Rescuing Hope by Susan Norris Reviewed by: Lori Twichell Genre: Fiction, YA Publisher: iUniverse Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Hope Ellis has a life that’s not perfect, but it’s pretty good for a fourteen-year-old. She and her best friend, Sydney, perform on the praise team and they stick together all the time. Except Hope is moving to a new part of town and it’s going to be hard to start at a new school. She’s not really excited about the move, but she understands that as a single mom, her mother is doing everything she can to make ends meet and this new job is important.
The last thing Hope expects is that she’ll end up in a terrifying situation with no one that she can talk to or confide in. A devastating situation turns worse when Hope’s mother spends most of her time at work, leaving Hope on her own to deal with all of the feelings and emotions that come from a traumatic situation. Not sure what else to do, Hope ends up turning to the wrong sort of friends and way too soon, she goes missing. Hope becomes the next victim in a horrifying new trend in America, sex trafficking.
From there, this fourteen-year-old child journeys through hell on earth – in the very same town where her mother is frantically searching to find her. Heart rending, horrifying, and all too real. But brilliantly scripted with depth, emotion and scope. This book was impossible to put down once I started reading and difficult to let go of once I was done.
Rescuing Hope is raw, honest, open, and though it is fiction, it is based heavily in fact. I’ll admit that I had it on my desk for a while before I picked it up. I knew the topic was going to be difficult to read and I was not off base in thinking that. As a mother, this book shredded my heart multiple times. As the mother of a teenage daughter, too much of this hit close to home. (We won’t even discuss the fact that both of my daughters shared names with characters in the book. The similarities in this novel rocked me to the core.)
At the end of this book there’s a devastating list of facts about sex trafficking. The average age of a person going into sex trafficking is between 12-14 years of age. The life expectancy of one of these children is seven years. The girls being trafficked in the United States are predominantly American born and they are being bought and sold for someone else’s financial gain.
My heart struggled with this story, but I cannot more highly recommend a book for parents today. It is necessary for people to understand that this is happening (in many instances right around them) and it’s not going away.
Two thumbs way up for the brilliance of the story and the deft handling of difficult subject matter. My biggest endorsement that I can possibly give on this one. Do not miss reading this book. Educate yourself and understand.
Note: This review originally appeared here at Radiant Lit.