Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release Date: March 10th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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.
I have no idea how to review Little Peach properly. The book itself didn’t manage to really get me, as the writing style and such weren’t really my thing, but on the other hand this is such an important and powerful subject… I am conflicted. One thing is certain, and that is that this is an important book.
Little Peach tackles a tough subject, but it’s a subject that needs to be tackled. After all, this happens to girls all over the world, every day. Every single day. Little Peach follows one of these girls: Michelle. After having fled her less-than-good home situation, she finds herself lost and wandering. Then, she meets a handsome young guy, who takes her home, cares for her… and oh yeah, makes money off her by selling her body. Michelle finds herself in the dark world of child prostitution.
Phew, that’s quite a subject, isn’t it? I’m going to emphasize time and again in this review how incredibly important this book is. Because though the story itself is fiction, it so easily could have been a real girl. For countless girls, it is reality. So don’t let anyone tell you that it isn’t important. That said, however, the book itself just wasn’t for me. Though I appreciate the dark subject matter, the style this novel was written in just isn’t really for me. It’s a bit like stream-of-consciousness, and that combined with Michelle’s very young voice put me off. Michelle is naïve. She is young. She has no idea about what the real world is like.
But on the other side, this incredibly young voice and that naïveté is also what could make this book that more powerful for others. It didn’t work for me, but I can imagine that other readers might be struck by it all and really feel for Michelle. And that’s where my main problem lies. Maybe I’m just heartless, but I couldn’t connect to the story at all. I just didn’t feel anything for any of the characters, and this lack of connection is also why this didn’t end up being a winner for me. At times, the only thing that kept me reading was the intrigue: how will Michelle get out of this situation? But this truly is a personal thing, so don’t let it hold you back from reading this short little novel.
In all, Little Peach was a mixed bag for me. Though I recognize the absolute importance of this book and just want to praise it endlessly for that, the story itself had no emotional resonance with me. But do not let that stop you – this is one of those books you just really should have read, even if you don’t enjoy it. Because it is important. Because it happens every day. And because we should become aware of it.
~Thank you, Balzer + Bray, for the review copy!~
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