Customer Reviews for

Tricks

Average Rating 4.5
( 460 )
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(330)

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(23)

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(10)

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(16)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

37 out of 37 people found this review helpful.

Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

Eden, Ginger, Cody, Seth, and Whitney are teens whose life circumstances have taken them to an increasingly common yet horrible place. Simple survival is their motivation for selling sex for money.

Eden never thought about sex. Raised by a fire-and-brimstone father a...
Eden, Ginger, Cody, Seth, and Whitney are teens whose life circumstances have taken them to an increasingly common yet horrible place. Simple survival is their motivation for selling sex for money.

Eden never thought about sex. Raised by a fire-and-brimstone father and mother meant hours in a church pew, not on dates and at parties. Meeting Andrew changed her life. He was just as innocent as she was, so the two learned about love together. It was real and special until her parents found out. She was sent away to a terrible place, and she did what she had to in order to escape.

Ginger's life was always filled with sex. Her mother had six kids by five different guys, and her attempt to keep food on the table involved any man looking for what she was willing to sell. Thank goodness for a grandmother willing to take them in and do what she could to provide for them. Ginger vowed to be different, but when her mother began to use her for profit, it was time to leave. But making a change from what you've always known is not as easy as it seems.

Life for Cody and his brother, Cory, improved when their mother married Jack. Jack was great at filling the role of dad, and Cody appreciated it. Cory may have been rebelling, but Cody did his best to be a responsible son and step-son. Then cancer struck and Jack was gone. Things got crazy when there wasn't enough money. Gambling might provide the answer, but he needed a supply of cash to make money that way, forcing him in directions he knew were dangerous.

Seth and his dad survived the death of a mother and wife. Their simple Indiana farm life continued on without her; however, that simple life didn't welcome the fact that Seth had known for quite some time that he was gay. He actually lived two separate lives - the farm life his father assumed he would continue, and the new life he had found in Louisville. As long as he could keep the two lives separate, he could make everyone happy. When a letter caused the two to collide, Seth learned that his father could not accept the truth, so he was forced to leave. A man named Carl made an offer Seth couldn't refuse, but so often those offers don't last forever.

Whitney is popular and beautiful. She is used to having the things she wants but not always the attention she desires. Her doting father is gone a lot on business, which leaves her with a busy mother whose focus has always been on her older daughter. Hooking up with a popular guy gives Whitney a reason to carry on, but when that relationship ends, she is left with anger. That anger drives her in a rebellious direction that she will soon regret.

Ellen Hopkins takes her readers on yet another dangerous journey into lives that have gone wrong. The focus is on the increasingly current trend of teenagers forced into selling themselves to survive. Whether it is out-and-out prostitution or the thinly disguised "escort" services, more and more teens are involved in sex for money.

The five young people in TRICKS all have very different reasons for getting caught up in this destructive lifestyle, and Hopkins paints a stirring and vivid picture of each of their paths into this terrible world. TRICKS is hard-hitting and disturbingly direct as it details the downward spiral of five lives.

Fans of Ellen Hopkins are no doubt anxiously awaiting this new release. One word of caution from this reviewer is that this direct approach to a serious subject is best suited for older teens.

posted by TeensReadToo on July 1, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

W-O-W

this book is good but scary at the same time. it's sad to think this actually happens to teens. read if u have a strong stomach. very emotional...

posted by 2302820 on November 30, 2009

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  • Posted July 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

    Eden, Ginger, Cody, Seth, and Whitney are teens whose life circumstances have taken them to an increasingly common yet horrible place. Simple survival is their motivation for selling sex for money.

    Eden never thought about sex. Raised by a fire-and-brimstone father and mother meant hours in a church pew, not on dates and at parties. Meeting Andrew changed her life. He was just as innocent as she was, so the two learned about love together. It was real and special until her parents found out. She was sent away to a terrible place, and she did what she had to in order to escape.

