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TraffickedReviewed by Jenna Arthur

Imagine the only person you feel you can trust betrays you in the most personal, inhumane way. Imagine falling in love only to have that person degrade you and trade you as payment for past dues.

This is the case with Sophie, a young British salesgirl thrown into the world of human trafficking before even reaching her 20th birthday. Sophie is a naive girl, who easily fell for a stranger. He was kind, he was complimentary, he was there for her when no one else understood. At what Sophie thought was the lowest point in her young life, she turned to a friend she thought she could trust. He convinced her to come to him in Italy, where he forced her into a life of prostitution, all the while threatening the life of her siblings, family, and friends. With every turn Sophie saw horrors, whether it be another call girl claiming her territory, a man who wished to do more than the usual “john”, or the constant threat of violence. Trafficked between Italy and France, Sophie feared for her life, living almost like an animal, obeying someone she once called a friend through illness, abuse, and worse.

Trafficked, at first, read like a work of fiction due to the way the story was phrased, worded, and the consistent repetition of words. However, as the book draws you further and further into the web that the character weaves, you worry less about the first time writer’s phrasing and you start to identify, start to feel for Sophie. As the tale progresses it more than makes up for the slower start. Sophie’s love of her family and her strength throughout her plight is humbling. This book is a great way to raise awareness about human trafficking and Ms. Hayes is beyond brave and selfless in sharing her extremely difficult and painful past.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Jenna lives in the bustling city of Pittsburgh, PA with her wife, her chihuahua Penny, her retriever Ella and her two beautiful cats. Along with her passion for reading and the literary world, she is also an artist, writer, environmental activist, creative coordinator and aspiring culinary genius. She believes there is nothing better to her then a good book, and lives one cover to the next.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Source Books PR. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.