Review

Trusting You and Other Lies by Nicole Williams Review// The One I’m Confident Will Fit Perfectly In Your Beach Bag

32599485.jpgSynopsis…

Phoenix can’t imagine anything worse than being shipped off to family summer camp. Her parents have been fighting for the past two years—do they seriously think being crammed in a cabin with Phoenix and her little brother, Harry, will make things better?

On top of that, Phoenix is stuck training with Callum—the head counselor who is seriously cute but a complete know-it-all. His hot-cold attitude means he’s impossible to figure out—and even harder to rely on. But despite her better judgment, Phoenix is attracted to Callum. And he’s promising Phoenix a summer she’ll never forget. Can she trust him? Or is this just another lie?

My Thoughts…

As a reader who loves contemporaries (but generally not those of the summer chick lit variety), Trusting You and Other Lies at first seemed like the perfect marriage of the two. It has an excellent romance I could immediately get behind, and author Nicole Williams excelled at incorporating other storylines into the plot. Unfortunately, the ending was just too perfect my taste, and I felt it lost some of the realism I admired from the first three quarters of the book. That only knocked my rating down from four to three stars however, because I loved, loved, LOVED the way Williams started things out. I truly feel like it would hold appeal to anyone with an interest in contemporary fiction, as Williams effortlessly shifts focus between many classic growing pains. It’s very reminiscent of The Summer I Turned Pretty, perfectly capturing the emotions of summer and first love. Albeit, in not nearly as dramatic or high stakes of a fashion as Jenny Han. This story could not be more perfect for a reader who likes their endings happy and characters a little snarky. I’d be a bit more hesitant to recommend if, like me, you’re not a fan of neat conclusions- but this story still has much to offer. Especially when you have Phoenix and Callum at the reigns…

 

Unlike a lot of contemporaries, where I usually just feel ‘meh’ about the love interest, Williams immediately got me on board Team Callum. He’s multi faceted, with a rich personality and stellar sense of humor. I never got the impression he was simply a plot device as per the laws of YA contemporary, but instead an integral player in the book. However this is largely because of Phoenix herself. She has a voice that manages to stand out in the oft-over saturated world of contemporaries; it hooked me from the first page. Because of this I was invested in every aspect of her story, which extended to the two’s romance. Her minor flaws were never annoying, but instead served to make her more human. And of course there’s the biting sense of humor. This was a must considering how character driven the book is, or things would have been a snooze. This was also aided along by the inclusion of Phoenix’s family. Her unbound devotion to her little brother Harry was so sweet, as I’m a sucker for a good sibling relationship.The story also doesn’t suffer from missing parent syndrome. Phoenix’s rocky relationship with her ‘rents is a huge part of the book, and one I felt Williams handled deftly. I could feel the tension and hurt Phoenix held, and it did help explain the trust issues she had towards other people in her life. But because this aspect was handled so realistically, it in turn made the ending seem lackluster in comparison. It’s hard to explain without spoilers but…

 

All the animosity and buildup is quickly resolved with, like, 10% of the story left to go. Basically every character receives everything they could have possibly wanted. My problems with this are, for one, it seemed very out of sorts for certain characters to behave in the way they did. This could definitely be attributed to growth, but I felt it was more a complete 180 shift for the positive. There is no more story after this conclusion, because everyone basically completed their entire life in 300 short pages. This is obviously a matter of personal preference, but I would have enjoyed an ending that was tied much closer to reality.

 

I would definitely give this one a shot if you love contemporaries, but you’re not missing anything groundbreaking by passing on Trusting You and Other Lies when it hits shelves on June 20th.

 

Keep Calm and Read On

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