I love to read just about anything, as long as it's fiction. I read for me - that means I read what I want, when I want. My reviews tend to mostly be based on how I'm able to personally connect with the story/characters. They are not intended to influence someone to read, or not read, a particular book. I always encourage people to take a chance and make up your own mind.
Oh, and I love chocolate.
Around this time last year, I finished Shattered Angel. That book wrecked me emotionally and ever since I've been determined to gain a better understanding of human trafficking and do more to help support the fight against it.
Girls Like Us is a memoir by Rachel Lloyd. Lloyd is not only a survivor of sexual exploitation, but is also the founder of GEMS. This book provides a brutally honest view into the lives of girls who are exploited in the commercial sex industry. Many of these girls are 'recruited' into the life at the young age of 12, 13, or 14 (some even younger). Lloyd gives us a glimpse into her own history of exploitation, as well as how she came to create an organization to not only help victims, but to also fight for their rights.
Lloyd's strength and endurance to overcome her own obstacles and to then build a foundation to help other girls overcome theirs is an amazing example of how one's past does not define who they are as a person.
Human trafficking is often something we view as only an 'international' issue. Many people believe that only certain social classes are affected. Many also believe that these girls 'choose' the life and therefore it's acceptable for them to be treated as criminals rather than victims.
We need to change our perspectives. We need to help fight to show these victims that they are not at fault. It's the pimps that control them and the johns that buy them that are in the wrong.
As a book, the only criticisms I have is that certain points became a bit repetitive for me. In addition, the parts that outlined Lloyd's past were not always in chronological order. This made it difficult for me to follow the progression at times.
Bottom line - I encourage everyone to read this book and become more aware.