Memphis “M” Engle 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 Sood is a little too posh for her tastes, a member of an ancient cult (which she’s pretty sure counts for more than one strike against him), and has just informed Memphis that her father who she thought was dead isn’t and needs her help.
From the catacombs of Paris to lost temples in the sacred forests, together they crisscross the globe, searching for the pieces of the one thing that might save her father. But the closer they come to saving him—and the more they fall for one another—the closer they get to destroying the world.
“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 asked.
“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 offence.”
“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 and Nick.
“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 archaeology 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 travelling 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 travelled. 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-defence 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.
I forgot about the blurb when I started reading I Do Not Trust You by Laura J Burns. How do I describe this book, it’s like the latest of the mummy’s movies “The Mummy” that got released in 2017, written in a Rick Riordan adventure style format.
We are thrown in a continent-crossing battle, with a race against time feel as our main leads, search the world for hidden pieces of a statue, that if reunited will be the death of the universe.
Says Ash our male protagonist, who Memphis can’t believe because he’s crazy and believes in ancient Gods.
M which is our female main character’s nickname stands for Memphis. Memphis is like YA version of Lara Croft, from the latest movie in the franchise, Tomb Raider 2018 I see some major similarities once again. She can kickass and defend herself in a fight, rarely did she ever get beat.
Ash, on the other hand, is the calm to M’s storm, he’s levelheaded about from his apparent lunacy. He’s been through a lot we can tell, but he’s on the path of being healed and I loved that about him.
Ash and M struggle to trust each other as the journey continues, and it really highlights why trust is good. The way the book ended is like there might be a book two but I’m not putting my hopes up. There are a few twists here and there, that didn’t really surprise me or made me go oh wow! and I found this book to be a bit too long because I was waiting for the action to hit a lot, but what we get are very good characters development and an enjoyable read.
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.
Thank you, Brittani & Wednesday Books, for including me in this blog tour.