Published by Kylie Scott on July 18th 2017
Source: Author Review Copy
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
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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.
After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen-year-old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers.
While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.
An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated.
Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose—each other.
If you’re anything like me, seeing a six pack on the front of a book would be enough to turn you off it. However, I’m really glad that I picked up Trust (which has since had a cover change), because of the refreshing, sex positive romance between older teen characters.
When Edie finds herself caught up in a convenience store hold up, she doesn’t know whether she’ll survive the experience. But a stranger steps forward and distracts the criminal, she makes a snap decision to trust him. He ends up saving her life, and together they suffer from PTSD after the incident. Although they make an unlikely pair, with Edie being the overweight misfit and John the handsome pot dealer, they cope by talking it out with each other, supporting each other by being there.
“You’re not a girl; you wouldn’t understand. Also, last time I checked, you’re not the gatekeeper of my hymen, John Cole. So back the fuck off.”
Trust contains many healthy themes that I don’t see a lot of in YA – sex positivity, being overweight without being pressured to lose weight, losing your virginity and also being friends before starting a relationship. I loved the way both Edie and John got to know each other and focused on supporting each other through their trauma, and ignored everyone else’s prejudices against their friendship. Communication and mutual support formed a big part of their relationship.
Coming from a romance author, there’s certainly a lot of sexy times in the book, but it was dealt with in a healthy, consensual way. With some recent YA titles, such as Nevernight and A Court of Thorns and Roses including sexual content, I think it’s fine to show these scenes happening, as long as it’s done in a positive way.
Having survived a traumatic event, I loved the development of Edie’s character in the book. Before the event happened, she was bullied by the mean girl at school who would constantly make fun of her weight. I loved seeing Edie take on her past experiences and decide to be stronger, bolder and stand up for herself. It was empowering seeing her take down bullies, stick up for others, and accept herself for who she was.
I’ve also learnt over the years that you may find yourself being friends with people out of convenience. You might go to the same school together, work at the same place or be part of the same activities. But over time, these friends of convenience will fade over time and you’ll learn who your true friends are. This was certainly Edie’s experience, learning that her childhood best friend cared more about personal gain rather than supporting Edie after the hold up.
Trust is a refreshing book featuring sex and body positivity, emotional trauma and mutual support through friendship. I loved the honest, emotional connection between Edie and John and how Edie learned to embrace her strengths through positive friendships and communication. It’s also super sexy too!
Rating: 4 out of 5
Thanks to Kylie Scott for sending me a review copy of the book!