Emily Goodwin introduces us to Adeline Miller, who is about to learn that good deeds do indeed get punished:
Addie was home from her first year of college studying to be a nurse, when her and some friends from home decide to attend a parade. Addie never knew that this would lead her to the most terrible events of her life. Witnessing a horrific event, Addie does the right thing and intervenes, but this leads her to being kidnapped, drugged and beaten. Addie has just become the newest victim of the sex slave industry. As a sex slave she is forced to perform terrible acts but she strives to never give up hope to stay true to who she is and never stopping to look for a way to escape.
If you base this book by the cover you will realize that this is not my usual read and review but I was seeing so much of this book I decided to look at the premise, which did end up intriguing me enough that I decided to pick this book up. This book has mainly been portrayed as either Erotic or Dark Romance, but for me neither of these genres fit this book. I would classify this book as a contemporary thriller. I do not think that it is Erotica (and I make this statement as a person who does not read this genre) but there is a lack of description in the sex/rape scenes (yes there is one major rape scene that occurs but other than that it is more implied what Addie and the other girls are doing) and I believe that description of sex is something I would expect in a Erotica novel. I also would not consider it Dark Romance, as yes there is a romance aspect to the book and overall the book is dark themed, but the aspect about the book that stood out the most to me was Addie's struggle for survival.
This is the first book that I have read by Goodwin and I know that it will not be the last. Goodwin's story and writing style was able to capture me and draw me in right from the beginning, so much so that I did not want to put this book down. Addie's struggle for survival is an emotional roller coaster ride that you will find yourself not wanting to stop reading. Goodwin is descriptive in some aspect and not in others. As stated above there is one rape scene that is elaborated on and two attempted rape scenes, but other than that it is more implied what happens to not only Addie but the other girls as well. There are also some physical abuse scenes that are more descriptive but quite a bit of that abuse occurs when Addie is not around and we as the reader only see the injuries to the body afterwards or hear the sounds of it occurring.
This book is all about Addie and her struggle (sorry about mentioning that more than once, but it really is the main aspect in the book). I think there are so many qualities that Addie is portrayed with that I think that anyone would find it hard to find fault with her character and not cheer for her. The atrocities that she is forced to go through all the while attempting to stay true to herself is amazing. Her strength is amazing and even when she loses hope you can tell that she is still going to fight.
I read in a few reviews that Goodwin did a good job in portraying Human Trafficking and for the most part I disagree with these reviews. For the most part I think that most of the other reviewers do not know what Human Trafficking is. There is actually only a very small portion of the book that delves into Human Trafficking. I would say that this book is more about Addie being forced into sex slavery than anything else as Addie does not leave the USA in this book or even the state that she is from and from some of the descriptions it appears to me that she is even near where she grew up. Human Trafficking involves the illegal movement of a person, normally between countries, but it can be within one country, where they are forced into slave labour. So to me there was a very tiny tiny aspect of Human Trafficking within this book and that part was done okay. However, the sex slavery aspect I thought was done really well and I greatly appreciated that Goodwin did not attempt to romanticize this aspect at all. I thought that it was interesting the different relationships that the girls had with Zane and their different views they had with their situation. Some of them suffer full Stockholm syndrome and are willing to do anything for them. This psychological aspect was done very well.
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book (and who doesn't like surprises), as I was not really sure what kind of book this was going to turn out to be. I know that this will not be the last book that I read by Goodwin and I am excited to discover the other novels she has out there.