Rating : 2.5 out of 5
May contain spoilers.
Traffick is a young adult work of fiction that continues the journey through the sex trafficking and drug world of Las Vegas with the five main characters that were featured in the first of the series, Tricks.
First we have Whitney, a privileged young teenager who is influenced into the life of drugs and sex trafficking by a pimp. With promises of becoming a model, she willingly enters the life of drugs and sex, trying to find her way into fame. She becomes addicted to heroin and enters a rehabilitation facility.
Then there is Eden, a young girl who comes from a very strict Christian family. She gets sent away to Tears of Zion, a Christian facility whose main purpose is to extract the sin from teenagers and children. The methods in this facility are quite unorthodox, so she finds a way to run away to Las Vegas and begins selling her body as a means to survive. One night she meets a priest on the street and he helps her by taking her to a child prostitution rescue.
Seth, a teenager who grew up on a farm with his parents until his mother passed away. When Seth informed his father that he is homosexual, his father kicked him out of the house with $20 to get by, telling him never to return unless he decides to be heterosexual. He begins selling his body in Las Vegas; meeting influential, wealthy, older men to give him a place to stay in exchange for sexual favors.
There is also Ginger, a girl whose mother dragged her into the life by selling her to men so she can help pay the bills. She runs away from home with her girlfriend, going to Las Vegas to try and find a better life, only to find that the only life there for her is the same that she ran away from. She gets arrested for soliciting to an undercover cop, and from there gets sent to a facility that houses victims of child sex trafficking.
And the last main character, Cody, the boy who has a gambling problem. He gets so far into debt that he feels forced to sell his body in order to pull himself out. When he wins a game of poker against the wrong person, things get ugly and he gets shot in the back. His rehabilitation story is one spent in the hospital, going through physical therapy trying to get himself to be able to walk again.
Ellen Hopkins writes in a very unique fashion, each page is in the form of poetry. Traffick is a very light read, I was able to finish this book in less than one day.
I rated this book 2.5 out of 5 because although the plot and writing were fantastic, the conclusion seemed to be like a fairy tale. Throughout the book, I was rooting for each character to find their own way out of the mess they got themselves into, but it seems unrealistic that every single one of them found their way home.
Another issue I had with this book was the dialogue. With one particular character, everything spoken seemed to be straight out of a romance novel, and I found this rather frustrating because teenagers usually don't speak to one another in that fashion.
All in all, this was a decent book. The fact that it didn't take up too much time reading helped with the rating. Had some of the dialogue been different, and the ending been less of a fairy tale, it would have gotten a higher rating.