Latest Review

Trust Exercise

Author: Susan Choi
Category: Adult
Genre: Contemporary/Literary Fiction
Pages: 257 Pages
Format: Hardcover
Published: April 9, 2019
Book rating: 5/10
Mommy readability rating: 6/10

(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links)

Summary: A group of students go through their high school years during the 1980s at an elite performing arts school. It is a time filled with intense classes, booze, and sex. Add a group of visiting students from the UK and the drama escalates. Years later, one of these teens writes a book about her experiences during that time. But is she telling the whole truth, or any of it at all. Only one other student from that class truly knows, and she might not even be telling you the truth either.

Review: I read Trust Exercise as it was the selected book for my book group and honestly, if I hadn’t needed to finish it for the discussion, I wouldn’t have finished it at all. The book had been highly reviewed and seemed like a very interesting premise. However, while I found the writing quite good in places, and the whole of part two was very interesting from a writer’s point of view (exploring the ways in which Choi approached fiction and what she did with the story), the story itself was not good. The characters were unlikable and the situations they were put in often seemed absurd. Over half the book takes place in a performing arts high school where sexual encounters and assault not only seem condoned by the teachers and other adults but encouraged. It was all a little too much for me as the setting of a story that was often unclear and confusing. Multiple times in the story I found myself having to go back to previous pages to clarify occurrences that I didn’t remember happening. I really like Choi’s writing and style, but this story just didn’t work for me.

Mommy Readability Rating: This story is told in three sections, the first two quite long, and those are the only breaks. There are no chapters to mark a definitely stopping point. It is often hard to follow at points and the graphic nature of the story just gets to be too much at times, making it a slow read. Not really worth the time it takes to read it (This was the general feeling of the rest of the book group as well).

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