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March 5, 2015

A Shot of YA: Little Peach by Peggy Kern

Series: Stand-alone
Format: eGalley
Release Date: March 10, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: Contemporary | Young Adult
What do you do if you're in trouble?

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.

This hauntingly vivid story illustrates the human spirit’s indomitable search for home, and one girl’s struggle to survive.


Don't be fooled! LITTLE PEACH might have a cute title, an attractive cover, and what appears to be a short novel running at only 208 pages. It's FAR from being an easy read though. LITTLE PEACH will challenge you emotionally and it is most definitely a trying book to read. Why? Because the theme is about child prostitution, drug use, and sexual assault among other things.

Michelle left home when she was 14 because her mother is an addict and couldn't care less about her welfare. Meanwhile her mother's boyfriend has ill intentions towards her and instead of protecting her daughter, she instead told Michelle to stay away from her yucky druggie boyfriend. Michelle then set out for New York, hoping to be reunited with her friend and leave her old life behind. Unfortunately Michelle's friend only gave her half an address and they never met. With no means to locate her friend, Michelle befriended a nice stranger who offered her food, clothing and shelter. Turns out, her "savior" is a pimp, and soon enough Michelle find herself drugged, raped, drunk, and carted off to some place as a prostitute.

It's a frustrating situation to say the least. Here is a girl who only wanted something better for herself and instead of being rewarded for managing to escape a horrid life; having the sense that she's WORTH more and DESERVES more and going after it instead of waiting for some savior; she found herself in worse sitation. I am so enraged by the injustice, and yet the saddest part is Michelle's story is one of many. 

Despite her unfortunate circumstace I liked that Michelle wasn't painted as a victim even if she obviously was. Desperate, yes, but she never lost her fire, innocence, light, and drive throughout this phase in her life. And though the theme is harrowing and will definitely force anybody to grow up and harden beyond their years, Peggy Kern managed to keep Michelle's teenage voice. I love that paradox because it gave me a small sense of hope that Michelle will get out of this situation alive and will have a chance at something better for herself. Well barely.

I had to stop and digest some of the scenes that PKern wrote in LITTLE PEACH. Not because its graphic, but because of its raw intensity. Though the horrors of Michelle's life were implied instead of presented in detail, I was still unable to escape the imagery and the feelings this novel imparted. LITTLE PEACH is a very haunting novel, it has an open ending but it didn't diminish the power of Michelle's story. It's provocative and will get any reader thinking, and even doing something impactful to change the current system. 

Thank you, Peggy Kern, for shedding a much needed light to a broken system and an ongoing tragedy. Hopefully your novel will strike a match and change at least one Michelle out there.









36 comments:

  1. I've got this at the top of my list, having spent last week trying to find courage to delve into it. The subject matter is just so weighty I'm afraid it will squash me, you know? But I will read it. Love your review :)

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    1. Take your time. Its not too heavy in the sense that there's a lot of dramatic moments. Its just a sad story

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  2. it is such a tragedy that girls like her fall through the cracks. I agree about not painted as a victim but strong willed and a survivor

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    1. Too much too soon. Shes still a baby!

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  3. Raw intensity, I love that! I think I would really like this as well. Wonderful review!

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    1. Its one of those uglythings that will burrow deep within you

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  4. Tough subject but I've read several good reviews for this book.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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  5. I don't think I will read this one because of its content. Couple of weeks ago I read The Schwarzschild Radius, it's really good, but... it's also about child prostitution (among other topics) and it was really hard for me to finish it. So... I think I pass on this one.

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    1. Can't blame you. This deals with tough subject matters. Made me think about being a foster parent for a minute. I get too attached though so maybe...

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  6. Yikes. I don't know if I am up for this. I know it is sure to be powerful and impactful but these types of books are so hard and disturbing. I will think on it.

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    1. Take your time. It's worth putting your heart on the line even for a day though

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  7. EMotional, might be too much for me

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  8. Ooh how interesting - yea I wouldn't think it would be a deep or emotional book just by the cover and title. Cool when the books surprise you like that.

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    1. It's like a trap: come read me. I'm sweet and pretty. Then BAM! Knocks you out

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  9. I really want to get my hands on this book. I'm thankful for those bloggers who've read this one already. Gives me time to prepare myself.

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    1. Yup. Hold your breath and squeeze that stress ball

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  10. Wow, this sounds intense! I'll definitely give it a read, as long as I'm in the right mood to handle it. Lol

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    1. Its very grounding. Ive been in fantasy land too long, this was a much needed shake albeit a hard one.

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  11. Very deep subject matter and you give a fantastic review so we get a good picture of what the book is about, as well as the character development. Definitely something to add to my list for reading. Hugs...

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    1. Do so. We all need somethig like this once in a while. *hugs*

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  12. Oh man, I'll need to prepare myself to read this. I know it'll make my stomach churn and want to hurt someone.

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    1. Do you box? You might need that punching bag

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  13. Ah yes many difficult topics there that's true. In the end it sounds so well done and intense. I didn't know about this one but I'm glaf it was a good one! It's always interesting to have these kind of reads from time to time. thanks for the review!

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    1. Dare yourself to read it! You need to!!! Lol

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  14. I don't think I could read this. Child Prostitution is too much for me. Happy you liked it though.

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    1. She wrote it so well, made an MA topic PG. Cool cautionary tale

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  15. Holy schmoly, this sounds like a really powerful read, Braine. I too like that Michelle isn't portrayed as a victim though she is. I like stories where a MC never loses their 'light' despite what life throws their way. I added it to my tbr.

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    1. That''s hope for you, it springs eternal

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  16. I don't read much contemporary in general, and I tend to shy away from emotionally heavy reads like this one. Glad that the author handled the subject matter very well, though!

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    1. I haven't noticed that. you're right, you have featured (mostly?) fantasy books in your blog!

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  17. Reviews have been really impressive for this. While the subject matter dark, I am loving that it stops and makes you think and was realistically done.

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    1. For a minute, it made me look up any women's center here in my town thinking I can maybe volunteer. We don'thave any here though and the city is still a bit away. I can't commit to commuting often.

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  18. Holy moly, this sounds like it has some really heavy subject matter and I'm glad it makes an impact in the short amount of pages. I'm glad the author handled it well to bring light to the issues. Great review!

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    1. Thanks, Jeann. I need somthing this jarring to balance out all the fantasy reads I've been reading!

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