Skip to main content

Trusting You & Other Lies

Review

Trusting You & Other Lies

Phoenix was planning on having the perfect summer playing volleyball and enjoying bonfires with her friends. Her parents, however, have different plans in mind. Phoenix and her family attend Camp Kismet instead, a summer camp that is supposed to bring their family together. Unfortunately, Phoenix’s parents have been fighting for two years and are near bankruptcy --- and she can’t think of anything that will fix the rift between them. Little does she know, though, that what she thought would be the worst summer of the decade might become one of the best summers ever.

The perfect balance between family strains and finding new love in TRUSTING YOU & OTHER LIES is admirable. Phoenix’s overprotectiveness of and affection towards her brother, Harry, is truly moving. I felt as though Williams effectively captured the role of an older sibling, who is like an additional parent who also has to juggle being a friend and confidant for younger siblings. Harry is absolutely adorable and so full of life, and it made me so happy to see how he always has his sister’s back.

"Williams’ authentic tone and genuine, raw characters made TRUSTING YOU & OTHER LIES a wonderful read for me. The theme involving trust issues is universal, and will allow young teens and adults alike to connect with the book."

As lovely as Phoenix and Harry’s relationship is, what I appreciate most about the novel is Phoenix’s love interest, Callum. Callum is refreshingly different from any other book boyfriend I have read about. He is good looking, but not in your typical “messed-up hair, eyes that melt you” sort of way. Instead, he sports numerous scars, has a crooked nose and wears a hat to cover up his bedhead. Callum is smart, but not your typical straight-A student. Rather, he is ranked at the bottom of his class because he suffers from test anxiety. Callum is isolated, yet far from lonely; he cares about his family but learns to make choices for himself, too. Callum feels real, like a boy any one of us could know rather than the “perfect male” who exists solely in books, which makes him all the more likeable.

I also love how all of the characters in TRUSTING YOU & OTHER LIES display growth, even minor ones like Phoenix’s parents. In addition, Williams managed to deliver a story that is rich in meaning but low on teenage angst. She displayed teenagers as near-adults who can be impulsive at times rather than childlike and whiny, which is a trope that many young adult authors make the mistake of resorting to. However, as cute and lovely as the story is, it was not as memorable as I had hoped, maybe because I have read many summer romance novels lately. Sometimes, the avian metaphors were a little much, yet sweet nonetheless.

Overall, Williams’ authentic tone and genuine, raw characters made TRUSTING YOU & OTHER LIES a wonderful read for me. The theme involving trust issues is universal, and will allow young teens and adults alike to connect with the book. Perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson, this summery read is sure to warm readers’ hearts.

Reviewed by Niraja S., Teen Board Member on July 28, 2017

Trusting You & Other Lies
by Nicole Williams