Review and Excerpt Tour: Trust: Kylie Scott

Kylie Scott
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Release Date July 18, 2017

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.

This is a mature YA story about two opposites tied together by a traumatic event. Both suffering the after-effects and repercussions in their own way. Both somewhat isolated and struggling, to the point that their outlooks and behavior change. 

Edie Millen was just a good, quiet, intelligent, private school girl. She has always been self conscious and socially awkward. But she was okay since she had her best friend and her books. 

John Cole had a reputation and rightly so. He had done things that he was not proud of and was not living on the straight and narrow. But as the sexy, brooding, bad boy, he was popular with the girls.

But one night will put everything into perspective and is an impetus for change. This night will leave its mark on them both and change their paths. Only the other one can truly understand the damage they are left with. John tries to make positive changes and attempts to make better choices. While Edie becomes anxious, antsy, and begins to go off the rails a bit. He wants to repair his image, but from the outside it could look like he is a bad influence on her. But he actually tends to calm and steady her new sense of restlessness, impulsivity, and attitude. 

They have a connection that is hard to break, but is also rife with complications and confusion since they come from different backgrounds and experiences. She is a more troubled and emotional girl, while he is a more mysterious, stoic, inconsistent teenage male. It is a slow burn from tentative bond as survivors to friendship to feelings. They deal with anger, fear, guilt, insecurities, anxiety, and trust issues. 

This is a departure from Kylie Scott's rock stars and Dive Bar series, but it is intriguing, unique, and honest. The subject matter is current and realistic. The character's struggles, feelings, insecurities, and peer pressure were believable. Their issues, lack of self esteem, and self consciousness made them appear vulnerable. But they were also brave, strong, determined, loyal, and caring,. It was told in strictly Edie's point of view, but I loved John. His protectiveness and care of her was sweet in contrast to the bad boy image. Edie was very relatable due to the fact that she was not the perfect Barbie cheerleader type and she struggled with body image.

These two had a rocky start and traversed a bumpy road. There were situations that were life changing and dangerous. The event might have begun their transformations, but their continued presence in each other's lives and building of their relationship had another big impact. It was a journey for both of them while dealing with new feelings, life stresses, and family dynamics. 

At the root of many situations between the various characters was the theme of TRUST either earned or broken. It is also hard to trust others when you do not really even trust yourself. It was the perfect title for this riveting, though-provoking, raw story of firsts and young love born out of a terrible event. But there was also humor in their banter and with their friends, Anders, Hang, Sophia, and Carrie. 

This inspiring story shows the importance of living life, loving hard, acceptance, and self empowerment. This is a YA story with 17 and 18 years olds, but they had a maturity about them. I was pulled right in from the beginning and was invested in it throughout.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Edie Millen and John Cole have never met, attended different schools, and had completely different backgrounds, but they are both at the wrong place at the wrong time. Being present during a late night robbery and hostage situation leaves scars on Edie and John -- both visible and invisible. Their shared experience gives them a perspective that their peers cannot understand. While trying to come to terms with the trauma, they each turn different directions. The normally quiet, good student, Edie begins to act out, while bad-boy John tries to straighten up his act.

As they lean on each other to sort through the aftereffects, they develop a friendship that crosses a line when John offers to take care of Edie’s virginity.

This story took me a few chapters to find it’s footing, but once Edie and John faced off again weeks after the robbery the story picked up and I was invested in seeing where their bond took them. I enjoyed watching as they learned each other, leaned on each other, and faced the world together.

The side characters add a touch of humor to what otherwise is a pretty serious look at the effects of trauma on teenagers. The interactions as Edie and John navigate their friendship and relationship speak to a realistic picture of teenage insecurity and pressure as they navigate not only their day to day but the implications of their actions on the future.

I kept coming back to the title idea as I read the book. The idea of trust takes on so many meanings throughout the book, and a variety of trust-filled relationships are tested, built, broken, and reinforced. This wasn’t just a book about two teenagers finding love. It was about believing in people, trusting others to have one’s back, and trusting one’s self.

The effects of one night at a convenience store cause each of these characters to face the pieces of their lives they are not happy with, and to reevaluate the direction their lives are traveling. This is a mature YA story, with serious impact. 
I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.

“You were going to give it up to Duncan Dickerson?” he sneered. “Are you serious?”
I halted, staring at him. This was not good. “How do you know about that?”
“Anders overheard you and Hang talking.”
“Well?” he demanded, acting all authoritarian. Idiot.
“To be fair, I didn’t know his last name was Dickerson,” I said. “That’s unfortunate. Though, I wasn’t actually planning on marrying him, so . . .”
“Not funny.”
I shrugged.
“You barely know the guy.”
“Um, yeah. None of your concern. We’re not talking about this.” How mortifying! My face burned bright. People should just gather around and cook s’mores. “I appreciate that we’re friends. You mean a lot to me. But this is going to have to fall under definitely none of your damn business, so go away please.”
“We’re talking about it.” He advanced a step.
“No we are not.” And I retreated.
“You were going to let a complete stranger touch you.” Advance.
Retreat. “People do it all the time. You do it all the time.”
“But you don’t,” he said, taking the final step, backing me up against the side of his car and getting all in my face. “Edie, this is your first time we’re talking about. Isn’t it?”
“Yes, and it’s going to be messy and painful and probably horribly embarrassing and I just want it over and done with.” I tried to meet his eyes but failed, settling for a spot on his right shoulder. “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.”
He said nothing.
Deep, calming breaths. “Look, someday I’ll meet someone I really like and we’ll have a deep and meaningful relationship and go at it like bunnies. But I don’t want to be the dumb virgin in that scenario.”
He slowly shook his head.
“Also, I do not want to die a virgin.”
“What? What the hell are you talking about?”
“Hey, you and I both know death can occur at any time.”
“This is crazy.”
“I’m seeing a therapist!” I told his shoulder. “I don’t know if you noticed, but I’m a little bit messed up these days. It’s hard for me to trust people. That’s not going to change anytime soon.”
He screwed up his face at me. “Wha—”
“I’m just trying to be practical.”
“Well, you’re being ridiculous. None of this makes sense.”
“It does to me.”
Again, he said nothing.
In fact, he said nothing for so long that I finally looked him in the eye. The anger had left him, replaced by an emotion I didn’t recognize. Worst of all, he still smelled like summer. A little sweat and the open night air, everything I loved. Liked. I meant liked.
“What?” I said, finally.
He let loose a breath. “I’ll do it.”

Kylie Scott

Kylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013 & 2014, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet. You can learn more about Kylie from http://www.kylie-scott.com/


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