Review: Little Peach by Peggy Kern

Book Title: Little Peach
Author: Peggy Kern
Publish Date: March 10th, 2015
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Genre: YA Contemporary
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
In the tradition of Patricia McCormick and Ellen Hopkins comes this powerful novel, the riveting story of a runaway who is lured into prostitution by a manipulative pimp.

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.

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from Balzer & Bray via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest opinion.

This book left me emotionally spent, curled up in the fetal position sobbing my eyeballs out. My heart ached for Michelle, Kat and Baby, all three of them had no where to go, no one to turn to. All they had was Devon.The world of prostitution is such a sad world, but it’s often the only world these girls will ever know and that realization is hard. Unfortunately the world of prostitution is very real in all parts of the world. 

I had studied it a little bit in college, but Little Peach took me into the harrowing, terrifying world of prostitution through the eyes of 14 year old Michelle, twelve year old Baby and Kat, whose age we never learn. The girls are given drugs to relax them as they meet “tricks” in hotel rooms. When the tricks get too rough, Devon and the rest of his boys come charging in to the room to rescue the girls. 

Despite everything he makes her do, Michelle still feels a sense of loyalty to him. After all, he’s taking care of her better than anyone else ever has. Or at least that’s how Michelle feels early on.

It isn’t until the book is almost over that Michelle realizes how dangerous this world is. Girls get killed for trying to run away, to get out of this life. When girls run away from their pimps, they’re seen as disloyal and their lives are often cut short very soon after they betray their pimps.

I think this book is extremely important. It’s raw, emotional and hauntingly beautiful. It delivers a very accurate account of how pimps and their girls are. It doesn’t shy away from the scary stuff. It’s blunt and heartbreaking. It’s not a story for everyone and in fact it is very dark, but since I love dark contemporaries, it really worked for me. I loved this book and it’s getting 5 stars. Everyone should read this book.