You Can Trust Me By Wendy Heard-Summary
Goodreads Summary of Wendy Heard’s latest book, You Can Trust Me (review below):
Summer and Leo would do anything for each other. Inspired by the way each has had to carve her place in a hostile and unforgiving world and united by the call of the open road, they travel around sunny California in Summer’s tricked-out Land Cruiser. It’s not a glamorous life, but it gives them the freedom they crave from the painful pasts they’ve left behind. But even free spirits have bills to pay. Luckily, Summer is a skilled pickpocket, a small-time thief, and a con artist–and Leo, determined to pay her own way, has learned a trick or two.
Eager for a big score, Leo catches in her crosshairs Michael Forrester, a self-made billionaire, and philanthropist. When her charm wins him over, Leo is rewarded with an invitation to his private island off the California coastline for a night of fabulous excess. She eagerly anticipates returning with photos that can be sold to the paparazzi, jewelry that can be liquidated, and endless stories to share with Summer.
Instead, Leo disappears.
On her own for the first time in years, Summer decides to infiltrate Michael’s island and find out what really happened. But when she arrives, no one has seen Leo–she’s not on the island as far as they know. Plus, there was only one way on the island–and no way off–for the coming days. Trapped in a scheme she helped initiate, could Summer have met her match?
You Can Trust Me By Wendy Heard-Review
Full disclaimer, You Can Trust Me is the first book I’ve read by Wendy Heard. I guarantee it won’t be the last. I loved this book. And it is a good thing, too, because I had been stuck in a string of books that I couldn’t be bothered with or DNFd. So, thank you to Wendy Heard for saving me. (I think the last two books I loved were The Game She Plays and The Block Party). Since then there have been a slew of books I’ve read or DNFd that aren’t on this site.
This isn’t a place I would normally start a review, but oh well. You Can Trust Me deserves this to be said upfront. HOLY CRAP, did I not see any of what happened to come. It wasn’t until very late in the book that I had even an inkling of what might be one of the reveals, but even then, I really didn’t know anything. And good lord, it went faster than a roller coaster at Six Flags. Not so fast that the pacing was off or that the plot went out the window. Nope. Just breakneck speed of brilliance.
Also, speaking of the reveals? They weren’t just plausible, but they were interconnected like puzzle pieces. Ok. That might sound stupid because most good thrillers have interconnecting reveals. But Wendy Heard just made it hit different. It wasn’t just puzzle pieces. Instead, You Can Trust Me reveals itself like onion layers, with each reveal peeling back to the next. Notably, this meant that once you started getting answers (that often lent themselves to more questions), it wasn’t just a downhill slope to the end. The tension remained right to the insane ending. Yes, I was trash for You Can Trust Me.
Yep. This was me. Take me out with the trash.
Moreover, Wendy Heard’s writing is fucking everything. I’ll talk more about the characters below but suffice it to say that You Can Trust Me surprised the shit out of me. Why? I was so afraid that You Can Trust Me was going to be more literary than a psychological thriller (a pet peeve of mine), but OH NO! Wendy Heard wrote the story with all the thrills, gasps, and dangerous suspense.
‘Is that why you put me in this nightgown? To make me look more innocent for this painting… What a dick! He hadn’t complained about my lack of innocence when he was fucking me on his stupid book.’
You Can Trust Me By Wendy Heard- Characters
Where do I even start? Ok. First of all, Summer and Leo are so distinctly their own person, and yet they are completely cohesive. Wendy Heard utilizes flashbacks to not only give us a better understanding of each character. Nope. She also deftly utilizes them to connect with the current plot and to build intrigue and mystery. Unusually, and to Wendy Heard’s credit, it isn’t in a consistent flashback structure. These chapters show up at just the right time to connect to current events and leave you hanging, wanting more.
Look. You Can Trust Me could have easily fallen into a Thelma and Louise or friendship siblings hole and thus gone more literary. But that never happens. Instead of having two flawed but utterly likable characters that make You Can Trust Me too mushy and emotional, you are treated to the utter opposite. This works because Leo and Summer work so well when independent of each other as they do when they are together. Each is flawed. Each is strong, with the ability to be independent. And yet they are also amazing as a team that does need each other. Bravo on striking that balance.
Thank you to Penguin Audio, Bantam, and Penguin Random House for the advanced audio copy of You Can Trust Me, which will release on June 13th.
You Can Trust Me By Wendy Heard- Final Thoughts/Audiobook
Audiobook production is essential to You Can Trust Me. It is told from both Leo’s and Summer’s points of view while also flashing back to their pasts. If the chapters weren’t labeled correctly with the date and character, it would be impossible. But Penguin nailed it. They also nailed the choice of narrators. I’ve enjoyed Kelsey Navarro Foster and Natalie Naudus’ work in the past. They absolutely knocked it out of the park with You Can Trust Me.
Whether you read or listen to You Can Trust Me, you should clear your calendar because it is impossible to stop once you start.