Trust Exercise

Trust Exercise

A Novel

Book - 2019
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In 1982 in a southern city, David and Sarah, two freshmen at a highly competitive performing arts high school, thrive alongside their school peers in a rarified bubble, ambitiously devoting themselves to their studies--to music, to movement, to Shakespeare and, particularly, to classes taught by the magnetic acting teacher Mr. Kingsley. It is here in these halls that David and Sarah fall innocently and powerfully into first love. And also where, as this class of students rises through the ranks of high school, the outside world of family life and economic status, of academic pressure and the future, does not affect them--until it does--in a sudden spiral of events that brings a startling close to the first part of this novel
Publisher: New York : Henry Holt and Company, 2019
Edition: First Edition
ISBN: 9781250309884
Characteristics: 257 pages : 24 cm


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Stick with it to the end! It's worth it.

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Aug 10, 2019

The characters that included art school students from various backgrounds and their mentor/teacher make for a story that went deep at times but the psychic twists and turns just didn't weave enough substance to stand on. Parts would grab me just to be dropped into someone or something else. Parts were incredible and much left me scratching my head.

Aug 06, 2019

"Remember the impossible eventfulness of time, transformation and emotion packed like gunpowder into the barrel. Remember the dilation and diffusion, the years within days. Theirs were endless; lives flowered and died between waking and noon."
While I like novels that use an unorthodox structure and play with narrative and point of view, Susan Choi's approach can be jarring. I won't spoil anything, but the novel does end up in a very different place than it began, with mixed results. She has a strong, distinctive voice, even if she has a tendency to overwrite. It begins in an exclusive, arts-focused school and she captures the tensions and fragile egos of teenagers involved in drama (pun intended) with lyricism and wit. I'm still not sure what I think about the ending though but confusion is not always a bad thing in literature.

May 27, 2019

I am conflicted on how I feel about Trust Exercise. The first half of the book I quite enjoyed, and then a time shift occurs that changes the perspective on the story entirely, as well as narrators. Just as I was becoming accustomed to the shift, a second time shift occurs that further makes us question the reliability (or, ironically, the trustworthiness) of the narrators. The ending left me cold, and confused. Certain events that happen seem to come out of nowhere, and never get resolved. Decent book, but hated the ending.

May 11, 2019

Maybe because there is so much political and cultural deception these days, reading literary deception - however acclaimed to be brilliant - was tiring. I'm sure it's just me but only because of the reviews did I struggle for as long as I did. Yes - adolesence is portrayed beautifully and creepy teachers as well. Yes - Choi is a gifted writer. Yes - this is how we evidently "do" novels these days. Count me out on this one.

Apr 22, 2019

What a slog and for no plot payoff. I enjoy books that play with timelines and perceptions but this was confusing, for no reason, though it keeps you just enough interested to see how it plays out as it does seem as it is driving to something, but then it doesn’t. There are messages here about being a girl in high school and the after effects that linger as well as sexual abuse, but I couldn’t discern them enough to thoughtfully discuss.

Apr 15, 2019

economist review april 2019


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