Naked By: Stacey Trombley Published: July 7, 2015 Publisher: Entangled Teen Add toGoodreads Source: eARC from publisher for a honest review GR's Summary:
The best place to hide is in a lie… I could never fit in to the life my parents demanded. By the time I was thirteen, it was too much. I ran away to New York City…and found a nightmare that lasted three years. A nightmare that began and ended with a pimp named Luis. Now I am Dirty Anna. Broken, like everything inside me has gone bad. Except that for the first time, I have a chance to start over. Not just with my parents but at school. Still, the rumors follow me everywhere. Down the hall. In classes. And the only hope I can see is in the wide, brightly lit smile of Jackson, the boy next door. So I lie to him. I lie to protect him from my past. I lie so that I don’t have to be The Girl Who Went Bad. The only problem is that someone in my school knows about New York. Someone knows who I really am. And it’s just a matter of time before the real Anna is exposed…
Naked is an excellent debut by Stacey Trombley. It is the powerful and eye opening story of Anna Rodriguez. Anna ran away from her dysfunctional family at the young age of thirteen. She left with the naive dreams of a young girl hoping to become a star in New York. Instead, she ended up being thrust in to a life of teenage prostitution and misery. When Anna is sixteen, she is discovered as the runaway that she is, and returned to her family.
Anna's parents expect her to live a "normal" teenage life, and attend the local high school. She is shunned, gossiped about, stared at, and treated horribly. Luckily, Anna is able to forge a strong friendship with two other girls that are outcasts, and she develops both a friendship and crush on the sweet, good looking, and nerdy Jackson. Things are not going well at home, due to Anna's temperamental, overbearing, and abusive father, but at least her mother is standing up to him, and trying to show her daughter how much she loves her.
Anna's life takes a turn for the worse, when she begins getting anonymous notes in her locker from someone calling her by her prostitute name, claiming to know about her secret past, and threatening to reveal all of her secrets. What will happen is Jackson discovers that she lied to him about her past, and about being a teen prostitute? Jackson's already told Anna that the number one thing he hates is a liar. Will Anna eventually lose her new friends and the guy who makes her happy?
Naked was a highly emotional read for me. It was raw, and revealing to the horrors that can befall a teenage runaway. It hurt my heart to read as Anna had flashbacks and reflected on her past experiences. It was also heartbreaking watching her try to assimilate back in to normal life. She was bullied by her peers, as well as by her father. Yet, Anna had an inner strength. She was a survivor. Despite everything she went through, she was very compassionate and a leader. I loved how she stood up for what she believed in, and was very courageous.
Jackson was a wonderful character as well. He was genuinely caring, and tried to be a friend to Anna from the beginning. Jackson didn't give up, when she pushed him away, and eventually he won her over. Jackson had his own demons to contend with, and had been bullied in the past. However, that didn't stop him from being like a bright ray of sunshine in Anna's life.
At the root of this story we get very powerful messages. These include the fact that everyone has their secrets, and nobody is perfect. Also, a message about healing, and regaining your power from those who like to bully and hurt others. I loved Naked. Despite the topic discussed, there were not any sexually explicit scenes in the story. I would recommend this book to older/mature teens and adults. It is a very meaningful story that will impact readers, and hopefully make people think about judging others, gossiping, and bullying, as well as give a clear cut warning about the dangers lurking for teen runaways.
I give Naked by Stacey Trombley, 4 Powerful, Emotional, Healing, and Sweet Romance Filled Stars! I am looking forward to seeing what Ms. Trombley writes next!
About the Author Stacey Trombley lives in Ohio with her husband and the sweetest Rottweiler you’ll ever meet. She thinks people are fascinating and any chance she has, she’s off doing or learning something new. She went on her first mission trip to Haiti at age twelve and is still dying to go back. Her “places to travel” list is almost as long as her “books to read” list. She wants to bring something new to the world through her writing, but just giving a little piece of herself is more than enough. Keep a look out for her debut novel NAKED, coming from Entangled Teen in 2015.