Monday, May 25, 2015

Dime by E.R. Frank

Dime by E.R. Frank
Release Date - May 26, 2015
Publisher Website - Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 336 pages
My Rating - 4.5/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
The realities of teen prostitution are revealed in this eye-opening, heartbreaking story from the author of America, which Booklist called "a piercing, unforgettable novel" and Kirkus Reviews deemed "a work of sublime humanity."

As a teen girl in Newark, New Jersey, lost in the foster care system, Dime just wants someone to care about her, to love her. A family. And that is exactly what she gets-a daddy and two "wifeys." So what if she has to go out and earn some coins to keep her place? It seems a fair enough exchange for love.

Dime never meant to become a prostitute. It happened so gradually, she pretty much didn't realize it was happening until it was too late.

But when a new "wifey" joins the family and Dime finds out that Daddy doesn't love her the way she thought he did, will Dime have the strength to leave? And will Daddy let her? 
Sex trafficking, prostitution, and the worth of a girl are at the heart of E.R. Frank's Dime. A harrowing, haunting look at the ugliness and brutality that dominate this world, that while not unexpected, is still shocking. A graphic and unsettling novel that begs you to pay attention to every single thing it has to say.

Dime's story is so impactful because it's all too easily imagined. The author paints a crystal clear picture of how someone like her could get dragged into this world. There are many stories in this novel. Dime's is one of subtle coercion and brutality disguised as love. For someone like Dime this would be appealing, until it's not. The other stories however, ones of abduction, addiction, and forced submission are just as resonate. These girls are property to be bought and sold in one way or another, and it's heartbreaking. Their stories are reality for some girls, and that point is hammered home in this novel.

Dime's narration means we only learn about the other characters through her. We see them, and their connections to each other tinged with Dime's bias and perspective. E.R. Frank creates multi-dimensional, layered characters using this format. You really feel like you get to know them, even with the limited perspective. The narration is crucial to this story because you need to connect with Dime. You need to feel the story, and that is entirely accomplished.

Part of Dime's narration is a letter she is struggling to write. She needs it to be perfect, and the mystery of who she is writing, and what the letter is for unravels through the course of the novel. This is one of the strongest aspects of the writing. She attempts various ways and narrators for her letter, and each is stunning and thought provoking. Each unveils another part of the story. Each brings to light another facet to this seedy underworld.

As dark as this story is there is hope woven throughout the novel. We see the little splashes of hope like rays of sun on a stormy day. Dime's growth comes from wanting to save another which showcases how unselfish she is. She feels unworthy of being saved herself, but is willing to do anything to save someone else. The hope that this vicious cycle may eventually be broken is there, even if it's just delicate wisps tossed into the story.

A gritty, unflinching look at the young girls who are coerced, forced, beaten, and stolen into prostitution. A novel that will make people uncomfortable because it feels a little too honest, a little too true. A unforgettable story with an equally unforgettable main character. It's a story that will stay with you, and leave a desire to help girls like Dime. 

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