(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)Published by Entangled Publishing, LLC on July 7th 2015
Genres: Runaways, Social Issues, Young Adult
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 by Stacey Trombley won’t be for everyone but I don’t shy away from stories that have difficult to read situations. If you’re the same, consider checking this one out.
Anna has never gotten along with her parents. Her father is strict and really only ever worries about the impact her decisions will have on the way people see him and their family. As overbearing as he is, her mom is pretty much one who does whatever he tells her to do and doesn’t really stand up for herself or Anna. Because of these things Anna rebelled. By the age of thirteen she was headed down a path that led her to running away from home.
When she gets to New York City, Anna is pulled into a life she never imagined. After being attacked, she is saved by a man named Luis. From Anna’s perspective, things started out ok and she considers Luis her boyfriend. But things shift very quickly and he has her doing things that no thirteen year old should ever have to do. Eventually he is more her pimp than her boyfriend and the day he “sells” her off to another pimp, things change drastically for Anna.
After being taken to the police station, Anna meets Sarah, a social worker who does a bit of digging. Sarah ends up finding Anna’s parents and after being gone for three years, Anna’s parents take her back home to Westchester. To say her transition from living with Luis and being a hooker to moving back in with her parents is tough is probably an understatement. When she and Sarah sit down with them, it is very clear that they still don’t see eye to eye on some things.
In addition to trying to figure out how to integrate back into her family, she also needs to figure out how to do the same thing with school. One of the things her father forces Anna to do, is physically attend school – no GED for her. As she goes back to school, Anna finds herself drawn to a boy named Jackson and even though there are rumors about her swirling around, she is doing whatever she can to make sure Jackson doesn’t find out anything about her last three years and the things she has done. She wants to “just be Anna” to him and because of that, she doesn’t tell him things that she should have once she started hanging out with him.
The other thing I will mention here is that outside of the relationship aspect of the story, there is a little mystery/suspense too. As Anna goes back to school, she sees someone from her past in the hallways and he isn’t above threatening her to get what he feels he is still owed. As Anna tries to balance her past with the life she is trying to lead now, things don’t always go perfectly. She also needs to face her past, including Luis, and make decisions on how she wants to move forward.
Overall I enjoyed this story. As I mentioned, it won’t be for everyone but if you aren’t afraid of tough topics and enjoy relationship driven stories with a bit of suspense, check this one out.