Tuesday, July 7, 2015

ARC REVIEW: Naked by Stacey Trombley

Title: Naked
Author: Stacey Trombley
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Published: July 7th 2015
Format: eARC | Pages: 304
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Source: Publisher
★★★★ (4/5) Stars!

Stacey Trombley | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

The best place to hide is in a lie...

I could never fit in to the life my parents demanded. By the time I was thirteen, it was too much. I ran away to New York City...and found a nightmare that lasted three years. A nightmare that began and ended with a pimp named Luis. Now I am Dirty Anna. Broken, like everything inside me has gone bad.

Except that for the first time, I have a chance to start over. Not just with my parents but at school. Still, the rumors follow me everywhere. Down the hall. In classes. And the only hope I can see is in the wide, brightly lit smile of Jackson, the boy next door. So I lie to him. I lie to protect him from my past. I lie so that I don't have to be The Girl Who Went Bad.

The only problem is that someone in my school knows about New York.

Someone knows who I really am.

And it's just a matter of time before the real Anna is exposed...

I received a copy of this book, from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. In no way did this sway either my review or my rating.

There's nothing quite like a truly emotional read. A book that tosses your feelings into a blender and throws it on high. Maybe I have slightly masochistic tendencies, but I love reading books that make me feel so deeply, even painfully. I had a feeling just reading the blurb that this would be one of those types of books for me and so I didn't hesitate to pick it up. In a lot of ways it really lived up to my expectations.

Naked was very different and unique for me. I picked it up wondering what on earth could have been bad enough at home to make Anna, at thirteen, decide living on the streets would be better than living at home. It basically just says she didn't live up to her parent's expectations in the blurb so I instantly assumed it was the poor spoiled girl who didn't want to follow the rules and decided she'd be better on her own instead. It didn't take long to understand just how different it was behind closed doors from the outward perfect family appearance that Anna's father so carefully tried to cultivate. To see him for the monster that he really was and the sort of spineless and broken shell of a person her mother was. I had so many moments where I felt an almost uncontrollable rage towards him and this overwhelming sadness for both Anna and her mom both.

The characters are all very strong and pull at your heart. Even after everything she allowed herself to be put through in the three years that she had runaway I can't help but view Anna as brave and with this tremendous inner strength and yet also this young girl who just desperately wanted someone to love her and make her feel safe. Then there was Jackson who was steady throughout the book and lifted her up and stood by her when everyone else was trying to bring her down. And Anna's mom, who was someone I had no respect for in the beginning, had this amazing transformation that was natural and real and the changes in her actually made me tear up a bit at one point.

It was heartwarming seeing the love and support go out to Anna from unexpected places. How slowly one by one she let in and put down her defenses for each one and to see her become whole and really alive for probably the first time. To see her learn to trust and believe in herself again.

If I have one complaint about the book it would be the fact that Anna had this sort of hero worship of her ex-pimp Luis. Everything she did and everything new in her life it would always come down to Luis and what would he think of what was going on with her now and how he 'saved' her and he loved her and just blah, blah, blah. It got frustrating and annoying and I just wanted to shake her and say 'you were 13 years old and this man sold your body!' or I honestly didn't feel like she was ever going to shed those feelings she had for such a disgusting human being. It's not that I didn't get it. She was alone and scared and thought she was going to die and then in swoops this guy and he takes in her young impressionable self and shows her 'love' and 'affection' and seems like a knight in shining armor. I get how at her age it was easy to fall into the feelings she had for him. It was just frustrating to see his name pop up so freaking much in such a positive view.

That aside though I really enjoyed this book. It was quick and easy but also very fresh and new and had me filled with emotions. The bulk of the book and the focus of the book was all about Anna and her transformation from runaway/hooker to a young girl with hope and a bright future. Even though there was a light romance between Anna and Jackson it was far from the main focus of the book, which I loved. It didn't take over or even take away from what turned out to be a really great story.

Thanks to Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book!

1 comment:

  1. Hmm.. I wonder if the feelings and/or relationship she had with Luis was like Stockholm?

    I am like you - I love the dark, emotional stories and can't get enough. Great review!