Five white teens move on with their lives after doing sex work in Las Vegas.
At the end of Tricks (2009), three of the five protagonists saw glimmers of hope, one was stuck in a rut, and one had been shot. This sequel picks up with Cody in the hospital, awakening to learn that he’s paralyzed from the waist down. Whitney, who had overdosed, heads home to an emotionally distant family, facing PTSD and addictions to drugs and to her pimp. Ginger has a kind grandmother waiting—but also a mother who’s been selling Ginger to men. Eden can’t go home: her fundamentalist parents sent her to a reform camp where she needed to trade sex for food. Farm boy Seth is still being kept by a sugar daddy and tricking on the side. “Tricking chews / you up from the inside out,” but with some help—including two too-good-to-be-true romantic partners—can these kids “chisel a better path?” Hopkins’ free verse shows the rhythm of their steady yet halting progress. Reading Tricks first is mandatory, both because this period of their lives ties so tightly to the teens’ distant and recent pasts and because, while their back stories are distinct, their first-person narrative voices aren’t.
Less startling than its predecessor; a hopeful aftermath tale for readers already attached to these characters. (Verse fiction. 14-18)