USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Nicole Williams delivers a seductive summer romance worth swooning over. Perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Stephanie Perkins.
Phoenix can’t imagine anything worse than being shipped off to family summer camp. Her parents have been fighting for the past two years–do they seriously think being crammed in a cabin with Phoenix and her little brother, Harry, will make things better?
On top of that, Phoenix is stuck training with Callum—the head counselor who is seriously cute but a complete know-it-all. His hot-cold attitude means he’s impossible to figure out—and even harder to rely on. But despite her better judgment, Phoenix is attracted to Callum. And he’s promising Phoenix a summer she’ll never forget. Can she trust him? Or is this just another lie?
Just a day ago, I was minding my own business, living my life and worring—bitting-my-nails kind of worried—over whether or not I would enjoy this YA book. Worry not you all, I just finished it and discovered it is one of my favorite Young Adult books.
FYI, Nicole Williams is great at writing YA books.
Phoenix’s summer wasn’t going like she had planned. Not even close. She wanted to stay in sunny California and be with her friends and get ready for her last year of high school.
Instead, she’s stuck in the middle of nowhere Arizona with her brother Harry and her parents—who are currently at the top of her “Give the cold shoulder” list just below her cheating ex-boyfriend.
As if that torture wasn’t enough, she has to deal with Callum gorgeous head counselor who seems to like her one second and ignores her the next. Why does he have to be so darn mysterious?!
Phoenix thinks the only good thing about being a counselor at Camp Kismet is that by the end of the summer she’s going to have enough money to buy herself a car. Little did she know, being a counselor at Camp Kismet would turn this into the best summer she’s ever had.
“He kissed me like I’d wanted to be kissed my whole entire life—like I was everything.”
I love me a good Young Adult read. They are my favorite books to read. Sadly, I’m hard to please when it comes to YA books and it is hard for me to find stories that I actually enjoy. I feel like most of the time YA stories are shooting unnecessary drama all over the place and I know teenagers are like little adults stuffed with drama—believe me, I’m one of them—but most of the stories seem very unrealistic to me.
That was absolutely not the case with Trusting You & Other Lies. This book is realness at its finest. It is everything I love and hate about being a teenager in 304 pages. It is my life and what I wish my life was. It is me and it is my complete opposite at the same time.
Tiny PSA: There’s a weird thing that I do where I figure out how much I love a YA book by the amount of quotes I can collect from it. Let me tell you, the amount of quotes I got out of this book is insane. I squeezed the crap out of this story.
“Sometimes you just have to go with the flow when things are at their worst. Save your strength for when it will really count.”
There is one thing, one little detail that could have made this book better—as if it wasn’t already perfect, can someone roll their eyes at me please. Having alternating point of views would have been amazing. I’m still craving to get inside Callum’s head. As soon as I finished reading it, I was dying for more Callum in my life. He is my dream book boyfriend. Can someone bring him to life so I can kiss his face? Thanks.
Trusting You & Other Lies was the perfect way to begin my summer. It is the perfect summer read. I read it at the perfect moment in my life, just when I was in desperate need of it. I couldn’t be more thankful to Nicole Williams for giving me the chance of reading this book and reviewing it. There is a beautiful message inside this book and I hope y’all give yourselves the chance of discovering it.
5/5 flowers ✿
It felt like hardly any time had passed at all before the bike slowed when we made it into Flagstaff. Callum took a sudden turn that led away from the main part of the city, and we weren’t on that road long before it opened up into a parking lot.
My arms tightened around him when I scanned the parking lot. Other than the bike’s headlight, I couldn’t make out any-thing else.
“Okay, we’re stopped now. Think you could ease up your death grip on me before you crush my liver?” He parked the bike and turned off the engine.
It was so quiet out here. Scary quiet. “Where are we?” I loosened my grip, but I didn’t let go.
He glanced at me over his shoulder. “Don’t you like a surprise?”
“Not when I’m in the middle of some dark parking lot late at night.”
Callum fought a smile. “It’s barely eight. Not quite the witching hour.”
An owl hooted from somewhere in the woods. I jumped. “Where the hell are we?”
He stopped fighting his smile. “The Lowell Observatory. Perfectly safe and nonthreatening, I swear.”
“What are we observing?”
Callum waited for my arms to drop at my sides before sliding off the bike. “Pretty much anything you want to up there.” He tipped his head and looked up at the sky.
