Friday, April 17, 2015

Little Peach by Peggy Kern

4 "What a Terrible Book" Stars

Back Cover Blurb -
What do you do if you're in trouble?

When Michelle runs away from her drug-addicted mother, she has just enough money to make it to New York City, where she hopes to move in with a friend. But once she arrives at the bustling Port Authority, she is confronted with the terrifying truth: she is alone and out of options.

Then she meets Devon, a good-looking, well-dressed guy who emerges from the crowd armed with a kind smile, a place for her to stay, and eyes that seem to understand exactly how she feels.

But Devon is not what he seems to be, and soon Michelle finds herself engulfed in the world of child prostitution where he becomes her “Daddy” and she his “Little Peach.” It is a world of impossible choices, where the line between love and abuse, captor and savior, is blurred beyond recognition.

This hauntingly vivid story illustrates the human spirit’s indomitable search for home, and one girl’s struggle to survive.
Reading this book for me was like watching a “based off of actual events” movie.  Though the story and characters in this book are fiction, the material in the book is sadly based on a horrific fact that is happening all over the world.   This isn’t some tragic event that happened years or decades ago, this is something that is happening RIGHT NOW and too many people, myself included, are either oblivious or just not that concerned by it.  It is appalling, terrifying and horrible what is happening in this world and Little Peach is an uncomfortable and unapologetic eye opener to the very real problem of run-a-ways, sex trafficking, drug addiction and hopelessness. 
I was really unsure what to expect when I picked this book up.  A few of my book nerd friends had read it and though they gave it 5 stars, they actually hated the book.  They didn’t hate it because the author just sucked or the writing was terrible or because the editor needed to be shot, they hated it because of the subject matter and they gave it 5 stars because the author was awesome enough to tackle an on-going issue and turn it into a readable book that tugs your heart strings, while portraying an all too real reality.  They loved it because the author cared enough about something, that they channeled that outrage and coupled it with their gift with words to deliver a message in a media form that reaches hundreds of thousands of people.  They loved it and they hated it and I was nervous as hell to read it.
This story is told to us by our young, 14-year-old MC Michelle, or Little Peach as you will come to know her and it explores the circumstances in her life that have led her to where she is now and the things that she has endured in the name of family and security.  It explores the frailty of an impressionable mind and the lengths people will go in order to feel loved and the things they will do for a sense of belonging.  We get a glimpse into a depraved world that feeds the hunger of the dark-side of humanity and allows the very real and very scary monsters of society a playground to hunt with little to no consequences.
My overall feelings after reading this book were sadness, anger and helplessness.  I was sad for the victims of this reality, angry at the world for letting this happen and I felt an overwhelming sense of helplessness for my part in it all….the part of doing nothing at all.  Though this book is well written and contains some very dark subject matter, I still couldn’t help but to think that Ms. Kern still tread a bit lightly, erring on the side of caution and gave us just the tip of the iceberg as far as the subject matter goes.  I can’t pretend to know what really goes on and how the actual workings of prostitution or sex trafficking goes, but I’m aware enough to understand that it’s an ugly, horrible business and though our MC Michelle, faces things that no person should ever have to endure, I can’t help but think that she got off lightly compared to the reality of some and that is devastating to think about.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to read.  It is not a very long book, but the story is one that will stick with you forever.  This book does contain very sensitive subject matter, so please use caution before reading this.  It contains underage girls, non-consensual sex, drugs and physical abuse, so if any of those are triggers for you, please be warned.  I’m not sure if I would have liked this book at all if it were just another fiction book out there, but the reality that it brings with it, is just too hard for me to ignore and I appreciate what Ms. Kerns did by writing it and I think anyone else that reads it will feel the same.
Happy reading, until next time… 

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