By Patricia McCormick, read by Justine Eyre
Published 2012 by Tantor Audio
At a young age, Lakshmi is sold into prostitution by her family. Forced to live a nightmare, she struggles to find good and hope amid the ruins of her life. When an opportunity for change comes into her life, will Lakshmi find the courage to help herself?
This was the second Patricia McCormick book I read last year, following Never Fall Down, and it certainly won't be my last. I've had this book on my radar since it was published and when the audio was offered as a free SYNC download last summer, I took advantage of it.
Once again, McCormick has written a powerful, important, and heartbreaking story, this time told in verse. This novel is heartbreaking from the beginning as Lakshmi doesn't know she's being sold into the horrors of prostitution. It's heartbreaking because it is a sad reality around the world for many young girls and women. It's a quick read, but McCormick has packed an emotional punch into her simple and direct prose. It works wonderfully.
What I love most about this is that McCormick does not shy away from writing books like this for teens. I think, too often, we don't give teens and young readers enough credit. They deserve to know what life is like for kids around the world that are the same age as them, even if it is awful and horrifying. McCormick does not dumb things down for a teen audience - she presents them with difficult topics and heartbreaking stories and it is up to the readers to decide what it will mean to them. Her writing is graceful and strong and I appreciate that she writes books like this.