Monday, November 2, 2015

Review: TRAFFICK by Ellen Hopkins

by Ellen Hopkins
Publication Date: November 3, 2015
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 528
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Purchase Amazon / B&N / Indiebound


Five teens victimized by sex trafficking try to find their way to a new life in this riveting companion to the New York Times bestselling Tricks from Ellen Hopkins, author of Crank.
In her bestselling novel, Tricks, Ellen Hopkins introduced us to five memorable characters tackling these enormous questions: Eden, the preacher’s daughter who turns tricks in Vegas and is helped into a child prostitution rescue; Seth, the gay farm boy disowned by his father who finds himself without money or resources other than his own body; Whitney, the privileged kid coaxed into the life by a pimp and whose dreams are ruined in a heroin haze; Ginger, who runs away from home with her girlfriend and is arrested for soliciting an undercover cop; and Cody, whose gambling habit forces him into the life, but who is shot and left for dead.
And now, in Traffick, these five are faced with the toughest question of all: Is there a way out? How these five teenagers face the aftermath of their decisions and experiences is the soul of this story that exposes the dark, ferocious underbelly of the child trafficking trade. Heart wrenching and hopeful, Traffick takes us on five separate but intertwined journeys through the painful challenges of recovery, rehabilitation, and renewal to forgiveness and love. All the way home.

My Thoughts

I've always thought that Ellen Hopkins's books were important, necessary, and relevant. Tricks and now, Traffick, definitely fall into those categories. When I first read Tricks years ago, I remember feeling the harshness of the stories and the horrors of what the characters Eden, Seth, Ginger, Whitney, and Cody had to experience. While it may have been difficult for me to read, I reminded myself that it was inspired by true stories of real teens who experienced them, and my discomfort didn't matter. 

It had been five years since I'd read Tricks and I decided to read it again before reading Traffick to reacquaint myself with the characters. As I reread, I found that it wasn't necessary because the characters had a lasting effect on me. Even after all that time, I'd remembered each of their stories and who they were. While Traffick could be read as a standalone (if the reader wanted to), details of their lives portrayed in Tricks are revisited, I really think the books should be read together.

One thing that I liked about Traffick were the poems before each character section. Many of them were from the perspective of a family member, partner, or friend of the main character. It offered more insight to what they thought about what was happening with the main characters Eden, Seth, Ginger, Whitney, and Cody. Tricks was very much about the individual, and Traffick is more about the community the character exists within. This change is paramount in each of the character's individual stories because they are learning that they can rely on other people. People who want to help and who can be trusted really do exist.

Traffick included more characters who are victims and survivors of sex trafficking. While some of their stories seem similar, the details are individual, the people are individual, and that makes each of their voices relevant. They are relevant. They are not just a statistic. They are not just part of a larger issue. They are important and they matter.

When I finished reading Tricks years ago, I didn't realize how much I needed to know what happened to Eden, Seth, Ginger, Whitney, and Cody. But after finishing Traffick, I'm glad to see their stories come full circle and find out how their situations have changed. I'm sure that it will have a lasting effect on me just as Tricks did. Traffick is an important book that I hope ends up in the hands of many readers. It is a necessary, highly recommended read.

Disclaimer:  I received this e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any way other than the e-ARC provided. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

About Ellen
Ellen Hopkins is a poet, freelance writer, and the award-winning author of twenty nonfiction titles and five NY Times Bestselling novels-in-verse. She has published hundreds of articles on subjects ranging from aviation to child abuse to winegrowing.
Ellen mentors other writers through her position as a regional adviser for the Nevada chapter of the Society of ChildrenÕs Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).
She is a regular speaker at schools; book festivals and writers conferences across the US, and now throughout the world.
Social Media Links:



  1. Many thanks for reading, and I'm happy to have given you the answers you needed.

    1. It was wonderful! I plan to recommend Traffick again and again!

  2. Thank you so much for your lovely review and beautiful post. I appreciate all of your participation and most of all dedication. xx



Thanks for stopping by my blog and taking the time to comment!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Imagination Designs