Ellen Hopkins Does it Again With Tricks - Review + Contest

A Review for Tricks by Ellen Hopkins
(release date: August 25th)

"When all choice is taken from you, life becomes a game of survival."

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 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?"

Hopkins says in an author's note at the end of the book that the average age of a prostitute in the US is 12 years old - 12 years old! That statistic drew her into this story and this book, and she does a hauntingly poignant job bringing the issue to light.

The five main characters - Eden is a preacher's daughter whose parents send her to a home for troubled teens, Seth is having trouble dealing with his mother's death and his father's distance (especially because he doesn't feel he can tell his father that he's gay), Whitney, feeling ignored and living in the shadow of her sister finds affection wherever she can, Ginger feels betrayed by her mother who's a prostitute, and Cody goes from all-American kid to the one who has to hold his family together when his step-father gets sick and his brother starts acting out. All five of them have different circumstances that lead them to the same horrific place - simple survival is their motivation for selling sex for money.

Despite the fact that the story is told from the point of view of five different characters, they became so real to me I sobbed for them. Hopkins' has a brilliance when it comes to creating real characters and getting inside the minds of real teens. At over 600 pages, I couldn't put the book down. I devoured it in only a few short hours. Fans of Ellen Hopkins' earlier books will love Tricks as much if not more. She's realistic - no sugar coating the subject matter, and she weaves the stories of five total strangers together - albeit slowly at first - and creates a truly heartbreaking look at what survival can mean to ordinary teens.

I loved it - as I love all her books - it takes someone truly gifted and talented to create such a tapestry of human emotion and do it in-verse. So...since I loved it, I have to share.


I have an extra ARC of Tricks by Ellen Hopkins to give away. You want it? Here's what you have to do -

Comment with your contact info to enter
+1 for new followers
+2 for current followers
+2 for linking back/posting about this contest
+2 for answering the question, "What's the one book that moved you the most and why?"
+3 for referring someone to the contest
+3 for being the person referred

Be sure to tell me specifics otherwise I won't know how to tally up the points! Contest is open to anyone and it ends 8/5.

She's the bestselling living poet in the country - Visit Ellen Hopkins' myspace page or her website.

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Katie said...

I would love to be entered. I am already a follower and the book that moved me the most was 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher because it was just so honest and heartbreaking. I loved it.


Aliens said...

Please count me in. I'm already a follower. The first book that really moved me was The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. Still love it after all this time.

Sarah said...

I love her books so much! She's truely an amazing writer.

+2 I'm a follower

+2 I read the book Chinese Cinderella the summer after eight grade. It was the tale of this young girl who loses her mother and father. The rest of her family besides her aunt totally hates her. And Adeline Yen Mah tells her tale of her stepmother's cruelty and her journey to England for medical study. Some of the things that happened to her were so horrid! I can't reread it over again because it is so sad. But it is a very touching tale.

Thanks for the contest!

Unknown said...

Hi :)
Thank you for a great blog post!
This novel sounds very intriguing.
Thanks for bringing it to my attention... and my ToBeRead pile :)
Love from Northern Ontario
PS - I'm already a member here :)
PPS - Book that moved me the most is The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett because of the great characters and the one scene between the two brothers where the younger is in the power of the older and ... it still chokes me up.

Llehn said...

I would love to play!
+2 Already a follower
+2 I was also moved by 13 Reasons. I was listening to it on audio book and I was completely hooked for long chunks of time. I cried as well.


Lilixtreme said...

+2 currently stalking you
+2 link to contest on my sidebar: http://lilibethramos.blogspot.com
+2 the book that moved me the most would have to be The Host by Stephenie Meyer because of Wanderer's selflessness and self-sacrifice for the people she loved the most. It made me cry like 5 times, lol, sure was long enough. Definitely the book that has gotten me the most emotional.


Jblanton said...

very nice blog
+1 new follower
+2 the shack- very good book with a message

Korianne said...

+2 I am a current follower.
+2 for blogging about it here:
+2 for answering the question, "What's the one book that moved you the most and why?" The book that most moved me was Looking for Alaska by John Green. I really understood all of the characters and where they were coming from. This is the only book that has ever made me cry in public.

Anonymous said...

Please enter me in the giveaway

+2-already a follower

+2-book that moved me either to kill a mocking bird or catcher in the rye.they are the books that got me interested in reading.


