Susan Choi's work of literary wonder really does defy too much description - the pleasure is in the unfolding, the unpacking - both within the insular, overwrought stewpot that is an elite performing arts high school and its adolescence, a melodramatic microcosm of humanity in itself, and the shifting perspectives that arrive in the second act as the students become adults and the truth becomes ever more dynamic.— Melinda
I choose Trust Exercise as my favorite book of 2019 because I just can't stop thinking about it, marveling at it, and wanting to read it again. From its craft to its genius, its heart to its complexity, its honesty, its truthfulness--there is just so much to appreciate, consider, and love.— Melinda
It’s all in the title: Susan Choi takes the unreliable narrator to the next level in this book, challenging the reader to suspend all judgment and hang on for the ride. Trust Exercise examines perspective and character in a whole new way, leaving the reader to wonder at the end just what, exactly, they’ve been through. As in life, more questions are generated than answers. A great book to awaken your mind to the possibilities of fiction!— Jess
“Set inside the acting program of an elite high school, Choi’s novel seems to consider every major preoccupation of our moment — class, gender, sexuality, race, power, predation, authenticity, ‘genius’ — with language that’s both uproarious and frothing with vital rage. To describe the plot in any detail, though, would reveal too much of Trust Exercise’s inventive, audacious form. Best let this novel sink into your bones with as few spoilers as possible before its final scene seizes your heart. And it will seize your heart. Trust me.”
— Samuel Krowchenko, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI
“A psychological masterclass. I can think of no better place to dissect how micro actions toward each other suggest macro feelings than a famous arts high school where emotions, power dynamics, and naivete mascarading as bravado are at their peak and ever shifting. Many have said, and I will too, that you have to read this one knowing as little as possible about what to expect. All I’ll say is that it left me with a potent emotion spurred by a slowly revealed truth, not just about the characters but about our world, and Susan Choi is a genius.”
— Molly Moore, BookPeople, Austin, TX
An Indie Next Pick Named to 11 Best Book ListsSet in the 1980s at a highly competitive suburban performing arts high school, Trust Exercise will incite heated discussions about fiction and truth, friendships and loyalties, and will leave readers with wiser understandings of the true capacities of adolescents and the powers and responsibilities of adults.