English Roman

Susan Choi – Trust Exercise

Meta: Recently I’ve been thinking again about a book idea, that I’ve been carrying around with me for some time. The topic is difficult on several levels. One of those is the fact, that I feel that I don’t have the words, the language to write about it in my mother tongue (Austrian German) and I might end up with writing things different because I’m actively trying to avoid to sound phony. On the other hand, writing in English makes the writing process slower and much harder to really get my thoughts out and my writing might sound very clumsy to native english speakers. In the past years I switched from writing articles about books I read in english because it got too hard and I couldn’t get myself to even write the posts at all. I might try this again to see how it goes and get some practice.

Writing about this book will not be possible without spoiling at least the structure of the book, so if you plan to read it, you might want to skip this review.

… we were taught that a moment of intimacy had no meaning unless it was part of a show.

The first half of the book takes us to an American high school dedicated to the performing arts. Relationships and friendships unfold and crumble, teenagers get together and get lost exploring their relationships with each other and with the adults surrounding them.

Things were very funny and without warning weren’t funny at all, they were deeply embarrassing, and just as quickly that was funny, that ridiculous seriousness – or was it?

The second half of the book takes a completely different perspective, the switch felt rather hard to me. The events that have already been described in the first part change in details but also get painted over in different colours. The power dynamics between teenagers and adults are reflected from a viewpoint later in time. That happens again in the last part of the book which takes another different perspective. In a way nothing’s changed which made the end feel very frustrating to me.