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I Belong

Review: The Innocents by Lili Peloquin

Title: The Innocents

Author: Lili Peloquin

Genre: YA Contemporary

Series: The Innocents (Book 1)

Publication Date: October 16, 2012

Format: Hardcover, 268 Pages

ISBN-10: 1595145826 (Razorbill/Penguin)

ISBN-13: 978-1595145826 (Razorbill/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Michelle


Nothing ever came between sisters Alice and Charlie.
Friends didn’t.
Boys couldn’t.
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.

Quick & Dirty: A rags to riches story filled with dark secrets and drama.

Opening Sentence: Her sister’s last words hung in the air: “You’re just jealous because I belong here and you don’t.”

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

I didn’t know much about Lili Peloquin’s The Innocents when I first received the book. The beautiful cover lured me to quickly read the words behind it. And after reading the synopsis, I couldn’t wait to dive in. The bi-line for the book is “She hated her sister. She loved her sister.” Intriguing, no? The Innocents is a young adult contemporary that follows along the lines of Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl. So for those fans out there, this is for you!

The lives of sisters Alice and Charlie are about to change when their mom marries Richard Flood III. In a somewhat rags to riches insta-story, Alice and Charlie relocate to Serenity Point, a beach community for the rich and fabulous. And of course, while life seems perfect on the outside, that is hardly the case. Both Alice and Charlie quickly find out that the residents of Serenity Point have their own dark secrets, and the daughter of Richard Flood III, Camilla. To make things more interesting, Alice has many similarities to Camilla, some positive and some too creepy for words. Alice and Charlie soon find out that things aren’t as perfect as they seem, but how soon and will it be too late?

Alice was the older, quiet sister, the one who was shy and observant and who always had her nose stuck in a book. She was more responsible and calculated, and it clearly showed. Alice noticed everything, but mostly kept it to herself. Alice’s thoughts and viewpoint was clear and strong. She was the sister that was easier to relate to. But Alice had secrets, hidden deep within herself. She had conflicts which she held inside. To me, Alice was more interesting, just because she was so quiet.

Charlie was the opposite of Alice, bordering on annoying, but this could just have been me. She was headstrong and felt that she ruled the world. Charlie wore her heart on the sleeve and always thought about herself first. She was wild, unpredictable, and a typical teenager. Trouble? Well, trouble was Charlie’s middle name. And despite anything that Alice felt or thought, Charlie was quick to dismiss them. Charlie had vivacious written all over her, filling the pages of potential chaos and adventure.

Peloquin filled the pages about two broken families trying to mend itself as one. She brought depth into the story, while balancing it with teenage drama. Peloquin made things interesting, when they could easily not be, and for this I applaud her. I loved the dynamic of the sisters, towards each other and towards the other characters. I didn’t like a few things, and I felt that at times the sisters’ characters fell short of the scene they were currently in.

While I enjoyed the dynamic between the sisters, I didn’t enjoy the relationships between the sisters and anyone else. To me, it felt forced. Well, maybe not forced, but it just wasn’t there for me. I couldn’t connect to the scenes with certain love interests and I tuned out when it came to the scenes with Richard. As each secret was revealed, I felt that I knew what was going to happen. The reasons behind each action became a little more clear, but it felt like it was already leading in that direction.

Overall, The Innocents has a lot of potential to be a great series. Any shortcomings could be due to my tastes and preferences. The writing was great as well as having superb pacing. I urge you to give The Innocents a try for yourself.

Notable Scene:

Fuck it, she said to herself, jumping out of bed, pulling off her T-shirt. She’d head on over to the club. It was where she spent most of her mornings, anyway. And if Jude was a no-show, so what? She’d practice serves or get in a workout with the ball machine. She walked over to her closet to make sure that Fernanda had washed her favorite tennis skirt – she had – then beelined for the bathroom to take a shower. She’d have to make it a snappy one if she didn’t want to be late.

The Innocents Series:

1. The Innocents

2. This Side of Jealousy (June 18, 2013)

FTC Advisory: Razorbill/Penguin provided me with a copy of The Innocents.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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