Alice and Charlie's mom just married Richard Flood the Third, an insanely rich man who's wife died of cancer and who's daughter, Camilla, died merely months after. They almost immediately move to Serenity Point, a beach area filled with rich people, all with their own sinister secrets surrounding Camilla and her demise. But even more creepy, Alice happens to look exactly like Camilla and there's no way she can let those secrets stay hidden. Not when her sister is pulling away and these secrets seem to affect her family personally. But maybe the people at Serenity Point aren't the only ones with secrets.
The writing? There was just something I can't pinpoint that made me completely love the writing. It was just...gorgeous. I mean, I could read one word and be completely sucked in immediately. I could barely put it down!
And yes, The Innocents is written in the 3rd person POV, and maybe sometimes it seemed that it should be in the 1st, but this way The Innocents could switch between Alice and Charlie's POV without any confusion and much more ease. It may seem weird at times that in the beginning one chapter was all Alice, another all Charlie, and that after it would switch between one then the other in a paragraphs, but they switched at exactly the right time if that makes sense. But mainly, Alice was our narrator and I found it so much more enjoyable!
Which leads us to characters. Alice was definitely my favorite sister. She's a bookworm (Which basically everyone reading this can connect to), quiet, shy, but she watches. She's the one who notices the little things, the one who can usually catch on before anyone else, and it was just amazing that we went through 80% of the book from her perspective. Because she caught the details when Charlie blew them off as paranoia. Alice is the older, more wiser sister you could say. She knows when enough is enough and she won't bend to ANYBODY'S will. Completely the opposite of her sister.
Charlie. Oh Charlie, Charlie, Charlie. Most of these characters I loved to hate, but especially her. She was just so...agh. I don't whether it was because I liked Alice more, but Charlie just annoyed me so much especially when abandoning her sister for a guy (who I'll talk about later) or told Alice that she was just being a downer. Please. But when you read from her point of view...you just can't blame her (no matter how much disdain you're nursing). She's the wild, unpredictable one. She always fits in.She's never had much trouble in guys, until Jude. More on that below. I definitely think both of these sisters are two characters all readers can relate to. If not one, then the other!
The Love Interests
Since we started with Alice, let's start with her love interest. Tommy. Yes, the name sounds a bit awkward lol. But Tommy is such a sweet guy, with such a nice personality. Like incredibly incredibly sweet. He fit Alice perfectly, quiet and understanding. But of course, the Innocents is all about secrets. And he has secrets of his own. Ones that could maybe, and quite probably, change everything.
Jude. Can. I. Kill him? Pretty please? Okay, I totally wanted to murder Jude. He was such a tool. He played with Charlie, drawing her away from Alice, and not even really caring about her. And Charlie knew that. But she was just so desperate for him. I don't even know why! He was cute. His personality isn't exactly a gem. Jude was, quite frankly, a son of a bleep. He's the other character I loved to hate. He strung Charlie along, but the worst part is...well, you'll have to read and find out.
They weren't so much as twists as things that were already there. Secrets that become unveiled, reasons and intents become clearer, and all of them are slowly leading up to the big giant, juicy plot twist that's just waiting to be read. While some people think that there was only the one twist, there were so many more subtle ones that would've been hard to catch if you weren't looking for them.
All of these...ohmygoodness, there were so many hints lying around. I would collect them but I wouldn't connect the dots and was so shocked! You guys...be sure you aren't in a squeal-free zone like the library when you finish the last hundred pages or so. Also, ghosts. Yes. Ghosts.
With a few grammar errors, my complete lack of understanding as to why Jude was such a catch, those were pretty much my only complaints on the novel. While it was uber amazing, it didn't affect me quite as much emotionally as I'd hoped. But still. Amazing.
The Innocents is a stunning debut with gorgeous writing and even more gorgeous content. This debut is definitely a favorite and takes a whole new meaning to "dangerous secrets". With main characters the readers can relate to, the Innocents will both shock you and make you giddy for more. Filled with secrets, lies, and...unrequited love? The Innocents is one to grab for those who are looking for something new in the contemporary section. One that will make you grit your teeth and squeal at the same time, this is not a book to be taken lightly! After all, when everyone has a secret, who can you really trust?