Little Peach by Peggy Kern
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.
Publishes in US: March 10th 2015 by Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
Genre: ya contemp
Source: Harper Teen via Edelweiss
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I wanted to read Little Peach because topics like sex trafficking really speaks to me. Women and girls who are taking advantage of are such important topic and fiction like this, with powerful writing and hard-hitting emotions showing how its possible to end up in such a compromising situation.
I felt for Michelle, but I didn't connect with her as much as I wanted to. It was a fast moving, shorter read. The author used flashbacks to tell the story, going to her childhood to show her connection to her grandpa, and the dysfunction surrounding her mom. In her present, she is in the hospital after being beaten up. There is the lady she is addressing, who seems to be in her corner the most. The cops are short with her as well as the nurse because they are weary and see so many girls who sell their bodies come through that they don't always seem to stop and realize that there is a damaged little girl forced into this lifestyle.
Devon creates a home that seems welcoming, and he helps her when she shows up in NYC and has no one else. She is exhausted, starved, and wearing her grandpa's tshirt too big for her. He fed her, gave her a bed, took her shopping for clothes, and she felt taken care of for the first time in a while. There are two girls that live with them, Baby and Kat. Baby still has an innocence to her, and my heart went out to her. Kat tried to help Peach aka Michelle learn the ropes no matter how unpleasant.
Baby was twelve years old, but a lot of her actions were like she was still a preschooler. She sucked her thumb, watched the same movies over and over. But then there were times when she was older than her years. She slept too much, and she was able to shut herself from reality when she was doing tricks.
Michelle finally got a lot of courage, but it took a lot to open her eyes to the reality and brutality of working for a gang member pimp. She was beaten, in a lot of pain, and had to see so much that someone her age shouldn't have it.
I liked that it showed some hope for her moving forward but also the reality that after going through something like that, certain things will always be darker. As a teen still, she knew that having no family and leaving would put her in the foster system, a group home, and those of course are notorious for abuse and neglect.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Did you ever travel alone when you were a kid?