What Unbreakable Looks Like. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

What Unbreakable Looks Like by Kate McLaughlin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

📔 ARC Review: Expected publication: June 23rd 2020

Lex was taken – trafficked – and now she’s Poppy. Kept in a hotel with other girls, her old life is a distant memory. But when the girls are rescued, she doesn’t quite know how to be Lex again. 


After she moves in with her aunt and uncle, for the first time in a long time, she knows what it is to feel truly safe. Except, she doesn’t trust it. Doesn’t trust her new home. Doesn’t trust her new friend. Doesn’t trust her new life. Instead she trusts what she shouldn’t because that’s what feels right. She doesn’t deserve good things. 


But when she is sexually assaulted by her so-called boyfriend and his friends, Lex is forced to reckon with what happened to her and that just because she is used to it, doesn’t mean it is okay. She’s thrust into the limelight and realizes she has the power to help others. But first she’ll have to confront the monsters of her past with the help of her family, friends, and a new love.


Kate McLaughlin’s What Unbreakable Looks Like is a gritty, ultimately hopeful novel about human trafficking through the lens of a girl who has escaped the life and learned to trust, not only others, but in herself.

What Unbreakable Looks Like

Harrowing tale of recovery from being trafficked as a sexual slave.

This was a gritty realistic tale of a girl who was a survivor of human trafficking in the United States, and it was a very interesting book as well as a good story. When I think of human trafficking, I usually picture American girls who are snatched either here or while traveling abroad and immediately sent to another foreign country never to be heard from again. Either that or Eastern European or Asian women who are tricked into coming to the US and told they only have to work off their travel fees but end up working forever.

However, what happens to the girl in this book apparently happens to a lot of young girls in the U.S. Her name was Alexa and she was tricked by a guy named Mitch, a friend of her mothers boyfriend into thinking he was her boyfriend, then after a bit she moved in with him. Her mother was a drunk so she didn’t care when Alexa stopped attending school and moved in with this older guy. Then after a few weeks he tells her that he owes a friend a lot of money and the friend will kill him, but the friend wants her so if she has sex with the friend everything will be ok.

Soon after that, Mitch has her addicted to drugs and is her pimp and moves her into a motel with other girls just like her. Three years later the cops bust into the motel and Alexa, now known as Poppy is free. Her Aunt wants to take her and provide a home for her, but it is hard for her to trust anything. The book is written very well in that it goes from her new life to flashbacks of her old life showing how hard it is to move into a new life after being where she was..

Of course it is hard to trust any man after being used as a sex object by hundreds if not more than a thousand men in those three years, all while under the age of eighteen. Some of them were even cops. She is afraid to even trust her aunt’s husband at first, she was positive he would try to come into her bedroom at night.

It’s understandable really when your father leaves at a young age and your mother never cared about you, then the one person you thought was your Knight in shining armor turns out to be a pimp who sells you to slimy men and beats you if you try to say no. When Lex and the other girls are picked up by the cops, Mitch is not found because he was tipped off by his friends in the police force. So he was still out there and Alexa’s mother was calling her Aunt because her boyfriend, Frank is friends with Mitch and they want her back with Mitch.

It is a tough way back for this girl but a pretty awesome story of recovery and getting to a place where she can accept what happened and be at peace with herself. She has help from a therapist, a cop, a few friends, a puppy and she goes through a few trials before getting on the right path. The book kept my interest throughout the entire length and the characters were well written and fully developed. I liked all of them in this story. The fact that Poppy/Alexa was held less than 30 minutes from her mother’s house was eye opening to me.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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