What can I say about TRUST EXERCISE by Susan Choi that hasn’t already been said? This is one of the most polarizing books I have recently come across. Some people love it! I mean, come on, it just won the National Book Award for fiction. And then, I know a lot of people that hated it and couldn’t even finish reading it! Well, I finished it, and my feelings were mixed.
I don’t even want to try to summarize the plot because spoilers would ruin any reason for reading the book. All I’ll say is the story focuses on a performing arts high school, the students, and their idolized acting teacher.
Now I (mostly) think I understand the events of the story but Choi doesn’t make it easy for the reader! We are introduced to multiple narrators (can we trust them?!) and a meandering and ambiguous plot that folds back upon itself many times. I found the writing to be clunky at points and the characters were frustrating. But was that the point?! All I can gather is that Choi used TRUST EXERCISE to push the boundaries of writing; she pulls the rug out from under the reader to show us that we cannot always trust the book we are reading. She also is exploring storytelling itself showing that there is no such things as one story. Everyone experiences the same things different, remembers differently, processes differently, and can tell the same story differently.
Now, did I like the book? I don’t know! Not really but it made to think about the way I read stories. After finishing it definitely stuck with me, I found myself coming back to the story and thinking what I had just read. What I can say definitively is that I understand why this book is so polarizing among readers!
*** Henry Holt and Co provided the book for honest review
- Title: Trust Exercise
- Author: Susan Choi
- Published: April 9, 2019 (Henry Holt and Co)
- Genre: Fiction
- Booky Nooky Rating: * * *