Favorite Quote: “Even my shitty attitude couldn’t deny the healing qualities of Cool Whip.”
Reviewed by Tori
“Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love…the first time someone holds a gun to your head.”
Trust is Kylie Scott’s first foray into young adult (YA) and a winner in my book with its bittersweet story of two teenagers who struggle to understand and deal with a traumatic event. Edie, our heroine, is a seventeen-year-old senior whose dry wit and relatable monologue will have you laughing, sighing, and shaking your head in bemusement as she attempts to move forward with her life in the aftermath of being held hostage during a robbery while also having to deal with the usual teen issues. Energetic, humorous, and raw at times, Edie’s voice resounds through the story, clear as a bell, as she deals with some mature and sensitive subjects such as slut shaming, fat shaming, drugs, sex, violence, and first love.
“I scared a boy with my menstrual rage […] Though to be fair, he kind of deserved it.”
When Edie stops at a local convenience store for snacks, she certainly doesn’t expect to be taken hostage by cranked up meth head. Lucky for her, another teenager also happens to be there and risks his life to save hers. The two survivors are separated only to meet up again when Edie transfers from her private all girls school to a public school to start fresh. She is warned about John Cole as his drug dealing and womanizing ways are a legend at the high school. Only, John too is attempting to start fresh with his brand new attitude towards school, drugs, and a certain girl. A friendship develops as these two help one another through the highs, low, and the in-betweens of their shared traumatic experience.
I found it hard to care. I mean, what did it matter? Life went on; no one had died as a result. The principal said it would go on my permanent record.
Bullets were permanent. Everything else was temporary.
While the beginning is certainly eventful, the story itself is pretty low-key and quiet as Scott reveals with a steady hand the changes that can occur after a traumatic experience and the ways one can heal from it. Random and seemingly unimportant things take on new meanings as Edie and John discover the hard way that life can be ripped from you at any given time. While the bad boy/good girl element is strong, so are Scott’s subtle little tweaks to it. Scott takes her time in developing Edie and John, superimposing the newer versions on top of the older ones with each revolution.
“Because this is where you are,” he said as if it were obvious.
The romance is a mixture of anticipation, humor, and sexual tension as it slowly dissolves the lines of their friendship into something sweet, passionate, and bittersweet. It blends well with the coming of age and the push/pull of adulthood themes of the story. Watching their transformation from friends to more is a brilliant mash-up of emotions as Edie is quite vocal in her embarrassment, awkwardness, lust, fear, confusion, and of course, jealousy.
“God, the fat thing. Do you have any idea how often I’ve had that flung at me? I mean, what if I only take the word as a descriptor? Then you’re screwed. But I bet if you tried, you could make up much better insults. Give it a try; I’ll wait because your opinion really, really matters to me. Who ever you are. “
A personable and individualized secondary cast of characters adds even more energy, drama, and humor of the story; offering advice, a shoulder to cry on, and back up. Edie and John have support systems, from Edie’s over protective mom to John’s Uncle Levi, and I appreciated that Scott didn’t take the easy way out as some YAs do and place the adults in villainous roles. Fellow high schools Anders and Hang steal the show at times with their exuberance and love/hate relationship.
“What are we talking about?” hissed Anders, bringing his head down to our level. “Who are we looking at?”
“Nothing. Go away,” said Hang.
“But I want to be one of the girls!”
“No.” She put a hand over his face and pushed.
The ending is a little too predictable when Edie is given a chance to take back what she thought she lost and emerges the stronger for it. It was heavily foreshadowed but not offensive or manipulative. Though we aren’t given the firm HEA, we are given a happy and hopefully HFN towards Edit and John’s future.
“We had such a weird beginning, you and I.”