Monday 16 June 2014

Trust Games by Simon Packham

When kind, charismatic new drama teacher, Mr Moore, arrives at school, Beth’s life starts to look up. She’s cast as the Nurse in Romeo and 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.

Beth is being bullied at school but when popular girl stands up for her, she thinks she has a chance to get that best friend she's always wanted. Her persistence in befriending Hannah was borderline creepy but I can understand her need for having a friendly face at school. Then new drama teacher Mr Moore, a very cute and young new teacher, comes in to produce Romeo and Juliet. Knowing what was going to happen, I was wary of Mr Moore, especially when Beth had a huge and obvious crush on him. And I'm not sure Mr Moor understood boundaries, what with inviting them to see him perform poetry and asking them to call him Steve outside of school. No, just no.  

The 'scandal' moved slowly, as Beth's crush is deflated and her friendship with Hannah evolves. Beth was so damn naive sometimes, not being able to see past the pitiful excuses Hannah gave her. It became obvious quite quickly, at least to me, that Hannah was the one having the affair. As we were seeing it from outside the relationship, from Beth's point of view, we didn't see it happen, see it grow, which made Hannah's cries of 'true love' seem a little pathetic. Which I think is the point, as she is so young and the relationship so unbalanced. The whole teacher/student relationship is something that has always grossed me out. The age gap is one thing but the abuse of power is scary, and that was portrayed quite well in Trust Games

You can see where this is going, can't you? It was inevitable that once Beth found out, they would run away. It reminded very strongly of a news story from over a year ago; they even both ran to France. Once the secret is out, Beth has to choose between her friendship or Hannah's safety; personally, I think she was both stupid and brave for not telling on her. I would have done; Hannah was too young to know better and men like Mr Moore, as we find out, are not to be trusted.

All in all, a difficult subject matter but was handled fairly well from an outside perspective. Short and sweet, I liked it fine, although the topic does make my skin crawl. But it is a very real possibility and it was portrayed fairly and seriously. 

Published 14th June 2014 by Piccadilly Press. Thank you to the publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest review. 

1 comment:

  1. I love books about the blurring lines of student/teacher relationships. Looking forward to this one!