Bea Lucendo Lucendo itibaren Sariwŏn, North Hwanghae, North Korea
How to review this book? On the one hand, if you're a fan of Hopkins' work, this is at once familiar and fresh: story told in poems, sex, drugs, moral ambiguity, depression, incest, death, love gone horribly wrong, and so on. As with her previous book, Identical, and her earlier title,Impulse, the story is told through the thoughts of different characters. I didn't love this device in "Impulse," but it really works in "Tricks," giving five teens equal humanity and pathos. While all of the characters find themselves in roughly the same dark, dark place, Hopkins does a great job of tracing the individual paths that bring them there. On the other hand, it is hard to know what to make of YA pornography, and I do mean this in the 'writing-about-harlots' sense of the word. Hopkins continues to push whatever envelope remains in YA by turning her attention to kids who trade sex for money and drugs and love. These are kids exploiting their bodies while being exploited by johns and pimps and parents. This is explicit stuff not for the faint of heart. And ultimately, "Tricks" really is about the human heart, about how it can beguile and deceive, can debase and ennoble, can stumble and fail and recover. And not.