The novel for young adults “Shortcut to Paradise” is a thought-provoking and precautionary tale of how a young schoolgirl from the small Eastern European country of Estonia is tricked into a life of drug smuggling and prostitution.
The book tells the incredibly realistic story of gorgeous 16-year-old small-town orphan Maarja, who is expelled in the last year of secondary school because her classmates falsely accuse her of smoking marijuana, after which her life changes beyond recognition. Suddenly finding herself in the tumult of life in the capital city, she is faced with a world that no teenager would be prepared for. The position of waitress in a stylish lounge in the Old Town is actually a façade for the provision of altogether different services to the establishment’s customers. On her very first warm summer night in the capital city, however, the girl receives an offer than many her age may be tempted to consider. With just one trip, she could make a fortune that other young people would only be able to earn after months of hard work.
This fateful trip literally changes everything for Maarja. As she travels to her first photo shoot in Milan one beautiful Sunday morning with the representative of a renowned Italian modelling agency and later that night, as she sets out to spend the evening among world-famous models on a luxury yacht in Monaco, it seems to her that she is about to enter paradise. When she comes face-to-face with the reality, however, it becomes clear that this same fantasy life that appears to be overflowing with glamour and riches is more awful than hell itself. This gripping and absorbing novel introduces the reader to people that we have all heard of, and we know that they live among us, but these people – the vile pimps, the ruthless drug dealers and the hypocritical supermodels – are very skilful at concealing their sordidness from society.
“Shortcut to Paradise” was published in Estonia on the 18th of March 2010, and became a bestseller in a few months.