Synopsis from Orca Books: “Izzy finds she is one in a long line of girls ensnared in prostitution, with no way to escape. Izzy’s mother works far away and leaves Izzy at home, alone with Rob the Slob. Angry at her mother and trying to deal with school, friends and the attentions of charismatic Cody Dillon, Izzy finds her life swirling out of control. Coerced into putting out to help Cody, Izzy finds she is one in a long line of girls ensnared in prostitution, with no way to escape. Believing that her mother will come for her, Izzy manages to fight back and, when the chance appears, make a run for it.”
Orca Book Publishers is an organization that produces fiction for reluctant readers, especially readers on the lower spectrum, with a reading level between second grade and fourth grade. Charmed comes from the Orca Soundings series, which is for those ages 12+, and is written in a way that the reader, especially a reluctant reader, can easily understand.
As I read this novel, I kept pleading aloud with the main character, Izzy. She is such a naïve teenager, looking for love and acceptance, as those she loves continually spurn her. When her mother fails to take her daughter’s side, and instead sides with Rob, her lowlife live-in boyfriend, Izzy hits rock bottom. Her mother asks her to move out and live with a friend for the next six months, until she returns from her job at the logging camp. Hurt and resigned, Izzy seeks help from her new beau, Cody Dillon—a gorgeous high school dropout who is heavy into drugs. Of course, nothing is what it seems in the life of Cody Dillon, and Izzy soon finds herself sucked in to a vicious ring of drugs and forced prostitution.
This book broke my heart. It deals with a very difficult subject; one that society would rather sweep under the rug. Izzy is a troubled young woman, becoming invisible in a society that views acting out as a behavioral problem and not a cry for help. Although this novel is fiction, Izzy’s situation is very real, and many female teens fall prey to drugs and forced prostitution due to their naivety and lack of parental supervision. This book is not only for teens, but also for parents. It calls for parents to value their children and to always put them first. I think this is a great book for young adults to read as it puts everything in perspective, and will help both young adults and parents become more knowledgeable in terms of protecting themselves and their loved ones. Five stars.
Check out my Orca Book Publishers page for more information, titles, and reviews for reluctant readers!