ARC Review: Little Peach by Peggy Kern

Little_PeachTitle: Little Peach
Author: Peggy Kern
Published: March 10th, 2015
Pages: 208
Genres/Themes: Contemporary, Social Issues, Human Trafficking, Family
Format: E-ARC
Source:  I received an E-ARC via Edelweiss and Balzer & Bray/Harperteen, this in no way influences my review.
Rating: 4 Stars
Goodreads Summary:
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. 

Purchase: Barnes and Noble / Amazon / Book Depository
Cover Thoughts: I really love the font for the title, it’s a bit elegant It makes for an interesting juxtaposition with the gritty streets as the background.
~Before The Book~
This could go very well or it could go very bad. This totally gives me the shivers and Devon sounds like a complete and utter creep. I’m excited to see how this plays out because it sounds very dark and gritty, which sounds perfect right now. I really love the last line in the third paragraph “where the line between love and abuse, captor and savior, is blurred beyond recognition”. I wonder if the “love” will be a sort of Stockholm syndrome love or a sort of “love” Michelle may have for Devon because he’s the only person she can depend on. Either way, I can’t wait to explore this.
First Line: You ask me to tell you the truth, but I’m not sure you’ll believe me, even though I’ve practically killed myself to find you.
~First Thoughts~
From the first line, Little Peach takes off to an extreme start.
~Review~
Ever since I learned about human trafficking years ago and watched a documentary about it, the subject has been close to my heart. When I heard about Little Peach, I knew that I wanted to read it.
Little Peach introduces us to a gritty, dark world that we don’t encounter often in fiction. It’s authentically and frightfully told. I think many readers will take away something from Little Peach and learn something. Little Peach tells the dark story of fourteen year old Michelle who’s left to fend for herself in New York when she runs away from home. The events leading up to her leaving are certainly heartbreaking in themselves, Michelle loses the one person that cared about her. She’s then living with her drug addicted mother and her questionable boyfriend. When Michelle is unable to stay there because of her mother, she decides to move to New York and live with a friend.
However, once she’s in New York, Michelle finds out she has no idea how to find her friend at all. She meets Devon though, who is clean, nice and smells good. When Devon offers to take her in for a few nights, she decides this is a good thing. Michelle soon meets Kat, who wears a hard and tough exterior and twelve year old Baby, a girl with the heart of a child.
Of course, readers are sure to know that Devon’s not good news at all. I just wanted to shield Michelle from him. It’s so hard to read this and not want to just go find every girl in human trafficking and rescue them. Little Peach delves into the world of human trafficking, a world rarely talked about, especially when it’s occurring in the United States. Peggy doesn’t back down when it comes to describing Michelle’s new world.
This is one of the hardest and most emotionally draining books I’ve ever read. It’s no wonder I’ve had trouble sleeping after reading it over two nights. I knew this would be dark and most likely without any kind of happy ending, but I didn’t imagine the affect it would have on me.
I could picture the entire story in my mind and it was haunting to say the least. I had to stop and set it down a few times because of the emotional toil. Little Peach definitely caused a fear in me, having not living in the most secure area, it almost felt as if Devon could be right outside. Watching. Waiting. Peggy did a wonderfully disturbing account of Peach, Baby and Kat’s lives in trafficking. It done so well that laying warm in bed, I felt all the emotions the girls did.
I think it was hardest to read about Baby because she was so young. It’s hard to imagine anyone so young doing the acts that she did. Baby was obsessed with Finding Nemo, this seemed so fitting for the story. Both Baby and Michelle were away from home without a parent to take care of them. They were both two lost girls doing whatever they could to survive. I liked how Finding Nemo was mentioned a fair amount in Little Peach. The themes of family and finding a home rang so much clearer. I loved the contrast Baby and Kat had with their personalities. Kat already knew how the world was whereas Baby still had a bit of her innocence left in her. It was troubling seeing Michelle, Baby and Kat live with this everyday not knowing what else to do.
The scariest part of Little Peach is that it’s so easy to see how girls can end up in human trafficking. When you don’t have a family and don’t have a home, you’ll do things you may have never imagined just to have that security. I could almost see myself at Michelle’s age, being in her original situation and then being thrust into this new one.
Devon himself was certainly charismatic, I didn’t find it hard to believe Kat, Baby and Michelle all going to him. What I thought was interesting was how Devon kind of sought Michelle out at the station, looking at her, smiling, nodding to her. When they weren’t working, Kat, Baby and Michelle kind of had a normal life, they watched tv, got in arguments and played around. Michelle would cook and clean for everyone. It was interesting seeing this sort of bond form between Kat, Baby, Michelle and Devon. Michelle really thought of them as her family and Devon as her hero of sorts.
I did feel there were a few flaws though in the actual writing. The writing style was a bit hard at times since there was a sort of dialect going on in the beginning. Little Peach also jumps around in time and places. It was confusing in knowing what was going on and when. I did enjoy the flashbacks though and seeing the situation get set up.
~Final Thoughts~
This is an extremely raw story. When you go into it, attempt to prepare yourself. It’s emotionally draining, really powerful and ultimately heartbreaking. I will be thinking about Little Peach long after this review is posted. It’s definitely a book I will be recommending to everyone. While human trafficking isn’t a happy topic to write about, especially in YA, I am so happy that Peggy stepped up and did it. When people think of human trafficking, they may think of something that happens in foreign countries, I know that was my first exposure to it in a video called Baht (taking place in Cambodia). I like that Peggy set this in New York though. While I know this is Michelle’s story, I wanted to know more about Kat and Baby.
What I loved most is the author’s note Peggy writes at the end where she tells how she researched this topic and interviewed people. You can really sense that this was a story Peggy really cared about telling. I hope people read this and try to learn more about human trafficking. I rate Little Peach four starts.
~Do I Recommend?~
Yes
~Recommended For~
Everyone
Fans of contemporary
Fans of darker contemporary
Fans of social issues
~Will I Re-Read It?~
Yes
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About Amber (YA Indulgences)

Amber is a 20-something woman who enjoys reading, writing, listening to music and taking walks. She has a book blog called YA Indulgences . She is still trying to figure out what she's doing with her life, but she's confident that time will tell. In the meantime she's heading towards the goal of becoming a renowned blogger. View all posts by Amber (YA Indulgences)

One response to “ARC Review: Little Peach by Peggy Kern

  • vlangloisx3

    That’s really cool that the author took the time to research, but man this does sound really gritty and raw, and not necessarily something I would read, but IT SOUNDS GOOD. Though it sounds a little dark. I think I would want to know if Baby and Michelle and Kat hated their situation, or if they just accepted everything that came to them.

    Awesome review Amberrrrrrr!

    Like

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