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The book I read this quarter is called “Sold” by Patricia McCormick. I chose this book because my friend (Lilly) recommended it to me and said I would like it. Also because Mr. Burrell said he saw a short film at a festival on this book and he said it was very good. I normally wouldn’t read a book like this, I normally don’t read books, but it was the only book I could find that I could finish in a couple nights and was actually good.

This book was fairly easy to read and the concepts in the book weren’t hard to understand but, while it was very depressing, also had a great message. The book was about a young girl from Nepal that’s sold, by her stepfather, into sexual slavery. At the house Lakshimi resides in after she is bought, she is beaten, raped, and drugged. She becomes friends with other prostitutes in the house and tries to find a way to freedom. While Lakshimi is growing hopeless that she’ll never get out, she meets an American man who, surprisingly, doesn’t want to have sex with her. Later the American returns with his wife and adopts her.

One of the most intriguing parts of the book to me is how vague it is. It isn’t outright explained about everything that is happening and so you automatically have to assume the worst. The author made us connect and pity Lakshimi since the beginning of the book and watching her go through all these travesties is heart-wrenching. The first time Lakshimi was raped I cried. She seemed to become numb to it throughout the book which made it even harder to read. Anyone reading will definitely feel a connection to the young girl. At one point in the book she says that “not even the gods” can hear her crying for help.

I also appreciate that the author wrote the chapters like diary entries so we can see by the length and the words used, just how hopeless and desperate Lakshimi was becoming throughout the book. Many of the shorter chapters were just a couple lines showing how she was almost giving up at that point.

While the author made our hearts go out to Lakshimi, she also made us have strong feelings to multiple other characters. The rage I felt towards her greedy stepfather was monumental. And even though it didn’t say their names, I wanted to rip every man that raped her to shreds. In my opinion, the prostitutes Lakshimi met in the Happiness House were great characters that helped as much as they could even while they were misguided themselves.

The author did a terrific job at making the readers reflect. The social impact of this novel is outstanding and I think everyone should read this. We hear a lot about sex slaves in the media but we usually just brush over the topic as being “wrong”, but we don’t take into account just how horrible things actually are. Reading how bad things can be for these kids is awful and we need to make greater strides in putting a stop to sex trafficking.

• April 3, 2019

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