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Teenagers claim Ellen Hopkins to be an author who ‘understands us’! She has written a range of novels with teenage protagonists, all best sellers. Tricks is written in prose poetry, which is kind of Ellen’s forte!  I was really attracted to the cover of the book, though a little intimidated by the thickness!

Story of 5 troubled teenagers, each with different issues but fate takes them all to Vegas , ending up being forced to sell their bodies!  It deals with typical teenage things like infatuation, love jitters, conflicts with parents etc. etc and later prostitution. Although the sentences are so short, they are overwhelming, harrowing and haunting! Characters develop swiftly and you can feel all they express.. the pain, joy, confusion, helplessness!

The poetic verse makes it so fast to read, the verse really cast a spell on me and I finished the 600 or so pages in 3 sittings. Narrated by all 5 characters, each narration starts with a generic poem, all of them are so beautiful. The last word of every para in the poem is written aligned to the right and all the last words taken together form a sentence, like in this picture.

Writing is so simple , yet so vivid. I was highly impressed by Ellen’s writing style. If you are someone who chucks YA fiction as immature and waste-of-time, you must read this!  I would  definitely read more from Ellen.

One poem that I loved from the book:

Some People

Never find the right kind of love.

You know, the kind that steals

your breathe away, like diving into snowmelt.

The kind that jolts your heart,

sets it beating apace, an anxious

hiccuping of hummingbird wings.

The kind that makes every terrible

minute apart feel like hours. Days.

Some people flit from one possibility

to the next, never experiencing the incredible

connection of two people, rocked by destiny.

Never knowing what it means to love

someone else more than themselves.

More than life itself, or the promise

of something better, beyond this world.

More even (forgive me) than God.

Lucky me. I found the right kind

of love. With the wrong person.