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The End Of Innocence

Jenny compares The Innocents to tv shows she's never watched in her review of Lili Peloquin's debut.

The End Of Innocence

BOOK REPORT for The Innocents (The Innocents Book 1) by Lili Peloquin

Cover Story: Picturesque
BFF Charm: Um, Nay? Yay?
Swoonworthy Scale: 6
Talky Talk: Gossip Girl Meets The O.C.
Bonus Factors: Cambridge, Sisters, A Dead Girl
Relationship Status: I've Never Gone Out With Anyone Quite Like This Book.

Cover Story: Picturesque

Heheh… Get it? This cover is pretty classic, even if it does have not one, but two partial big heads. It takes me back to when I was a YA, perusing through the children's section of my local library.

The Deal:

Alice and Charlie aren't thrilled about their mom's sudden marriage to Mr. Ritchie Rich himself, Richard Flood. And they're not certain they really want to leave their cool old Cambridge apartment for country club living in Connecticut. But no matter, that's what's happening. Once they find themselves embroiled in the small (and scandalous!) community of Serenity Point, the sisters find themselves being pulled in opposite directions, both of them facing situations that will change their lives -- for the better, or worse. Can their family survive until the end of the summer?

BFF Charm: Um, Nay? Yay?

I find myself perplexed by Charlie and Alice. In some ways, I identified with Alice more, but then she would get WAY TOO OBSESSED with certain people or ideas, and her inner monologue would remind me a little be too much of a B.S. -type girl (that's Bella Swan, just so's you know) in her level of obsessed-ness. Then Charlie would make me cringe with her "bad girl" schtick, but I cheered for her SO HARD, to break away from people trying to put her in a box. Learn from your mistakes and MOVE ON, girl! And take that bandaid off. You've learned your lesson.

Swoonworthy Scale: 6

There was some classic teen swooniness happening here, and by classic, I mean that both girls meet boys that are all hot and bad and damaged, and ARE SUCH BAD CHOICES, but you have to kind of let things play out and see what's going to happen. In the end, I actually have faith in these girls.

Talky Talk: Gossip Girl Meets The O.C.

I actually have no idea what I'm talking about with that talky talk category. It's true. I'm making a completely uninformed judgement. But this book reminds me of what I IMAGINE Gossip Girl and The O.C. and other similar shows that I've also never watched would be like. It's about a bunch of unlikable and broken rich people, and their infidelities and heartaches and scandals. And yet it's somehow enjoyable, just like I've always imagined those shows to be.

Bonus Factor: Cambridge

Cambridge, Mass., repreSENT!!!! Peloquin peppered little Cambridge and Boston tidbits throughout this story, and I relished each one.

Bonus Factor: Sisters

I don't know if the author has any sisters herself, or not, but in a story that was generally soaparatic in nature, she nailed the intricacies of sisters -- especially ones close together in age. From their general physical comfort with each other to their inability to communicate, to Sad Clown Face.

Bonus Factor: A Dead Girl

For a book that isn't a ghost story per se -- and I kept looking, because for some reason, I had it in my head we were going to go into Christopher Pike territory (we did not) -- a dead girl plays a pretty pivotal role. I like that in a book.

Casting Call:

Blonde Keira Knightly as Alice

Phoebe Tonkin as Charlie

Relationship Status: I've never gone out with anyone quite like this book.

I mean, really. I thought it was time to branch out, so I agreed to meet this book for coffee, and I'm not sorry I did. Not because we connected in some real and surprising way, but because even though this book felt almost like it was speaking a foreign language, it was still interesting. I listened with fascination as it told me all about itself, and was engrossed as much by its foreignness as its story. And long after we had drained our cups, I agreed to meet this book's sequel next year. Even if I never fully understand it.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my review copy from Penguin.  I received neither money nor cocktails for writing this review (dammit!).The Innocents is available wherever books are sold.

Jenny Bird's photo About the Author: Jenny grew up on a steady diet of Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov and Star Wars novels. She has now expanded her tastes to include television, movies, and YA fiction.