Published by: Balzer & Bray on March 10, 2015
Genre: Abuse, Contemporary, Young Adult
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.
The first line of Little Peach was:
You ask me to tell you the truth, but I’m not sure you’ll believe me, even though I’ve practically killed myself to find you. Little Peach
And my reaction was:
“Oh dear lord. Please don’t have the main character talking to me.”
Something about the word “you” just immediately turns me off. In the end, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The story alternates between two key time periods: present day when Michelle is talking to a police officer (“you”) and retelling her story. The “retelling her story” part is the bulk of the book (maybe 80%) and that just sounds like “normal” third person. The other 20% is when Michelle breaks out of that “story telling mode” and talks to the police officer (using “you”). It was weird, but not too bad.
Little Peach was good, but didn’t dig deep enough
Little Peach has a very intense and scary subject. A fourteen-year-old girl is taken in by a pimp and forced to sell herself for sex. That is heavy!
Here’s the thing about this book though… it was a heavy subject and the book was a breeze to get through (at only 200 pages). I easily read it in about an hour. And I wanted to keep reading. The book kept me hooked and I wanted to know what would happen next!
But, I fear that the interesting writing style prevented me from getting really attached to the book. It read more like a stream of consciousness than anything else. Here’s a small sample:
“I am five years old. The TV glows all soft and bluish in my toasty-warm living room. It’s winter. My house smells like meat loaf and corn. The windows are shut tight, but I can hear the noises outside. Cars and voices and music going by. Chuck and Little John laughing in their lawn chairs outside Boo’s.”
The whole thing was very:
I can see that.
He’s looking at me.
I can feel his touch.
The sky is blue, but I can’t see it.
I feel cold.
There’s a bird over there.
See what I mean? Just this, this, that, that. This is clearly the style the book was going for, and I didn’t particularly mind it, but I do think it prevented me from really FEELING the book. I don’t really know how to explain it…
Not as long lasting as Captive in the Dark
I can’t help but compare Little Peach to Captive in the Dark by CJ Roberts. Both books are about abuse, sex slavery, and Stockholm Syndrome. The difference between the two is that Captive in the Dark left me raw and bleeding. That book ripped me to shreds and still haunts me to this very day. I got emotionally involved and attached, so I was able to FEEL everything. I felt the romance, I felt the conflict, I felt the love, I felt the horror, I felt the confusion. That was not the case with Little Peach.
When I finished Little Peach, my brain was alive with thoughts. It left me thinking about the story, what happened, what could have happened, etc. But then those feelings left me. I’m pretty sure that I will forget this book pretty quickly because it didn’t leave a lasting mark on me. I read it, I’m done, and I’m ready to read something else.