Two Minute Review: Little Peach by Peggy Kern

Monday, March 23, 2015
Title: Little Peach
Author: Peggy Kern
Genre: young adult, contemporary
Series: N/A
Pages: 208
Published: March 10 2015
Source: publisers via edelweiss
Rating: 4/5

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.

You wouldn't expect such a punch in gut from such a short book, but damned if Little Peach doesn't do just that in only 208 pages. It's short, but really powerful. Sobering, saddening, and depressingly close to real life because this could so easily be someone's real life. Human trafficking, drug abuse, child abuse, rape.. it's a book full of harsh realities and terrible circumstances (trigger warnings for all the aforementioned). It's horribly real and authentic; Peggy Kern spares no feelings and hides no truth in her book from Michelle and thus, her readers. It's not a easy read by any means but it's also so necessary for just these reasons.

Little Peach is bound to provoke some strong reactions. It made me angry. It also made me sad, deep in my bones. So much of what Kern shows is hidden or ignored or just plain unknown when it should be a huge concern and more than that, prevented in the first place. Michelle's story is a narrative that should and will ignite conversation. Michelle is more than just a victim -- she's also a survivor. And finding the small kernels of hope in Little Peach is far from a happy ending, it's a believable and appropriate ending for the story and characters. Like Speak before it, this is a book has the potential to open eyes and begin real dialogues. 

Peggy Kern's short story of 208 pages made me think and made me feel while reading. It was an uncomfortable, awful, necessary book and I can't react but to try to make as many others read it as possible. Fans of All the Rage and Speak will likely find another to recommend. It's sobering but worth the read for the strong voice of Michelle, for the skilled storytelling framing the two timelines of her life, for the hard look at issues most people would rather ignore than acknowledge.

1 comment:

  1. I've been looking forwards to this one for a while. The hard to read YA is something really needed. It's a mad world. Lovely review!
    Jackie @ No Bent Spines


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