The Price of Worthlessness

Petra's Story

Fiction - Social Issues
248 Pages
Reviewed on 06/24/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emma Megan for Readers' Favorite

The Price of Worthlessness by Gloria Eveleigh tells the harrowing story of Petra Lamont, a fourteen-year-old girl. It begins when Petra joins the netball club to make friends and stop her parents from worrying. Petra has fragile self-esteem and never feels special. Petra feels flattered when her new teacher, Mr. Ahmed, shows some interest in her. Unexpectedly, one day, Mr. Ahmed asks if she wants to date his friend, Marvin, who once saw and liked her. Petra accepts as she was taught to trust and obey her teachers but soon learns that Marvin is twenty-eight. Petra knows her parents won't be happy about it. Therefore, she decides to keep her relationship with Marvin a secret. However, what she experiences next makes Petra feel guilty, humiliated, unclean, helpless, ashamed of herself, and cheap.

No story about abuse and trauma is easy to read, and The Price of Worthlessness is no exception. It contains many dark turns and disturbing information about grooming, rape, sex trafficking, sexual exploitation, kidnapping, and emotional blackmail that isn’t for the faint-hearted but is much needed. This book can be a helpful tool for parents dealing with children affected by sexual abuse or for young girls who went through abuse or are being groomed for sexual exploitation but don't know it yet. Gloria Eveleigh reveals grooming patterns that are hard to recognize and overcome. It also offers a profoundly important message to those sexually abused—that the abuse isn't their fault. A must-read novel that will break your heart in many ways.

Tiffany Ferrell

The Price of Worthlessness: Petra's Story by Gloria Eveleigh relates the sad tale of a young girl who was sick and tired of being compared to her boy-crazy older sister. When the fourteen-year-old began dating 28-year-old Marvin, she didn’t say a word. Her parents didn’t know that after playing netball she went to this man’s flat where they engaged in sexual activity. Convinced that Marvin loved her, Petra was in shock when two men sexually assaulted her while in his company. What she didn’t know is that this man was grooming her and that she was about to be trafficked. This became her reality when she was suddenly taken from her family and put in a trafficking ring. Moving from place to place and being used by others for her body, Petra prayed that she could go home to her family whom she knew missed her greatly.

The Price of Worthlessness completely blew my mind. I liked how this book addresses sex trafficking which is something we hear about but never read about - the experiences that the victims go through when they are being sold to strangers for sex. We get a firsthand view of the red flags that Petra was too naive to figure out until it was too late. It was disturbing to realize that Marvin was grooming her to fulfill a role in a trafficking chain. My heart broke for Petra who at only 14 should never have had to endure this, but it is a reminder that this isn’t happening to just one person. A lot of young boys, girls, and teens are brought into these rings, and their families never hear from them again. Gloria Eveleigh has done a wonderful job and I look forward to reading more of her work.

Rabia Tanveer

The Price of Worthlessness: Petra’s Story by Gloria Eveleigh is about the reality of sex trafficking. Petra was 14 years old and tired of her sister hogging her parents’ attention. She joined the netball club at her school, where the chaos began. Her coach introduced her to his friend Marvin, a 28-year-old man she fell in love with. Despite their age difference, Petra was sure Marvin was the one. The relationship became physical; before she knew it, she was being trafficked by the man she loved. Desperate and scared, Petra was moved from place to place where she was used and abused. Is there a way out? Or is she trapped forever?

Not many people feel comfortable with taboo topics such as sex trafficking, an evil most believe is best kept hidden, but that doesn’t mean we should hide from it. Petra’s story was heartbreaking. It was terrifying, disturbing, and frightening. She was being groomed and wasn’t aware of how that happened. But when she did, it was too late. The topic of the novel was mature, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone with a faint heart. There were many instances where I had to stop reading and regroup before continuing. The narrative style was perfect for the story. It wasn’t bleak but desperate, emotional, and then courageous. Author Gloria Eveleigh created a moving journey of survival, a terrible reality, and a message.

Ronél Steyn

Petra is the middle child of a loving mother and father in Littlehampton. She loves her older sister and adores her little brother. After listening in on a conversation her parents had with her aunt concerning their worries about her social life, Petra decides to join the netball club at school. At 14 years old, her teacher introduces her to her first boyfriend, who happens to be twice her age. The warning bells should have been louder. What follows is something that no one should ever have to experience. Gloria Eveleigh brings us The Price of Worthlessness – Petra’s Story. It is a story of grooming, deception, and being caught in the web of sex trafficking.

Author Gloria Eveleigh has taken a sensitive and delicate matter and constructed a phenomenal work. She has a unique ability to draw the reader in and allow them to dive into her world of words. She not only utilizes the five basic senses but enables the reader to develop a stronger intuition. The Price of Worthlessness – Petra’s Story is suitable for young adults. In fact, I highly recommend this to all teenagers. This story can be used as a basic guidebook for what to look out for. By giving just the essential pieces of information, the author has toned down on the various atrocities and really focused on the mental aspect of a victim. Finally, I love the fact that God plays such a central role in the salvation of Petra! His Truth and Salvation were revealed in a beautifully loving way.

K.C. Finn

The Price of Worthlessness: Petra's Story is a work of fiction in the social issues, emotional drama, and coming-of-age subgenres. It is best suited to mature teen and adult readers owing to strong themes such as sex trafficking and abuse. Penned by author Gloria Eveleigh, in this intense drama that highlights real-world dangers and is based on real incidences of the events described, we follow the life of fourteen-year-old Petra. As high school becomes trickier and her family life and responsibilities increase the pressure, Petra tries to branch out at school. But in doing so, she is introduced to Marvin, twice her age and charming enough to embroil the naïve youngster in a horrible sex trafficking ring.

Author Gloria Eveleigh gives a voice to the voiceless in this work of fiction that is so realistically developed that it’s hard not to think of it as fact. There are so many girls like Petra who are susceptible to this kind of manipulation and abuse, and the author conveys the psychological techniques that Marvin and those like him utilize so harrowingly well to draw impressionable minds into their clutches. Although Petra’s tale is deeply saddening in her experiences, I think it’s also a powerfully cathartic work that explores how one can forgive oneself for ending up in this situation, apportion blame where it actually belongs, and learn to heal from the psychological and physical damage of being immersed in this horrible illegal trade. Overall, The Price of Worthlessness is a powerful work that readers keen on exploring realistic social issues will appreciate.