Eleven-year-old Maggie Clarke is an average suburban girl known for her intelligence and beauty. Suddenly, her life’s path is tragically altered when Maggie is ripped from her family and thrust into the horrific underworld of human sex trafficking. In captivity, Maggie watches over a young boy, who gives her a reason to live. Robbed of her innocence and freedom, Maggie does whatever it takes to survive.
With the help of Detective Rae Harker, the Clarkes’ frantically search for their daughter. Haunted by his own demons, Detective Harker vows to find Maggie—dead or alive. Meanwhile on the vile streets of Philadelphia, a strange man approaches Maggie with a dangerous proposition, and she risks everything to break free of the network of unsavory characters that control her. Not even she can know how far she will go to get even with the people who ruined her life.
Raw, edgy, and intense, One Among Us ultimately offers hope through Maggie, who grows stronger and more resourceful through her experiences. You’ll be on the edge of your seat, rooting for Maggie as she fights for her life.
I received this book via NetGalley to give an honest review.
I have read two other books from this author and I can say I know her writing style by now that I know it is going to be raw, disturbing, intense and much more.
With One Among Us we are taken into the world of human trafficking it is something that actually goes on today but it is the thing that no one hardly talks about I believe.
Maggie is a young eleven year old girl who was kidnapped and sold. We are put into her world where we see what her and others go through and it is gruesome enough to make you just want to rush out and save these children. We watch as Maggie suffers but somehow she finds the strength to survive and not give into the world of her captors. While she is trying to stay alive she takes under her wing to keep safe a little boy named Seth. He was four when he was taken and his ending comes as something that I didn't even see coming. Maggie goes from human trafficking to prostitution at an early age, but she didn't let that make her who she is. She eventually turned to dancing and if you have read the other two books then you know the club she danced at and the people she met. They each have their own stories to tell. I would say that you don't have to read these books in any order but the girls that are in the other books by this author When A Smile Fades and Believe Like A Child are all connected in some way. Thanks to the strip club.
Now with these books you want happy endings and you just know that there normally isn't one. But with One Among Us we get to see the happy ending Maggie gets. And I am glad she did. She deserves it after all the turmoil and nightmares she went through. Maggie is a very strong character and her world was written to where it was believable and scary.
Again I will say as I have said in my other reviews by this author. The stories told are not for the faint of heart it will make you either want to cry or actually cry. You will be upset and mad, you will want to put the book down and just take a breath until you can find out what happens next. There is graphic scenes so reader beware.
The only problems I had with this book are as followed.
The author has the characters joke around a lot. Juju, Maggie and Seth are all hanging out on a normal basis. But when they are joking around I felt as though they would ask joke around saying 'your breath stinks.' Now I know they are joking having a laugh but I think the author could have used something more than saying people's breath stank. It was just used more than once and I felt that was was too much.
Second, Maggie gets her happy ending. But there is no talk about her brother Keith. Did she ever get to meet him? How did he feel when his mother was depressed about his sister being kidnapped? I know it may not be important but there was more talk about Maggie's mother and father and hardly any mention of Keith but in passing. I would have liked to known his reaction to Maggie coming back.
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SOME DIRT ON PAIGE:
Born and raised in Plymouth Meeting, a small town west of Philadelphia, Paige Dearth was a victim of child rape and spent her early years yearning for a better life. To escape the unwanted attentions of her molester, a pedophile uncle who lived with the family, she married at the age of nineteen and moved with her new husband to Chula Vista, California. After two years of marriage during which she struggled to make ends meet, she became pregnant, only to discover that her husband was a heroin addict. Paige waited for the birth of her daughter and when the baby was just eight months old, moved back to Pennsylvania. With no formal education or money to fall back on, she courageously set out to pick up the pieces of her shattered life and make it whole once more.
Living through the fear and isolation of her youth, Paige developed the ability to create stories that would help her cope and finally put them to use by embarking on a series of novels. BELIEVE LIKE A CHILD, the author’s debut offering, is the darkest version of who she could have become, had fate not intervened in the nick of time.
WHEN SMILES FADE Paige’s second novel is a tale of endurance, perseverance, courage and the overwhelming desire of one child to fight back.
Paige’s novels always present a fine balance between what lives on in her imagination and the evil that lurks in the real world.
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“When your mind is quiet and you listen closely, you will hear the children weeping silently. If you can’t quite hear their cries, then listen with your eyes. These are the children of the streets, who have learned pain and suffering before they ever had a chance to experience life. Do not ignore their cries for help, for all they wish is that you will rescue them. They do not have a family that wants them, they don’t know how it feels to be loved and they’ve never lived anywhere that felt like home…the streets are where they find their voice and relief from all of the suffering.
Just listen and you’ll see them.”