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Publisher's Summary

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?"

A brilliant achievement from New York Times best-selling author Ellen Hopkins, who has been called "the best-selling living poet in the country" by mediabistro.com,Tricks is a book that turns you on and repels you at the same time. Just like so much of life.

©2009 Ellen Hopkins (P)2009 HighBridge Company

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What listeners say about Tricks

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    195
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    56
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    35
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    8
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  • 4 Stars
    49
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding and Scary

This book is excellent. It following the path of teenagers who are rejected, feel unwanted, or trapped, and how their choices result in drugs, death, and even prostitution. The key emphasis is that the teenagers and the parents for a variety of reasons are not communicating. That means that they are not talking AND listening to each other. The result is that a schism develops and widens. This is NOT a parenting book. Rather it is a book that lets you, as the observer, watch and become scared as you want to save these kids from their path of destructiveness only to realize that the saving needed to start before they ever left home. I believe that it is a very good book for teenagers and parents. However, there are multiple sexual descriptions that may not be appropriate for the preteen or the sexually naive teenager.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Very raw.

I really enjoyed the realism in the stories. This isn't a feel good book, it's an eye opening book.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I very much enjoyed

This was a very addictive book I couldn't put it down. I recommend it to any body.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The best Ellen Hopkins book out there!!!!

If you're reading this, trust me. take a chance, spend the credit or the couple bucks on this book. It's fantastic.

I may be biased though. was maybe 14 when I read this book for the first time, ten years ago or so. I devoured it in one night on my bedroom floor. It drowned out the troubles in my life, educated me, and started what has been a long love affair with Ellen Hopkins' books. it is by far her best one.

this production did not disappoint. if I have to complain about one thing though, Cody's voice actor didn't fit the character, but hes an amazing narrator nonetheless.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent as Always

The only thing I dislike are one or two of the readers. They are a tad over the top. But, the story is still intense.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

moving

this book gave me plenty of feels. i am constantly impressed hy ellen hopkins' writing and by the quality of her audio recorded books. like watching a movie with you ears. enthralling.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Dark and depressing

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Someone who likes sad and debauched stories

What was most disappointing about Ellen Hopkins’s story?

I was hoping for the story to turn around and get more positive so I listened for a while til I couldnt take it anymore, making me ill

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Illness, darkness. I guess the title Tricks was the clue.

Any additional comments?

It might actually be a good wake up call to some teens to be careful and that the world does have alot of treachery in it.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Eye Opener

Would you consider the audio edition of Tricks to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the book so I can't say but I usually prefer the audio in most books

What other book might you compare Tricks to and why?

None to compare

Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me sad because I know this is what happens to so many kids thoughout the worlk

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

As someone who has been through it, I highly recommend this book!

I am a survivor of the streets and, as such, many books about prostitution make me mad…not this one. This book hits the nail on the head, portraying the life as not as a choice, but result of not having a choice. I was blessed to find this book after finding myself in treatment, having taken the court ordered “option” over jail. Finding it at such a critical time saved my life. Given that it was an overcrowded, underfunded, punitive facility, I can honestly say the book helped me more than the treatment did. “Tricks” was my lifeline, and motivated me to get better for myself, regardless of what was going on around me. I had read some other novels and a few autobiographies on the subject, but this author really understands the alienation, pain, and shame victims feel. She gets that a young person may be naive, or they may be jaded, bold or timid, male or female, GLBTQ or straight…the streets will chew you up and spit you out. No one is tough enough to escape the damage. There are still glamorized images of the life of strippers, escorts and call girls. Ellen Hopkins doesn’t shrink away from showing what it’s really like…it’s like making out with your grandpa, and she describes every detail unflinchingly. What sets this book apart from others on the subject is that Hopkins goes into all the most embarrassing, graphic details about the violation that exploiters cause to the victims. I understand why some people don’t agree with having such explicit scenes. However, for me, those scenes saved my life. We are used to hearing the trafficking story with the innocent victims but, in real life, perpetrators use the fact that victims feel soiled to convince them they aren’t meant to be saved. This book lays all those myths to rest, and removed all worries from my mind that if my body responded to something it was consensual, or if I came to need drugs that were forced on me, it was the same thing as choosing them. I knew I wouldn’t judge other people for those things, but I couldn’t stop judging myself until I saw it right there in print. “This is what happens to many people, and it’s not your fault.” Everything I was punishing myself for by staying on the streets and hurting myself with drugs was revealed as just a part of the abuse, not evidence of poor character, or even poor choices (as trafficking is not chosen). I found a better treatment center, got off drugs and the streets, and am back in school to help others like myself! I don’t think it would necessarily damage the still-naive teenager to read this book. I wouldn’t require that they read it but if they’re comfortable reading it, I think it’s educational. I doubt that anyone who read the horror version in this book would be influenced to get in these situations. I think young adults need to see some unglamorous depictions, so they know how important their safety and good judgment is. It’s a great book for parents and teens to talk about, or to use in treatment or counseling for survivors. It also shows great examples of all kinds of family dysfunction, for those experiencing family problems who haven’t yet run away and, like another reviewer said, shows how communication could avert disaster. When I read the book, the poems don’t sound melodramatic in my head but a couple of the narrators really overact them, and it’s cheesy. I’m afraid this could be a real turnoff to people who haven’t read the book, first. A couple of the narrators do really well. The book follows several characters, in different storylines. It is harder, in the audiobook version, to tell which character is supposed to be speaking, but I don’t think it’s impossible. I ended up pulling out my paper copy which is great to refer to, if you can get one. Please read this book, for the victims and just because it’s an excellent read!

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Had to read this for class but

Had to read this for class but already knew the author's work isn't usually for me, as I have read her books in the past. opted for the audio book to make it easier on myself. Narration was decent.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr Summers
  • 06-03-20

Excellent

This is gritty and real, heart breaking and hard to listen to at times, but impossible to stop listening to. Following the lives of 5 young adults in the US. This book is hugely relatable and brings home the unfairness of life and how young adults are thrown into difficult circumstances through no fault of their own, but also helps to bring home the effects and impacts of choices that people make and how easy it can be for "ordinary" people can quickly get snared into an underworld of drugs and prostitution. Highly recommended for older teens & upwards. Although no longer a "young adult" myself, I see many parallels with my own life of what I have seen and experienced. This isn't just a scare story. This stuff happens and is really well written.