2012, 384 pgs
Book Summary from Goodreads
A 17-year-old Moldovan girl whose parents have been killed is brought to the United Statesto work as a slave for a family in Los Angeles.
Hannah believes she’s being brought from Moldova to Los Angeles to become a nanny for a Russian family. But her American dream quickly spirals into a nightmare. The Platonovs force Hannah to work sixteen-hour days, won’t let her leave the house, and seem to have a lot of secrets—from Hannah and from each other.
Stranded in a foreign land with false documents, no money, and nobody who can help her, Hannah must find a way to save herself from her new status as a modern-day slave or risk losing the one thing she has left: her life.
The current slavery situation in the US is something that I think is really important for more people to learn about. Teenagers are lead to believe that they are being brought to the US and it’s their ticket to a better life. Instead they end up imprisoned in garages and basements working inhumane hours. They don’t know/understand the US justice system and are scared to come forward.
For Hannah when she arrives in LA, the first sign that something is wrong is when she sees the very nice spare bedroom, but instead of being able to sleep there, she’s given a sofa in the converted garage (not much conversion took place). She had planned to take English classes in the evenings, but between the nanny-ing she was planning on doing and the cleaning she wasn’t, Hannah’s work load keeps her busy at least sixteen hours/day. She can’t even practice her English with the children she’s taking care of – she’s under strict instructions to speak Russian with them so that they don’t forget it.
These are by far the mildest of the issues Hannah faces. I really liked Hannah as a character – she was written believably. I also like that the author gave a few slightly not depressing moments. Hannah was able to briefly interact with a next door neighbor boy.
I hate to admit this, but I skipped about 75-100 pages of this book. A little past halfway I just was really depressed and it got monotonous. There just wasn't enought fluxuation in the story for me. I skipped ahead and read the end of the book. I felt really guilty about it, because I do feel that this is such an important issue and fiction is a good way to get that message out. I think that’s why I have trouble with “issue” books. When the focus is on a single issue it can be repetitive.
It’s not fair for me to rate this one since I didn’t read all of it so I’m not going to.
So Many Books, So Little Time
The Broke and The Bookish