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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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Here's the things that you need to know about this book. Edie is a plus sized girl, a good girl and a follow the rules girl. John is a bad boy, a boy that doesn't go back for seconds, a drug dealer, a boy with a history. They experience something horrific together. And things change, a lot. And while it's clear they are experiencing feeling for each other - each has to deal with things in their own way. And it took a path that was hard as they learned to trust and figure out who they are in this new post trauma world.
I love Edie. She's always been a good girl. She follows the rules and gets good grades. She reads a lot. She's had a best friend since very young. Her private school is paid for by her Grandmother but she really doesn't belong in the rich world. She's plus sized and bullied for it. Then the impossible happens. (And it happens in the first chapter - no spoiler here - it's in the blurb). It changes her.
John - well I ended up loving him. He's a bad boy who never goes back for seconds, well not much anyway. He's quiet. He deals in weed. He doesn't care much about school. He has a reputation there. All the girls want him. All the teachers have given up on him. But when the impossible happens, he fights. He changes too, though differently than Edie.
Together they end up friends. Friends who understand each other because of what they shared. And while Edie has a crush right away, John seems unaffected by her. Yeah, right. Don't let him fool you. And that was what took me so long to fall for him. He did need to get his head on straight but some of things he did redeemed himself so wonderfully. Sweet. And he stood up for Edie. Protected her. Refused to let her put herself down. Yeah, I fell hard for him.
The story itself is one of survival and acceptance, of moving on and growing up, and of falling in the real kind of love. There are bully's that need to be punched and real life slapping you in the face. It's gritty and yet has moments of humor. It sucked me in from the first page and I pretty much read it straight through. It's full of firsts, including the messy one that can be embarrassing. It's got anger, friendship and forgiveness (not of the jerk that had the gun pointed at them - no his behind is in jail where it belongs). It's real and poignant.
Expertly crafted, the writing weaves a story of two people who would never have met otherwise but because they are in the same place at the same time one fateful night their worlds change. Together they find a future. The way this book ends speaks to the skill of this author. The story doesn't follow a normal romance path, no it follows a path that binds these two and is perfection. I loved it.
If you love a good YA read, then this one is the one for you.
Trust is about two teenagers who experience one of the most horrifying experiences of being held at gunpoint in a store. The things done to Edie and everything that she witnessed has left her whole world turned upside down and she has a new perspective on life, though it might not be the one her mother was hoping for. For Edie, she is left in a bit of a dark place and all she can think about it why she was able to walk out alive but some of the other people in the store weren't. And she wonders why John, one of the teenagers in the store, went out of his way to save her when he didn't need to.
When she transfers schools and John shows up in one of her classes, she forms a bond and relationship with him that is unlike any other.
It's interesting to see how the shooting affects people differently. For John, it was the kick in the butt he needed to start caring about his life and to try and make his life mean something. For Edie, it was the opposite. Once the quiet and book-smart student, she now could care less about school or what's in store for her future. I like that the author spent a lot of time talking through their feelings and showing us how the shooting changed them. It was clear that she didn't use something like that as a plot device and I really appreciate that she showed a realistic depiction of how someone deals with the aftermath of such an experience.
I also really love that this book is sex positive. It's always kind of bothered me how YA books shy away from sex or sometimes depict it as this amazing, beautiful experience especially if they are virgins. But Kylie Scott didn't do that with this book. She was realistic about sex and while sex can definitely be this amazing thing she didn't sugarcoat it either.
Another great thing about this book was the diversity. We get POC rep and we also get a lesbian couple and it was honestly amazing. I loved Hang, her Vietnamese bestie! She was amazing and I'm crossing my fingers and toes that she gets her own book about her and Anders. Their relationship intrigued me so much while reading and I would love to get their story.
While I really enjoyed Trust, I did have a few issues with it.
The beginning opens up gripping you and I couldn't stop reading but after the shooting is over and done with, things kind of slowed down. It was just too easy to put it down and not want to pick it up again. It got slow and dragged and there really wasn't anything pushing me to keep reading. Thankfully I did keep reading but it definitely took a bit of the excitement of the book from me.
Also I had a little bit of a hard time with the romance. I really loved the friendship that Edie and John had and the way that they trusted each other and talked to one another but sometimes I found myself wondering if they were really in love or if their relationship was built mostly on the traumatic event they experienced together. John seemed like he got with Edie at first because her mom was stressing her about her relationship with him and how there was no label and since he didn’t want to lose their friendship he's just like "ok lets be together so she'll let us hang out" and that really turned me off from their relationship at first. And when they exchange “I love you” it feels…awkward to me? I didn’t really believe they were there yet in their relationship. I believed in their friendship so much, but the romance part felt a little forced to me at times. I don't know, maybe I just needed to see more of them together to fall in love with them as a couple.
I definitely want them to be together but by the end of the book everything was left very "Happy For Now" and I know that a lot of YA books do that but I really needed that reassurance that they would last, especially since I worry that traumatic experiences are the only thing that keep them together. I think that this book has such a beautiful meaning and sends a great message so the romance shouldn't be this big of a concern for me but as a romance reader, their relationship was a little disappointing for me.
Overall, I'm so happy that I read this book and I look forward to reading more YA books from Kylie Scott. I think she did an amazing job with this book and I'd definitely recommend people picking this up and giving it a shot!
*Arc provided in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!!
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