María José said...

please enter me (:

+2 for current followers

YA Book Queen said...

+2 current follower
+2 Dreamland by Sarah Dessen, because I've never felt so connected with a protagonist before, it was scary.


brizmus said...

+2 current follower
+2 Unfortunately on vacation, so I won't be linking about this contest, but the book that has the most moved me is "Bridge to Terebithia." It is SUCH a beautiful story, and I can never get enough of it. It is one of the few books that I could just read over and over again.
Leslie and Jess's relationship is so moving and realistic, as is her eventual pain.

Rabid Fox said...

+2 current follower

+2 I've posted a link to this contest and review in the Contests sidebar of my blog

+2 "What's the one book that moved you the most and why?"
A: I may have to go with Stephen King's "On Writing." That book really made me take a serious look at my own writing.

Jenn said...

I would absolutly love to win this book! It looks so amazing!

I am a current follower and a book that moved me was Wintergirls because while I was reading it, it made me really think about anorexia and I started to understand it better.


Anonymous said...

I would love to be entered in your draw.

I am a follower.

wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

Olivia said...

+1 New follower
+1 Linked on twitter -- omgitsoml14
+3 I referred reader_meg on Twitter
+3 Was referred by Korianne
+2 The book that most moved me was Burned I think that this book really touched me was because it happens a lot everywhere all over the world and it's nice to see Ellen put it out there. I love how her books are so honest and bold. :D

Ninja Fanpire said...

+2 Current Follower
+2 Link in Blog post about contest

Ninja Fanpire said...

Oops, didn't put the link to the Blog post: http://ninjafanpire.blogspot.com/2009/07/contests_31.html

Genevieve said...

A blogger friend of mine gave an awesome review of this book. Now I really want to read it. : )

+1 for new followers
+2 for linking back/posting about this contest. I put a link in my sidebar:
+2 for answering the question, "What's the one book that moved you the most and why?"
Ooh. Hard. I think that Willow by Juila Hoban was a recent book that I found very moving. The relationships really touching and emotionally moving.

+3 Korianne referred me.


OliviaMarieXD said...

My e-mail is omgitsoml14@aim.com

I somehow always forget to add that in my comments. Sorry

Unknown said...

Please add me to the contest.

+2 I am a current follower
+2 What's the one book that moved you the most and why? I would have to say the Kushiel trilogy. I loved reading Phedre's story about her friendships, love interests, adventures etc. I found myself unable to put the books down and wanting to read them again and again.


throuthehaze said...

Count me in please!

+1 Im a follower

+2 The Giver is probably the book that has moved me most because it basically teaches you to question things and to not settle for less

throuthehaze at gmail dot com

ReggieWrites said...

+1 I'm a follower
+2 I linked your contest on my sidebar here:
+2 The book that moved me the most was Lisa Schroeder's I Heart You, You Haunt Me


Bianca said...

*squee* I would love to be entered. I've been dying to get my hands on Tricks.

+1 new follower
+2 for linking this to my sidebar at http://wickedgoodbooks.blogspot.com
+2 the book that moved me most would probably be The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I was going though a hard time when I read that and I could relate so much to it.
+3 I saw this on Genevieve's site. Not sure if that counts as being referred...?

infinitemusic19 AT gmail DOT com

Eleni said...

+2 I am a follower
+2 I added it to my blog sidebar here:http://lafemmereaders.blogspot.com/
+2 "What's the one book that moved you the most and why?" The book that moved me the most would be 'Sold' by Patricia McCormick, it's a really sad story and very inspirational.


Anonymous said...

Awesome, thanks!
+1 following
+2 Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson moved me.
+3 saw this at Genevieve's blog

Paradox said...

+2 for current followers
+2 for linking back/posting about this contest: http://twitter.com/ParadoxRevealed/status/3132887244
+2 for answering the question, "What's the one book that moved you the most and why?" - I couldn't stop thinking about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows for nearly a week after I read it (all the while rereading parts of it), so does that count?

paradoxrevealed (at) aim (dot) com

L said...

+2 for current followers
+2 link on sidebar:
+2 Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher moved me the most because it could have been a real experience and it was very emotional and made me see things differently than I did before.


OliviaMarieXD said...

Sooo sorry! Olivia and OliviaMarieXD are both me. I have two accounts.