Book: The Innocents (The Innocents #1)
Author: Lili Peloquin
Published: October 16, 2012 by Penguin Group USA
Hardcover, 268 pages
BOSSF Review: 4 stars
Summary from Goodreads:
Nothing ever came between sisters Alice and Charlie.
Their family falling apart never would.
Until they got to Serenity Point.
In a town built on secrets and lies, it’s going to be hard to stay innocent.
They’re sucked into a strange and seductive world—a world they can’t help but hate, and can’t help but love. A world that threatens to tear them apart, just when they need each other the most.
The Innocents is the first in a new series of young adult novels that weave a saga of nail-biting drama, breathless romance, and Gothic mystery
The Innocents is the perfect blend of hot country club guys, a death of a notorious beauty, and ‘the scandalous lives of Serenity Point’s elite.’
The Innocents is a fun, easy read, and I finished it in one sitting. It’s basically Gossip Girl meets Pretty Little Liars, which is perfect, since they are two of my favs. The characters are complex enough, and they all have their share of skeletons in their closets. The story is told from the two sisters’ points of view, which is a nice way to show both girl’s challenges with settling into their new lives. The eldest, Alice, is the shyer, but stronger sister, while Charlie is the louder, but more insecure one.
Alice is one of those beautiful girls who doesn’t know it (an all too common YA trend…). She has the normal fears of moving into a new town with a new,
intimidating stepfather, but she had not anticipated that she would be constantly compared to Camilla. Camilla was her recently deceased stepsister, who was seemingly perfect in every possible way. Perfect boyfriend, perfect SAT scores & grades, perfect tennis record, perfect looks… not fun to compare yourself to the perfect dead girl, eh? In addition to adjusting to her new life (and cozying up to Camilla’s hot ex-boyfriend, Tommy) Alice started to snoop around her house and the town library. Things didn’t add up to her, and she wanted to uncover the secrets and lies. (Insert 1 of 2 Pretty Little Liars comparisons here)
Alice is the more rational of the two sisters, but her character was inconsistent to me. I thought she seemed reserved and outspoken, rather than ‘shy, but strong.’ Perhaps it was all of the question marks (and lack of sleep?) in Alice’s life that pushed her over the edge. I think she’ll pull herself together in book 2.
Charlie didn’t have as many questions about her new life, and she threw herself into the country club scene. She was charging her rich stepdad’s credit card, upgrading to an iPhone, and befriending the Queen Bee, Cybill (who inherited the title after Camilla’s untimely death) all in the first few days. Charlie also found herself in a complicated love triangle with bad boy, Jude. (Does anyone else see some Chuck Bass similarities? Because I really love Chuck Bass).
Charlie’s point of view showed us some of her vulnerabilities that we would not have seen from Alice (besides her tramp stamp bandaid). I felt bad for Charlie – it reminded me of how insecurities run rampant at her age. With Charlie stepping into a judgmental town with her new dad, her feelings must be magnified. Another reason I liked Charlie’s point of view, was so that we were able to see the softer side to Jude. I don’t think he’s as bad as Tommy made him out to be, but he’s probably still bad news.
Things I loved:
- The sister relationship: LP nailed this dynamic. It seemed real to me, especially for being so close in age – they were each other’s best friends, but still took each other for granted. They know how to really get under each other’s skin, but I think they’ll get wise and work together in This Side of Jealousy.
- Dead girl: Ali, is that you? (Insert the second Pretty Little Liars comparison)…. I love that show, so I’m all for the ghost giving clues to the living!
- The dudes: Who are they?? All three are mysterious and Jude and Tommy are certainly damaged. What secrets do they have?(Is country club employee, Stan, like Ethan from Lying Game?? )
While I really liked this book, I thought the ending was too predictable. When it ended, I was like, “Huh? That’s it??” There are still a lot of questions that need to be answered, and I’m anxious to see what we learn in This Side of Jealousy!
Anyway, I liked this book, a lot!
PS If it is not entirely clear by now, YES, I am obsessed with YA TV in addition to NA books =)