My head followed. “The stars? That’s what we’re going to be looking at?”
“Stars, moons, planets. Take your pick.” He helped me undo the helmet’s chin strap after I fought with it on my own for a few seconds. “This is one of my favorite places.”
“Anywhere,” he answered, pulling a small flashlight from his pocket and turning it on. He pointed it in the direction of a sidewalk and started toward it, making sure I was close beside him.
“How many times have you been here?” I asked.
“I come a few times every summer, more when I was coming here with my family.”
I kept my focus on the light in front of us. With that bright beam, the black didn’t seem so thick around us.
“So are you into astronomy?” I asked.
“You could say that.” When another owl hooted, I didn’t leap out of my boots. This time I barely ﬂinched. Callum’s presence calmed me. “But I didn’t know it the ﬁrst time I came. I only started getting into astronomy a few years ago.”
“Why did you ﬁrst start coming here?” We were getting closer to what I guessed was the observatory, but nothing about it screamed tourist attraction.
“It was Ben’s idea, I guess. He knew about the trouble my brother was getting into at home and that I was following in his footsteps. He has this freaky way of looking at a person and knowing what they’re feeling or what they’re thinking. Those ﬁrst couple of summers at camp he used to be able to take one look at me and know when I was about to do something I’d probably regret.” He paused and shook his head. “I really hated Ben at ﬁrst.”
“And now you love him.” I nudged him as we approached a doorway.
“And now I respect him. I appreciate what he’s doing and why he does it.” He turned off the flashlight and held open the door for me.
“So your mom would bring you here to look up at the sky and your problems were solved?”
He chuckled softly. “That’s what Ben tried to sell. He said there was nothing like looking up at the universe to make my problems shrivel into nonexistence.”
“Is that doubt I’m detecting in your voice?”
“That’s I- know- better- from- experience in my voice.” Callum
waved at a lady sitting behind a counter at the front and led me inside. It was dark in here, too, which made me shift a bit closer to Callum. “Ben tried really hard to sell me on the perspective thing, but, I don’t know, looking up at the stars or thinking about the size of the universe didn’t make my issues seem any smaller or less significant. They were still the exact same size when I walked out of this place.”
“Then why did you keep coming back?” I asked as he stopped behind the biggest telescope I’d seen in real life.
“Because it got me out of my head, you know?” he answered immediately. “It got me to focus on something else for a while, and even though I’d leave here with the same problems I walked in with, they felt more manageable. More like I could handle them.”
I hadn’t expected him to open up like that. That was becoming a trend when it came to Callum. One minute he came off as the most closed- off person I’d ever met, and the next he could spill his guts. “And then you fell in love with the stars,” I said, watching him as he looked through the telescope, making a few adjustments on the dials.
“And then I did.” He made one last adjustment before motioning me to look. Even though it was dark, his eyes were glowing. I’d seen him in his element this summer, but never like this. If this wasn’t passion, I wasn’t sure I’d ever seen it.
“So you’re saying this place has played a totally insigniﬁ-cant role in your life?” I smiled at him as I moved up to the telescope.
“Completely insigniﬁcant.” He stepped aside to give me room to look.
I wound my hair around one shoulder, closed one eye, and leaned over so I could peek through the eyepiece. I could have been looking at a star just as easily as I could have been looking at a planet or a moon. I didn’t feel my problems drifting away from me by the masses, disappearing into the Milky Way, but just like Callum had said, somehow they felt less overwhelming. Less powerful.
The longer I stared up there, the stronger I felt down here. “I get it,” I whispered after another minute, feeling like the entire universe was staring back at me as I gazed into it.
He took a step closer. “I knew you would.”
Nicole Williams is the New York Times and USATODAY bestselling author of contemporary and young adult romance, including the Crash and Lost & Found series. Her books have been published by HarperTeen and Simon & Schuster in both domestic and foreign markets, while she continues to self-publish additional titles. She is working on a new YA series with Crown Books (a division of Random House) as well. She loves romance, from the sweet to the steamy, and writes stories about characters in search of their happily even after. She grew up surrounded by books and plans on writing until the day she dies, even if it’s just for her own personal enjoyment. She still buys paperbacks because she’s all nostalgic like that, but her kindle never goes neglected for too long. When not writing, she spends her time with her husband and daughter, and whatever time’s left over she’s forced to fit too many hobbies into too little time.
Nicole is represented by Jane Dystel, of Dystel and Goderich Literary Agency.