It's easy to dismiss girls who work on the streets as deadbeats or drug addicts without ever thinking about why they're working as prostitutes. And the truth is that many of them have been trafficked and they work long, exhausting, miserable, soul-destroying hours for men who are cruel and violent. They're constantly afraid, not just because of what might be done to them if they don't do what they're told, but also because of the very real threats that are made against their families and the people they love.What kind of person does that to another human being?3.5 stars. This is Sophie's story - the story of a young woman who was blackmailed into being a sex slave out of fear that her family would be harmed.Sophie's story is not as rare as you might think. Sex trafficking happens every day, all over the world. Even in the most privileged of countries."The knife or the stick?" he repeated more loudly, bending down and pushing them both into my face.Imagine meeting a man and becoming friends with him. For years you build a slow friendship with this person as he becomes a mentor and confidante. This man is nothing but kind, caring and gentle with you. He's there to be a shoulder for you to cry on as you struggle with family, work and relationship problems. Over the years, he comes to know you inside and out, maybe even better than you know yourself sometimes.Then one day, it all shatters. Your "friend" becomes your worst nightmare as he rips you away from your home, your country and your life in order to place you on the streets of Italy as a sex slave. Trapped out of fear for your loved one's lives, you bear through the torturous hell of servicing up to 20 men a day, in order to keep your family alive back home.I can't begin to imagine how any person would recover from this. As of right now, I don't know how much Sophie has recovered. After witnessing her fight through being battered, raped, and brainwashed, I honestly am not sure if she will ever be normal again. Part of me almost wishes that this book had been written several years in the future. I want to know more about the "after." It's in our nature as humans to want to root for the happy ending (NO, I'm not EVEN referring to that kind...this is so the wrong story for that joke). I want to know what happens next. Side note : I am only going 3.5 on the rating because I felt detached from parts of the story. This book was an easy format to read but there was something missing for me in the narrative which made it hard for me to get enthusiastic about the writing style. Make no mistake though - this is a book worth reading. Stories like this remind us all why we should be thankful. I didn't cry with this book the way that I broke down in hysterics over Desert Flower: The Extraordinary Journey of a Desert Nomad (oh lord...if you have even a fraction of a heart, that book WILL wreck you), but I was still emotionally moved. The note from Sophie's mom at the end was especially hard to read. As a mother, I pray that my children never have to suffer any sort of hardship like this. This book shows that there are organizations out there trying to put a stop to sex trafficking. Sophie herself is working with www.stopthetraffik.org The tagline is powerful : People shouldn't be bought or sold.In fact, it was the most amazing feeling I've ever had, to know that, thousands of miles away in a world I can only imagine, my story might help to keep other girls safe.