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From a very young age, Shawn knew he was different from other boys. He tried to please people from accepting god when he was five and working hard at school, to volunteering at church. Most people thought Shawn was perfect, but he knew better. Shawn wasn't interested in the rough-and-tumble games the other boys liked. He preferred playing house and hopscotch. His own father called him a "faggot" and a teacher told him to be more like the other boys. Shawn finally understood when he became aroused while watching men on TV. This became a shame he hid from everyone.
Bobby has his own problems between an absent father to a mother who either isn't available or is drunk. Bobby learned at an early age to fend for himself becoming belligerent to authority figures, trusting no one. At twelve, Bobby learns he is more interested in his friends than any girls he knows causing him to be even more difficult to handle. His mother finally sends him to stay with his dad for the summer. That summer showed Bobby what a family is really like, but for a brief time Bobby met Shawn, a young man that he never forgot. Things escalate ending with Bobby living permanently with his dad. Shawn and Bobby meet again and for them things will never be the same. Will Bobby and Shawn find what they have always longed for, love and acceptance?
Mr. Erno's book Trust Me is an incredible look into the emotional struggles of two very special young men who have to overcome abuse and prejudice. On the surface, Shawn's life is perfect. While his self-hatred may have pushed him to succeed it never eased his internal struggle. Bobby was street wise, but when he met Shawn the second time everything he held dear changed in an instant. Shawn's love and trust brought out protective and loving feelings that Bobby had never felt before. I was horrified when I read about Shawn's rape and how he hid his feelings never telling anyone. I was inspired by how Shawn and Bobby somehow managed to go on in their lives in spite of the odds against them. I cried when they were torn apart leaving each boy incomplete. I was horrified by the re-education camp that Shawn was sent to and the abuse he and the other boys were subjected to. If people would just accept and love each other for who they are the world would be a happier place. It is my hope that other people with similar problems will read this story and find the strength and support of the people who love them. This story will remain on my list of outstanding recommended reads!
Reviewed by: Teresa