Rating: ★★★★ 1/2
Synopsis: 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.
Huge thank you to Balzer & Bray and Edelweiss for this ARC!
Books like Little Peach are painful to read. They are painful because there’s a truth that is often ignored in our world, particularly when it comes to the idea of under-aged prostitution. It’s a thing that exists, and the world attempts to brush this problem under the rug and refuse to acknowledge that it is exists. If anything, it’s likely because people see prostitution as a taboo topic — one that exists but we aren’t forced to acknowledge.
Little Peach is about women who need their story to be told. Peach’s story, how she’s brought into the ring, her friendships and guidance, it’s an unfamiliar world, and one that is difficult in some ways to look away from. It will make you nervous, feel disturbed, and yet there’s this desire to understand that world and know more.
I felt so sad reading this book, and my connection to Kat, Peach and Baby was quite strong throughout. You get a sense of survival and companionship between the girls — they want to protect each other. The men in this story made me so angry, but I feel like there’s some truth in their portrayal throughout the story. Devon just frustrated me, angered me, yet he twists their worlds by behaving as though he’s a saviour and it’s creepy to be honest.
The only issue I had with Little Peach was the writing style, which admittedly felt so blurry and disjointed at times. I recognize how intentional it was, but for me it didn’t always work and I found myself asking more questions than I had answers for! Otherwise, I thought the book was fantastic, and definitely one of the more darker YA reads I’ve encountered in my travels. If you have a weak stomach or don’t handle tough subjects well, this book might not be for you, but if you can, Peach’s world is one you might never forget.