by Obelia Akanke
This post contains affiliate links. Click here for the full disclosure statement.
Crystal was permanently scarred by her ex-boyfriend last semester. After a few months of attending a writers’ group she joined as a form of therapy, Mario, the group leader and a spoken word artist, asks her out. She is reluctant to start another intimate relationship, so things are further complicated when a second group member pursues her and causes her to question what she really knows about either man.
Secrets are exposed, tension mounts, and tempers flare as Crystal struggles to discover who she can trust. As the end-of-the-year performance gets closer, pressure builds as students prepare to compete for a win – for a career boost…and for Crystal’s heart.
~Buy TRUST ME on Amazon
My first thought was to call this a quick read, and while that has some truth to it, it doesn’t capture the emotional depth of the story. I did read this in an afternoon, but there’s much more to consider than time spent. Akanke draws some truly real characters who face some real emotional turmoil. The growth this book explores is inspiring, and for anyone who’s been a victim, this story makes it clear recovery is possible and can even be beautiful.
I loved Crystal as a protagonist. She grows so much during this story, and she’s a perfect example of a heroine who makes herself strong. She went through some terrible stuff, and she’s still feeling the after effects. But she’s trying. She’s working. She backslides, but who doesn’t. She’s a real person, and I cheered for her all the way.
I enjoyed the story overall. There were a few things that interrupted my reading flow. The biggest is that the main tension seemed to be wrapped up somewhere between the halfway and two thirds mark. I spent the last portion of the book waiting for the other proverbial shoe to drop, but it never did. Actually, what came after the resolution of the major tension would have worked well as buildup to the reveals that could have come later. Something else that confused me was the heavy reliance on, for lack of better term, “asshole guys.” There is a main love interest who is a truly nice guy, but every other guy Crystal goes on a date with turns out to be a jerk/abusive in some way. It seemed a bit unrealistic. On the flip side, it helped to show Crystal’s character growth. Still, I did question the number of “asshole guys,” which brought me out of the story periodically.
Lastly, I really liked the performing arts angle. The group meetings and various types of creativity gave this story so many outlets for the characters to express themselves. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys romance, real emotions, and expression through art. I’m curious to see where the series goes next.
About Obelia Akanke
\”Obelia is a “true life poet.” Her topics center around life situations and may be comical, practical, or written to bring awareness to a situation. Depending on her mood, she may write for no other reason than to entertain herself. Obelia likes to challenge herself to learn and improve her art. She has chosen to express much of that through poetry and contemporary fiction. Her unique style can be felt through print or audio. She currently resides in Hampton Roads where she may be found at poetry venues, book fests, or interacting with and supporting other local artists.\”
Find her online: