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.
“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 . . .”
“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.”
Oh, I really liked this one!
Trust started out with the drama right away, throwing us into the convenience store hold up that will affect Edie and John’s lives for years to come. Ms. Scott made me feel like I was right there with them, and phew, that scene was intense. It wasn’t hard to see why a previously good student like Edie would go off the rails afterwards, at least a little bit. I loved that she stood up for what she thought was right throughout the entire book, whether it resulted in her rethinking lifelong friendships, standing up to policemen and her own mother, or confronting a teacher, this girl has reserves of strength that made me want to stand up and cheer. Or give her a hug. Or both, depending on the specific situation.
And can I just say–a character who thinks of herself as plus-sized, and really is (unlike some heroines, who are like 5 pounds over their ideal weight, cry me a river, ladies) and though she’s often self-conscious about it, still manages to own it at the same time? Three cheers! (And yes, Cool Whip does have magical healing powers. It’s like she read my mind there.)
John is a great character too–first for what he does in that convenience store, and then for the changes he’s determined to make in his life and the way he goes through with them, despite the pushback he gets from several quarters. I loved that he wouldn’t let Edie put herself down, and that he put so much effort into their relationship, both when it was just friendship and later when it was more. Loved.
Ms. Scott does a great job of dealing with some pretty big issues here–the terror of the hold-up, survivor guilt, the disastrous effects of drug abuse–they were handled realistically and not at all glamorized. There is underage drinking and teenage sex as well–I would definitely classify it as a upper-YA novel, best for high school aged readers and up.
(And can I just say, Edie’s mom with the condoms? Cracked. Me. Up. OMG.)
I will definitely sign up for this author’s next YA effort, no question!
Rating: 4 stars / A-
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
About the author:
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/