about difficult subjects. There is no point in trying to protect them from the darker sides of life. If they haven’t already seen those sides, they will eventually, and it is better that they have some awareness rather than none when coming across these types of situations in their lives. Teen prostitution is certainly one of those subjects. However, although Hopkins should be applauded for taking on such a hard subject, this book should not be. This book was extremely explicit, giving detailed accounts of oral sex, rape, threesomes, and more. At times, it seems that Hopkins was writing solely for shock-value, forcing her readers’ noses into terrible and graphic scenes simply to horrify, as opposed to writing a book with meaningful plot. While this may have done the job of showing readers the dangers and awful realities of teen prostitution, it doesn’t lend itself to an enjoyable, or even meaningful, read. Perhaps this aspect wouldn’t be so striking if there had been one character to follow as opposed to five. Instead of being able to deeply connect with anyone or to fully understand a character’s perspective and situation, the book is rushed along several story lines. Important choices and reasons for them are omitted; instead, the reader is forced past any possibility of character development or plot points and left only with the horror scenes. (Having said that, Hopkins does do a good job in not blaming any of the teenagers for their situations; rather, they were all deceived and taken advantage of by people they trusted.) The endings to each story are equally quick and filled with more questions than resolutions. Finally, although many celebrate Hopkins’s use of poetry format, often these poems seemed forced and flat. The opening poems to each section in particular are dreary, mainly because she is trying to fit them all into a particular style. The structure seems to be more important than the words, emotion, or meaning.Ellen Hopkins is a very popular author in the young adult world and should certainly be represented in a high school library. However, before adding this particular book to the collection, first read it to make sure you are comfortable defending it if needed.

  • Rhyanne
    2018-09-27 23:54

    Rhyanne Lynch January 18,2012Period 2“Tricks” by Ellen Hopkins Review How much of yourself are you truly willing to destroy in order to survive? And once you have made these decisions, will you ever be the same? After dwindling down to nothing, and realizing there is no one to save you, what would you do? Most could never imagine having to answer such drastic questions, but for five teenagers, these are questions they have asked themselves before. In the novel “Tricks” by Ellen Hopkins, descriptive and realistic scenarios are portrayed about real life situations that teenagers are faced with everyday, regardless of whether others want to think so. Five young adults begin to understand the consequences of certain actions. Eden, Seth, Whitney, Ginger, and Cody lead completely different lives, filled with all types of people, but somehow all end up with the same occupation: turning tricks. For a few, this was there own decision- wanting to leave their miserable life behind, while for others it was their only shot at survival. Eden, a young preachers daughter is a poster child- sweet and understand, who has just found her first love. But, when her parents find out about her secret romance, she is immediately sent to an asylum for troubled teens. She feeling betrayed by everyone except the one she loves, does everything in her power to escape. Seth was a seemingly ordinary teenage boy to the common eyes. But kept a secret hidden inside himself that not even he wanted to admit. Being gay was not something he wanted, espicially sense his mother had just died and his father would never forgive him- nor would God. All he wanted was acceptance, and realized he could only find it in men online. Ginger, however, had an extremely hard upbringing. Having a drug addict as a mother, she was forced to raise her younger brothers and sisters with only the help of her grandmother. Until one day, one of her mothers “friends” rapes her and claims it was her mother who was the one selling her own daughter for drugs. She knew it was time to escape; with the help of her best friend/girlfriend Alex, the two runaway to Las Vegas, Cody was a normal teenager until after coming home one day, to finds his step dad had stage four stomach cancer. Within a few weeks his idol was dead and all that were left in remembrance were medical bills. In an attempt to help with family finances, Cody begins to play online poker, and quickly becomes addicted. Realizing he is more in debit then before, he turns tricks in order to make fast cash.Whitney, a rebellious teenager who had problems with her mother, met an older man at the mall who she seemingly fell “in love” with. After running away with him, Whitney begins to realize her lover is not the person who she though he was. Though by then he had addicted her to heroin, so it was not an issue when he would come and go, hit her, or sell her to men on the streets. Life is full of things that one person could not expect for themselves, and for these unfortunate minors, their unexpected was unimaginable. Delineated through the eyes of a young individual, Ellen successfully creates situations in which there is no happy ending.

  • Julia
    2018-10-11 20:28

    “When all choice is taken from you, life becomes a game of survival.”TRIGGER WARNINGS:Prostitution, Substance Abuse, Gambling, Rape, and Abuse.This book was dark. That's coming from me, I read a good amount of dark books but this was alot...In this book we follow 5 teenagers who all are going through relationship issues and home issues, etc. These characters all end up getting tied into the prostitution business, all who get abused and violated by clients, family, and there "partners". Eden: * Straight Female, who lives in a strict and religious house hold* Dating a guy named Andrew, when she is not aloud to be datingSeth: * Homosexual male who lives in a religious house hold* Has yet to come out, his father will not approve Whitney: * Straight Female, lives in her older sister's shadow* Feels undervalued by members of her house hold, dating a dude named LucasGinger: * Homosexual female, lives with her mother who is abusive and a prostitute* Has her grandmother who helps her look after her younger siblingsCody:* Straight Male, Lives with his Mother, Step Father and younger Brother* Family has financial issues, get's into gambling I thought it was good how the point of views started to interweave, Hopkins did that aspect very well. I do wish that for the length of this book and it's density, that there were lighter moments in this story. The whole book was a dark and sad read but a couple moments of light would have been good. Sometimes the characters got a bit jumbled but for the most part I kept track of everyone pretty well. If you can read about difficult topics, I would say read this. It shines light on an issue that I have yet to see in Young Adult Fiction. Remember to also read the authors note in the back, which is really insightful.

  • Elizabeth
    2018-10-23 22:44

    Source: I own a signed copy of this book.Note: These are my personal opinions. I received no outside person comments.I haven't read an Ellen Hopkins book in a long time. That may be due to her online persona on her personal Facebook account. She has a lot of opinions on political issues and barely post writerly stuff.That being said, and placed aside, I have found my own interactions with Hopkins quite cheerful. She is a very kind person and cares very deeply about her fans.When I do read an Ellen Hopkins book, I find it quite enjoyable. Her writing is so raw and emotional. She puts her characters through such difficulties. Its often times very hard not to feel attached to the characters.Moving onto Tricks:I picked up this book because I had won a Goodreads giveaway for Traffick and I have yet to complete my reading goal for 2015. I knew a Hopkins book would be enjoyable and an easy read.In the beginning, with Eden's POV, I knew we were going to have some problems. First being that she was from a Pentecostal family and second being that her personality wasn't very likable. Out of the five characters, I found myself sympathizing more with Whitney's character. I'm not entirely sure why, though. Maybe it was her broken family dynamic and the way she searches for love in the wrong places. It was relatable in a way.Overall, when I do read a Hopkins book, I know I'm in for deep and emotional character drama. Hopkins is an amazing writer!4/5 Stars because of Eden's POV.