Book Review: Little Peach by Peggy Kern

Book Review: Little Peach by Peggy KernLittle Peach by Peggy Kern
Published by HarperCollins on March 10th 2015
Genres: Dating & Sex, Girls & Women, Law & Crime, Social Issues, Young Adult
Source: ARC from Publisher
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I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A riveting and powerful story of a runaway girl lured into prostitution in New York City, perfect for fans of Ellen Hopkins and Patricia McCormick.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 who he seems to be, and soon Michelle finds herself engulfed in the world of child prostitution, where he becomes her

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Wow. Wow. Wow. I sat down with this book not really knowing what to expect and read it very quickly. It is definitely a one sitting read. It is a story of hard times, hope, and finding yourself even when the entire world seems to be against you.

Little Peach is a very powerful book based on a very deep, disturbing, all too real issue. It tells the story of a run away 14 year old girl, Michelle. She lost the only family member who really cared for her and can’t stay with the family she has left. She has had an extremely hard life and when she tries to get out it only becomes harder. She is taken in by Devon, a guy she meets when she leaves home, and is thrown into child prostitution with two other young girls, Kat and Baby.

I became quickly invested in the characters. Little Peach read from Michelle’s point of view so I felt mainly attached to her naturally, but I also felt very connected with Kat and Baby. All three have had hard lives with different backgrounds and it was sad seeing how and why they were where they were. I think the hardest to handle was Baby’s story and what she was going through now. It was probably the fact that she was the youngest, and the way she is portrayed in the story but hers was the hardest for me to handle. Kat was the strongest in the group, and I think she definitely inspired Michelle along the way to make choices for herself that she probably wouldn’t have on her own.

I have honestly never seen this topic really brought up in young adult before, and definitely not a book solely based on it. I was a little wary how it would be handled because how do you really write a book on something like this? How was I going to even stomach it?

Kern really did a good job with it all though. After reading the author’s note and seeing all the research she put into it, I’m not at all surprised with how well this story was done. She took the time to talk to people with real life experiences in situations similar to these so I felt this gave the book a much more accurate view of this world. I was very concerned with getting to parts where these kids in the book were exposed to doing things this life style calls for but Kern was able to express how the girls were feeling the entire time and what they were going through without being overly graphic. I was still able to get a very vivid picture of how this life was and sympathize with everything the girls were going through without having to have every little detail of everything going on.

I was in shock with how easily these girls were pulled into this life and how they can get lost in the system like they do. It’s really scary and Little Peach is an eye opener to that fact. It broke my heart as I was reading seeing what they were going through and then knowing there are kids out there in the real world that are going through this every day. It really made quite the emotional impact on me.

The one thing I wish would have been different for this book was the ending. I’m in need of an epilogue for this story. I would like to have known more of what happened to these three in the future. That was the only thing that was really missing for me. It didn’t end abruptly or anything, I just would have like to know a few years down the road where everyone was, and what their lives were like.

Overall this is a really strong story that I think touches on something that maybe not everyone is that aware of. I know it really touched on something for me because not long age the city I’m outside of actually started having a lot of issues with this. There were a lot of girls that ended up missing back to back and this is what was happening to them. This is a real and a truly devastating issue. I think books like this that talk about deep issues that are not widely spoken about will always have a place in my heart.

I highly recommend this book, but I do think it’s fair to say if you have any issues reading about rape, abuse, especially towards children, I would be cautious about reading it. Like I said, it really isn’t graphic, but things are implied and stated.

 

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Five emotionally impacted emojis!

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About Peggy Kern

Peggy Kern was born and raised in Westbury, New York. There she attended the local public elementary and middle schools, where she was one of the few white students in a predominately black and Latino community. Peggy didn’t realize what a unique and valuable experience that was until she transferred to a private high school.

“I was miserable in high school,” she says. “I couldn’t understand why my classmates only hung out with people who looked just like they did. To me, that was a foreign concept.” Peggy worked a variety of jobs through her teenage years, including switchboard operator at a country club, cashier at a clothing store, and the night-shift in a bakery.

In 1992, Peggy enrolled at LaSalle University in Philadelphia, where she discovered her love of literature and writing. However, the financial stress of paying for college herself – coupled with the painful divorce of her parents – proved overwhelming. She moved back to New York and took a full-time job as a secretary. Determined to finish her degree, she began taking night classes at a local community college and eventually landed a partial scholarship at Long Island University. She continued working full-time and taking classes until she graduated in 1998 with a B.A. in English.

Though it took her almost seven years to obtain her college degree, Peggy says she would do it all again. “The adversity made me work even harder. I never forgot how lucky I was to have a chance at an education.”

In 2001, Peggy completed a Master’s degree in English and Writing at Southampton College. She also coordinated the Southampton Writers Conference, where she had the chance to meet some of her literary heroes and assist young students in pursing their dream of writing. While at Southampton, she taught English Composition, tutored undergraduate students and published several short stories.

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