Tricks by Ellen Hopkins
Since the announcement from Hopkins that she would be writing Tricks I have been extremely excited; the book lived up to all of my excitement. While Identical still remains my favorite, I loved Tricks. Much like Hopkin's other book, Impulse, I feel she has progressed a long way with the multiple points of view poetry novel. Once again, she didn't use much verity of the poetry style (such as making pictures with words), but the use of poetry was very strong and hard to notice. Where as in Impulse, the redundant lack of style was much more noticeable, the storyline and intensity of Tricks makes the reader barely notice.
The characters in this story had such variety, it was almost mind boggling. When starting to read, I was a bit intimidated by the the fact that there were five point of view characters. I also found myself questioning how she would make the story flow using five different stories. Ultimately, it came together very well. As a side note, most of the characters reminded me of characters from past Hopkins books. This book follows the viewpoints of Eden, Seth, Whitney, Ginger and Cody.
Eden (which I love her name!) is a girl from a very religious evangelical family. Eden is much comparable to Sue from Hopkin's book Burned. Being an atheist, her story was very frustrating, yet amusing. Seth is a farm boy who is secretly gay. His story was in the middle for me. I liked the beginning, but as it went on, I became impartial to it. I loved the glam feeling to his story, but just the idea behind his latter relationship creeps me out a bit. I found him somewhat comparable with Tony from Impulse. Whitney was one of the easiest to relate to (until deeper into the story). She is a virgin saving herself for the right moment. Though a virgin, she is very far from innocent. I found myself comparing her to Raeanne from Identical. As her story continued though, of all give stories, it is the story of Whitney that scared me the most.
Ginger was my favorite. She is unlike any of Hopkin's other characters I came to know and love previously. Ginger comes a family of five siblings and mother who turns tricks. It's almost surprising how her story goes given her situation, but I also found myself falling in love her with gothy friend and loved how Hopkins finally put in a girl who wasn't straight. It was refreshing to have a character who came from a bad place and with a different sexuality.
Finally there was Cody, my least favorite. He is an atypical boy working at game stop who has an addiction to gambling. I have a hard time relating to boys in books who are not gay, so that was the first set off to Cody. He wasn't that interesting of a character either, and I found his addiction to gambling frustrating. The interesting thing about his story is simple how he ended up. While interesting, it felt a little impulsive and concluded so quickly, it felt as if Hopkins just forced him to a path very quickly to make him fit into the book. The change was so random and quick, it felt unnatural.