Friday 20 June 2014

Trust Games, Simon Packham

Pages: 216
Publisher: Piccadilly Press
Release Date: 5th June 2014
Edition: UK paperback, review copy

Other Titles by this Author: The Opposite Bastard, Coming 2 Gt U, The Bex Factor, Silenced, Firewallers

hen kind, charismatic new drama teacher, Mr Moore, arrives at school, Beth’s life starts to look up. She’s cast as Nurse in Romeo & Juliet, and as she grows close to super-popular Hannah (Juliet), Beth finally has the female friend she’s been yearning for.

Meanwhile it seems that all the girls – including Beth – are in love with Mr Moore. And when a scandal breaks, Beth must make a decision that can only have dire consequences for everyone involved.

I love novels about student/teacher relationships so Trust Games should have been a sure winner. While I enjoyed it, I also had some qualms about it.

My major issue was with Beth. She’s sad, lonely, self-righteous, naive and desperate for a friend, and I felt really sorry for her, but she also made me cringe. Massively. The schoolgirl crush she had on Mr Moore, the way she treated her best friend, Grunt, and how she tried to make Hannah like her all had me wincing. And I really, really didn’t see why she’d want to be Hannah’s friend – she’s a jerk. I really liked Mr Moore initially, however. He’s the kind of teacher we all loved – young, funny, charismatic, an infectious energy and a little dorky.

Most YA novels focusing on a student’s relationship with a teacher tell the story from the inside. They make you question whether it really is wrong, whether it is possible for that relationship to be based on anything other than an abuse of trust, but Trust Games was told from the outside. There was no wriggle room in how awful it was for a twenty-seven-year-old teacher to be involved with a fifteen-year-old student – it just shouldn’t be. There was a lot of focus on the media outcry, the infantilising of Hannah and the way it reflected on the school. It was definitely more about the implications of the relationship than the relationship itself.

So, yeah. I’m not entirely sure how I felt about Trust Games, but it’s a different look at a taboo relationship that’s worth a read.

Thanks to Piccadilly Press for the review copy.


1 comment:

  1. I really hated the book - I completely agree with you on Beth as a character. She literally just irritated me with how desperate she was...I feel bad for writing such a mean review, but I hated it!


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