There are so many good books coming out at the moment that I want to dedicate a bit of space to reviewing them, and thinking through the themes and issues arising from them. Watch this space on Fridays for good reviews!
I can’t quite remember when it started: the process of events that made me more aware of the problem of slave-trade and issue of sex trafficking in today’s world. There was a song by Matt Redman, and some kind of gut-punching statistic about there being more slaves now than ever before. But it was all vague – until this book, which made me see the issue in a fresh and real way.
My friend, Elora Ramirez, (pictured above) writes passionately and compassionately, and is the mastermind behind Story 101, the online writing course I have been doing. (She also always has amazingly beautiful nails in many different colours.)
Her novel released this week and I had the privilege of reading an advanced copy. It’s called Every Shattered Thing, about Stephanie, a girl from a difficult background who finds herself caught up in a world of sex-trafficking. It’s written in a young adult style, and has a love story element, and is gripping and powerful.
I don’t usually like young adult style books, but this one totally won me over. It is the kind of book that you experience rather than merely read – you find yourself caught up in the action, rooting for the characters, and feeling the tension as it all unfolds.
I read it in just two sittings, which is unusual for me. I was turning the pages fast, and having to read the very next chapter. I found myself moved to tears at several points. This book changed me: it particularly changed how I think about women in the sex trade, and made me consider just how widespread an issue it is.
I would think this would be an amazing discussion point for older teenagers (note: contains swearing, and reference to sexual violence though not sexually explicit scenes), students and potentially church groups as well, because it brings these difficult issues to light in such a powerful way. It’s also just a really good story, and one that has stayed with me. (I’m hoping there’s going to be a sequel!)
It is available in ebook format for now, at a bargainously cheap price of £1.98 / $3.08 from Amazon. (Paperback will follow soon.)
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