    Ginger's life was always filled with sex. Her mother had six kids by five different guys, and her attempt to keep food on the table involved any man looking for what she was willing to sell. Thank goodness for a grandmother willing to take them in and do what she could to provide for them. Ginger vowed to be different, but when her mother began to use her for profit, it was time to leave. But making a change from what you've always known is not as easy as it seems.

    Life for Cody and his brother, Cory, improved when their mother married Jack. Jack was great at filling the role of dad, and Cody appreciated it. Cory may have been rebelling, but Cody did his best to be a responsible son and step-son. Then cancer struck and Jack was gone. Things got crazy when there wasn't enough money. Gambling might provide the answer, but he needed a supply of cash to make money that way, forcing him in directions he knew were dangerous.

    Seth and his dad survived the death of a mother and wife. Their simple Indiana farm life continued on without her; however, that simple life didn't welcome the fact that Seth had known for quite some time that he was gay. He actually lived two separate lives - the farm life his father assumed he would continue, and the new life he had found in Louisville. As long as he could keep the two lives separate, he could make everyone happy. When a letter caused the two to collide, Seth learned that his father could not accept the truth, so he was forced to leave. A man named Carl made an offer Seth couldn't refuse, but so often those offers don't last forever.

    Whitney is popular and beautiful. She is used to having the things she wants but not always the attention she desires. Her doting father is gone a lot on business, which leaves her with a busy mother whose focus has always been on her older daughter. Hooking up with a popular guy gives Whitney a reason to carry on, but when that relationship ends, she is left with anger. That anger drives her in a rebellious direction that she will soon regret.

    Ellen Hopkins takes her readers on yet another dangerous journey into lives that have gone wrong. The focus is on the increasingly current trend of teenagers forced into selling themselves to survive. Whether it is out-and-out prostitution or the thinly disguised "escort" services, more and more teens are involved in sex for money.

    The five young people in TRICKS all have very different reasons for getting caught up in this destructive lifestyle, and Hopkins paints a stirring and vivid picture of each of their paths into this terrible world. TRICKS is hard-hitting and disturbingly direct as it details the downward spiral of five lives.

    Fans of Ellen Hopkins are no doubt anxiously awaiting this new release. One word of caution from this reviewer is that this direct approach to a serious subject is best suited for older teens.

    37 out of 37 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2009

    W-O-W

    this book is good but scary at the same time. it's sad to think this actually happens to teens. read if u have a strong stomach. very emotional...

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 27, 2011

    REad this!

    When 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.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    It Makes You Think.

    It's a great book. I love Ellen Hopkins's books. They always make you think about the realism, about how what happens to the characters is happening to real people. "Tricks" makes you really think. It makes you felll bad. It's wonderful and very emotional.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 2, 2011

    Tricks Overview- Highly Recommended

    The book Tricks by Ellen Hopkins is a thrilling tale about love, lust, prostitution, and heartbreak. It was an excellent read, however, it was quite graphic, and there were times when I felt slightly uncomfortable reading about the topics; which included sex, drugs, and rape.

    This book incorporates the lives of five teens; three girls and two boys. The first girl (Eden) is the daughter of a priest. She falls in love with an older boy who broadens her horizons life, love, and religion. Next, there¿s Seth, a boy growing up Indiana struggling to determine his sexual orientation. He knows that his father would disapprove, and he is torn between what¿s right for him in the eyes of God.
    Whitney Lang has always been living in her sister¿s shadow, especially in the eyes of her mother. But, when Whitney meets someone who makes her feel special, what exactly will she do for him? Then we meet Ginger, the oldest of six in a family struggling to get by. She¿s been neglected by her mother for as long as she can remember, but a new hate towards her mom develops as she finds out the truth about the men in her home.
    Finally, Cody Bennett is a boy who seems to have it all; a nice family, a good job, and a beautiful girlfriend. However, when a family sickness sends his perfect world crashing down, Cody finds himself taking desperate measures to get his life back on track.

    I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. It is well written, with vivid detail and a suspenseful plot. However, I would not recommend this book to anyone under the age of 14 years old. I read it at 13, and I found some of the concepts hard to grasp. There were many things that I felt were over my head.

