Monday, February 9, 2015

Review - One Among Us by Paige Dearth

Book Summary
Eleven-year-old Maggie Clarke lives with her caring family in a quiet community where the crime rate is low.  Then one day, while she is at the mall with her mother, Maggie is ripped from her peaceful world forever.  She awaken in the back of a van, tied up next to a four-year-old boy, who gives her the strength to live in the ruthless and horrific world of human sex trafficking.  Robbed of her innocence and freedom and imprisoned with other children, Maggie does whatever it takes to survive, hoping that one day soon, her parents will find her.  
The Clarkes’ lives are turned inside out as they search for their daughter and grapple with the deep regret of one bad decision. Detective Rae Harker vows to find Maggie—dead or alive. Haunted by his own demons, Detective Harker believes that by finding Maggie, he can forgive himself for making a poor decision several years earlier that led to his own private hell.
When a strange man approaches Maggie with a dangerous proposition almost a decade after she’s kidnapped, Maggie risks everything to break free of the human chains that bind her. But not even she can know how far she will go to get even with the people who ruined her life.
My Review - 3 1/2
I have read another of Paige Dearth's dark emotional reads, Believe Like a Child and loved it, it was inspired from her life, a balance between what lives on in her imagination and the evil that lurks in the real world.  This was a story she used as therapy for her own personal abusive turmoil.  
The title One Among Us, describes the remarkable strong main character Maggie perfectly.  You love her and continue reading all the torture scenes with her and other children just to see how it all ends.  I enjoy these books because I find it inspirational on all the families, advocates, police that do what is needed to help the children.  I believe if I lived in the US I would volunteer to assist in some way.  Very selfless career to choose. 
As much as Maggie was an amazing character, the torture was to much, I wish the novel was shorter, it was over 600 pages and could have been less than 500 with some editing changes.  Paige Dearth ended chapters to similar, it was good but became the expected so it was the consistent catch phrases that didn't have an impact throughout.  eg.  "She was right.  Her life was going to change.  But not in the way she'd hoped."  Editing would have helped, there were some repetitive scenes, the anniversary of Maggie's birthday or when she was taken from her family, the reader didn't need the same scene every year.
You have to appreciate the journey of stories that involve abuse on children.  Paige has an amazing way of including memorable characters and allowing you to see the light through the abuse and pain.  For families that have lost children, this novel also shows the amazing connections made when volunteering time to help others in a similar circumstance. 
Paige Dearths books pull me in, I'm totally engaged with all the turmoil.  You will be angry, cry and feel heartbroken.  The best part of this story is that she has a full journey of Maggie and her friends, from when she was taken at 11, forced into sex trafficking, stripper, pimp life and helping families reunite. All the stories come together with a sad but fulfilling ending. 
I recommend her books but highly recommend Believe Like a Child, it made my Top 10 in 2013. 


  1. This sounds like such a tough read. Interesting that she used the medium of story-telling for therapy. I swear I have read one of Paige's books before, but none of my records show that I have. It sounds like I must remedy this!

    1. Believe Like a Child was amazing to me. Still a hard read but the main character was just mesmorizing.


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