After reading Sanctuary Bay, co-written by Laura J. Burns & Melinda Metz a little while ago, and loving it so, very much, I was excited to to hear there would be another book by these two fantastic authors and immediately added it to my TBR. Similar in a way because of its thriller-like qualities, I Do Not Trust You focused yet more on Egyptian mythology and a twist of magic, taking us in a travelling frenzy I absolutely loved.
Thank you to the publisher, St. Martin’s Press & Wednesday Books for inviting me to take part in this blog tour. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts or rating of this book.
This is a spoiler-free review, as always.
ADVENTURE & MYSTERY
I feel like I should start this review by stating this: do you know the Benjamin Gates movies? I think it’s called, National Treasure and I am such a huge fan of that movies, I have seen it way too many times to count. I know what you’re thinking: why is that related, in any way, to a book review? Well.. reading I Do Not Trust You reminded me of watching that movie. That’s a huge compliment for me, since I love that movie, obviously. If you’re not familiar with it at all though, let me make this a little clearer.
Adventure. Mystery. Fast-paced. Enigmas. Mythology. History.
These are some of the key-words I would use to define I Do Not Trust You. Heading into this story was like getting into an adventure and a worldwide one, too. Cave-diving in Italy, visiting the catacombs in Paris, massive legendary trees in Norway, but also seeing Egypt, India…. In the matter of a couple hundred pages, this book took me on a fast-paced trip all around the world, in a very entertaining and fun quest to save the main character’s dad. I flew through the book really quickly, because of the way it’s written and of the adventurous part of it all.
That being said, I do feel like, with all of these settings, I should have felt the wanderlust feeling a little more. The book really being focused on the “everything is moving quickly from place to place”, focused on the intrigue and action, one clue leading to another and so on, I feel like the magical settings allowing us to travel were not explored to their full potential, at times.
INTERESTING & DIVERSE CHARACTERS
I Do Not Trust You is certainly, for me, carried by its fast-moving plot and adventure, but it does serve us with some really interesting characters to follow.
Our main character, M. (short for Memphis), is certainly one badass character I rooted for. Driven by the need to find and save her dad, she is carrying the story and mystery overall. Smart, fiercely independant, snarky at times and definitely one to kick your ass, M. was a great character to follow and I appreciated her attachement to her family so much. Moreover, I appreciated the diversity here: M. is a half-American/Malaysian main character.
The main character’s sidekick in this story was really interesting just as well. British with hindi origins, Ash made the story all the more compelling. We slowly discover who he really is thanks to the dual POV narrative instaured quickly in the story and I appreciated his point of view and internal struggles as he gets on the trips with M. to save her dad, too. I loved how he grew as the story went on.
The relationship between Ash and M. was one of my favorite parts of the story: I really loved how it grew as the story went on, from enemies to friendship. I loved following their dialogue and witty banter as the mystery went on around them.
If you’re looking for a really action-focused kind of story, are a fan of mythology, exploring the world and don’t mind a twist of magic, I’d definitely recommend I Do Not Trust You. Filled with fun characters and a fast-paced mystery, it was a quick and entertaining read for sure.
Final rating: 4 drops!
Trigger warnings: ableist language, drinking, child abuse (mentioned)
Laura J. Burns & Melinda Metz, I Do Not Trust You, Published by Wednesday Books, September 11th, 2018.
Memphis “M” Engel is stubborn to a fault, graced with an almost absurd knowledge of long lost languages and cultures, and a heck of an opponent in a fight. In short: she’s awesome.
Ashwin “Ash” Sood is a little too posh for M’s tastes, a little too good looking, and has way too many secrets. He desperately wants the ancient map M inherited from her archeologist father, believing it will lead him to a relic with the power to destroy the world. M obviously can’t trust him.
Equally desperate to find the relic for reasons of her own, M forms an uneasy partnership with Ash. From the catacombs of Paris, to a sacred forest in Norway, to the ruins of a submerged temple in Egypt, together they crisscross the globe in their search. But through it all, M can never be sure: Is she traveling with a friend or enemy?
More about the authors :
LAURA J. BURNS and MELINDA METZ have written many books for teens and middle-grade readers, including Sanctuary Bay, Crave, and Sacrifice, as well as the Edgar-nominated mystery series Wright and Wong. They have also written for the TV shows ROSWELL, 1-800-MISSING, and THE DEAD ZONE. Laura lives in New York and Melinda lives in North Carolina, but really they mostly live on email, where they do most of their work together.
Read an excerpt of the book below!
Read an excerpt of the book!
“You should’ve seen Miss Memphis here get into it with Nick last period,” Brianna said, squeezing in between M and Inez at their usual spot in the cafeteria. “She shut him down with her crazy ancient cultures voodoo.”