    In conclusion, Tricks by Ellen Hopkins in an eventful story, and a must read for teens 14 and up. It provided me with a new perspective on teenage life, and I¿m sure it will do the same for readers everywhere.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2011

    L Great read

    This is a raw and gritty novel that has five characters from different backrounds ending up in the same place....prostitution.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 7, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    It's too amazing for words

    I don't know how Ellen Hopkins does it. Her words scream at you. You get so engulfed in the book that you can almost hear the character's breath as it flows out of their chest. You find yourself stuck in Ellen Hopkins all too real story until the book ends and you feel yourself cast away back into reality. She has this effect on you through her writting. You won't be able to tear your eyes away or pry your hands off that book until you are reading the very last word of the very last page. Get this book and experience it for yourselve.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 22, 2011

    Amazing

    Holy fxck...this is a very good book. Highly reccomended.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2010

    Very good

    I think that the novel taches life lessons. If you read it, you will be taken on a journey through six teenagers who are developing just by doing instead of thinking. I reccomend to teenagers who need inspiration in the situation they're in.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Tricks :)

    Tricks was a very good book. It shows what some people will do to make money. It shows what some people will do just to survive. It shows that not everyone's life is not peachy keys. It's a book that I would read again.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Ellen Hopkins does it yet again

    I absolutely love Ellen she write amazing books and this one is amazing. I have to say that it is not my all time favorite but it was great. Hard to read at times and unbeliaveable what the characters have to go through. Overall 5 stars i just reccomend that whoever reads this book should be at least 14 it is a very strong emotional challenging book that makes you keep reading until ur jaw is hung open gasping for air because you have forgotten to breath. Thanks you for yet another amzing read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing Book

    I am a HUGE fan of Ellen Hopkins books so I was thrilled when I found out she wrote a new one, and this one was one of the best. It was real, gripping and exciting. I would definitely recommend it to anyone

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2014

    Unique, Relevant And Under-rated

    This is an amazing book you should get! yes it has mature, scratch that, mature and wild sexual themes, but it all comes together in a touching story. one of her best!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Highly Recommended

    I highly recommend it because, it's one of my favorite Ellen Hopkins book. You should definitely read if your going through a though time in life. The book tells you that if your so desperate for money do not sell your own body to get it.
    Eden is tired of being a good priest's daughter so when her family figures out she is dating the send her to a place to repent from all the bad things she did.
    Seth is also tired of living a lie to his dad, so when his dad figures out he is gay he kick him out of the house with no money.
    Ginger is (my favorite character) tired of her mom (whose is a prositute) bringing strange men home with her. So Ginger decides to run away with a friend.
    Whitney, tired of her mom always ignoring her, until she met a guy at the mall and falls in love with him.
    Cody, he finds any cheap (easy) way to get money even if it means gambling.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2013

    Best of Ellen yet!

    Its an amazing book! I loved it

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2012

    :)

    This book was amazing, like the others. It took a little while to get acustom with the more than one charactor thing and just randomely changing between them. But all in all I loved this book and really love the author




    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    <3

    I love this book! I finished it in two days i couldnt put it down!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    Amazing

    The thing with Ellen is you can always expect a good book from her. But I honestly believe this is one of her best (if not better) works ever. I found it almost too hard to read because she doesn't sugarcoat anything -- she tells how it really is and it's not pretty.
    Anyone and everyone should read this because it truly is an extraordinary book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 9, 2014

    Makes you sad a little knowing this is how people's lives truly

    Makes you sad a little knowing this is how people's lives truly are. Kind of gives you a reality check.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2014

    Amazing

    My absolute favorite book, the back of the book doesn't give many specifics about what its really about so I went into it without much knowledge. I love ellen hopkins and her writing sryle so there is no surpise that I fell in love with yet another one of her books, her writing is simple, beautiful, and very realistic. This book is full of surprises and originality.

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