To my younger readers, please note that this book and, therefore, this review is considered PG-13 and should be read with caution and parental guidance.
Hope is as familiar as the girl next door. Like any young girl, she has dreams for her future, none of which include being trafficked.
Every two minutes, evil strips innocence from a child and sells her into slavery for sex. Not in a third-world country, but in the United States of America. Before you take another breath, the next victim will be tricked or taken from her family by a profit-hungry criminal.
She could be a neighbor. A friend. Your sister. Your daughter. You.
At fourteen, Hope Ellis is the all-American girl with a good life—until the day she tries to help her mom with their cross-town move by supervising the movers. When they finish, one of the men returns to the house and rapes her. Held silent by his threats, darkness begins to engulf her. But the rape proves to be the least of Hope’s troubles. In a gasping attempt at normalcy, she succumbs to the attention of a smooth-talking man on the subway. He promises acceptance. He declares his love. He lures her out from under the shelter of her suburban life.
Hope’s disappearance sets a community in motion. She’s one of their own. They determine to find Hope, whatever the cost, before she’s lost forever.
This book is hard to describe. Its story is gripping and powerful. Its truth is harsh and sickening. Its message of both despair and the hope that is still out there propels a reader to action.
The writing, honestly, was not the greatest. There were run-ons, typos, minor head-hopping, and lots of other little things. Pacing seems to be a struggle, as some scenes are rushed through while others are more well-balanced. Dialogue is choppy and the layout of the book was messed up in several places. And honestly, the ending was great but felt like it was missing a few pieces and was cut off too soon.
Still, this story doesn’t need great writing to stand up and catch attention.
Immediately the cover art proclaims that this book is strong. It’s powerful, dark, and edgy. It’s real, gritty, and never sugar-coated. But it deals with an evil that, for some reason, is almost never dealt with in American conversation or media. Rescuing Hope brings that issue to light with the balance between being real and being sensitive that so few message-centered books achieve. I give it four stars.
I don’t recommend this book for just anyone. It was written to be PG-13 and readers are warned of the cruel realities found in the pages. But I do recommend this for all older teens and adults. Whether or not you think this book is a good idea – read it. You might love how it sheds light on a crime that needs to be confronted. You might hate how it makes you squirm or feel sick. You might not want to give up your comfortable bubble. I didn’t either – in fact, I closed the email offering this book the first time. Finally, though, I gave in to the voice inside that told me I shouldn’t shy away from truth, no matter how ugly it is.
Sometimes your personal world needs to be shaken before you can see the real world around you. There are people just like Hope Ellis, whose lives have been destroyed. Only you and I on the outside can help them. But will you?
I received this book for free from Glass Road Public Relations in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Find me every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at my blog, Emily Rachelle Writes, where I discuss books, family, media, faith, and life as an atypical American girl.