“He’s an ass. He’s lucky he’s hot,” their friend Ayana commented, waving her spork in Nick’s direction.
M shrugged. “I wouldn’t try to debate him in Physics. I just know more about Rome than he does.”
“What about AP Chem? Would you debate him in that?” Inez asked in a fake-serious voice. “Would you debate him in German class?”
“She’d debate him in German, in German,” Brianna joked. “And if he tried to fight back, she’d switch to Greek.”
M threw a French fry at her. “I can’t help it. I grew up speaking different languages.”
“And learning about pharaohs. And becoming well versed in the history of the Etruscan people,” Ayana said, putting on a fake accent that was probably supposed to be British. “Oh, and setting broken bones in the bush.”
“That only happened once,” M muttered. Her friends laughed.
“Anyway, it was epic. Thanks,” Brianna said. “I can’t stand fighting with people, and Nick always goes after me.”
“He knows you hate it,” M pointed out. “That’s why he does it.”
“An ass, like I said.” Ayana shrugged.
“You think he’s coming to the party tonight?” Brianna
“Probably. Everyone else is,” Inez replied. “Even Memphis.”
M made a face. “Anything to get out of the house. Bob and Liza would expect me to play board games with them
otherwise.” Her friends exchanged a glance. M winced. “No offense.”
“Oh, were you offending someone?” Nick piped up from behind her. “Good girl.”
Immediately Bri looked down, while Ayana rolled her eyes. Inez just smirked, glancing back and forth between M
“I was not offending anyone. I only meant I don’t like parties,” M said. She didn’t bother to turn toward him. It didn’t matter; he inserted himself onto the bench next to her anyway. A little tingle ran up her spine as the scent of his cologne hit her nostrils, spicy and warm.
“Mmm, they’re boring. Everyone talking about the prom or the senior trip or whatever. I’m over it,” Nick said.
Me too, thought M, wishing she didn’t agree with him. She loved her friends, but even they were all about high school. M just didn’t care. High school was nothing more than what she had to get through before she could leave.
After the crash, after the shock of Bob and Liza becoming her guardians, she’d asked if she could go off to college early, either Boston University or the University of Sheffield in England. Both had the kind of archeology program she wanted and would’ve let her in with no questions. They knew her father. They knew high school was a waste of time for someone like her.
But her guardians said no. They said she needed stability and normalcy after losing her dad. Never mind that traveling the world and taking care of herself was normal for her. While she and Dad technically lived in Boston, she’d never spent more than a few months there during the school year. They traveled. Half the year spent on digs. She missed it.
“What’s with this thing, anyway? Is it to fight off bad guys?” Nick teased, finding an excuse to touch her. He reached for M’s collapsible bo staff, tucked in the inside pocket of her jacket like always. But before he touched it, before his flirty smile registered in her mind, M had already grabbed his hand, twisted it back to the breaking point, and used the pain to push him off the cafeteria bench and onto the floor. With her other hand, she whipped out the stick and shoved it up against his throat.
M froze. He’s just hitting on you. Her friends were aghast, and everyone nearby watched, openmouthed. Nick’s eyes were wide with panic.
“Sorry.” M stood up, leaving Nick on the floor. “I’m really sorry.”
“Freak,” he muttered, climbing to his feet. He glanced around, noticing the barely concealed laughter from onlookers. “Jeez, I just wanted a fry,” he joked, as if he hadn’t been humiliated, then hurried out of the cafeteria.
“What. The. Hell?” Inez asked. “He was flirting with you and you beat him up!”
“I know.” M groaned, shoving her staff back into her pocket. “I didn’t mean to. It was just reflex.”
Her friends were silent. She’d freaked them out. Should she explain the years of self-defense and martial arts training? That she and Dad ended up in some rough places? Her friends lived in a city, they understood danger. Sort of. In a nice, upscale Boston kind of way.
M sighed. There was no point in trying to explain. Nobody understood her life.
“You kinda push all the guys away,” Brianna pointed out quietly. “Maybe not like that, but still . . .”
“I don’t do romance,” M replied. She was done with love, period. She’d loved her parents, and they were both gone. Love hurt too much. It was better to steer clear of it.
They all ate in silence for a minute.
“I mean, he is an ass,” Ayana said finally. And everybody laughed.
M: You up?
MIKE: It’s a 12 hr time difference. Of course I’m up.
M: Like you never sleep in on weekends.
MIKE: Fine, your text woke me.
M: I don’t think that glyph is a lotus. It’s bending the wrong way.
MIKE: It has to be a lotus. If it’s not, the whole phrase is wrong.
M: The rest of the phrase never sat well with Nefertum anyway.
MIKE: Your dad said it was a lotus.
Do you want to read I Do Not Trust You? Why, or why not?
Do you like know other fast-paced books with great mythology featured? Any recommendations? Let me know in comments!