What We're Reading: An Eye-Opening Memoir

One woman's fight against sex trafficking.

book cover
(Image credit: Tracy Toler)

As women, we tend to get emotional about many little things: a breakup, a bad haircut, a fight with a friend, or (gasp!) rain on suede shoes. But while we're carefully drying our tears hoping our mascara doesn't run, we often take for granted how insignificant these things truly are. This week's fascinating and moving true story sheds light on the harsh realities of adolescent sex trafficking and exploitation, putting what we usually cry about into a ruthless perspective.

Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not for Sale, an Activist Finds Her Calling and Heals Herself

Author: Rachel Lloyd, founder of GEMS (Girls Educational and Mentoring Services)

Genre: Memoir

What Happens: Lloyd recounts her life of working as a prostitute at age 13 in Europe and how she avoided a downward spiral by turning her life around, moving to America to pursue an education and ultimately starting the nonprofit GEMS. Weaving together personal details as well as accounts of those girls she helped through her work, her words clarify the physical and mental realities women — and especially young women — face.

Why Read It: In the United States alone, an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 adolescents are at risk for commercial sexual exploitation each year. Girls Like Us awakens the struggles behind this truth, in turn inspiring women everywhere to not only want to change these happenings, but to realize how much we take life for granted.

Details: Harper Collins, April 5, $24.99