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The Innocents

The Innocents

4.0 5
by Lili Peloquin

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Even the innocent don't kiss and tell...

“…the quick pacing will keep readers engrossed in this series kickoff as Alice and Charlie try to sort through the soap opera that is their new lives and figure out who they can trust. It’s Gossip Girl for Connecticut’s Gold Coast.” –Publishers


Even the innocent don't kiss and tell...

“…the quick pacing will keep readers engrossed in this series kickoff as Alice and Charlie try to sort through the soap opera that is their new lives and figure out who they can trust. It’s Gossip Girl for Connecticut’s Gold Coast.” –Publishers Weekly

The Innocents weaves a saga of nail-biting drama, breathless romance, and gothic mystery perfect for fans of ABC's Revenge.

Though they share the same blood, Alice and Charlie couldn’t be more different. Alice is older (by one year and one day), shy and reserved, a cool blonde, a painter, a reader, a thinker. Charlie is feisty and uninhibited, a wild brunette, the kind of girl who punches a bully right in the mouth. They hate each other. They love each other. They stand by each other, when no one else will. They’re sisters.

Then their parents divorce. Soon, Alice, Charlie, and their mother are leaving their old life behind. They’re saying goodbye to their cramped Cambridge apartment and driving along the rocky Connecticut coastline—to their stepfather's summer estate in the wealthy town of Serenity Point.

The minute they drive through the gates, they wish they never had. Their arrival reopens old wounds, memories of lost loves, best friends—and bitter rivals. The people of Serenity Point thought the past was dead and buried. They were wrong.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
After Alice and Charlie Flaherty’s mother, Maggie, marries the wealthy Richard Flood following a rushed romance, the teenage sisters are whisked to exclusive Serenity Point, “the toniest town in Connecticut,” for the summer, before being sent to an elite Vermont boarding school. But there are many mysteries behind the gated walls of their new mansion and country club, including what made their stepfather’s outwardly perfect daughter kill herself and when Maggie actually met Richard. As Alice starts investigating, she realizes that all the secrets “made the wildest and most far-fetched scenarios seem not just possible but likely.” First-time author Peloquin’s characters are largely stereotypical, from shy Alice and wild Charlie to controlling Richard and the shallow party boy Charlie falls for, who is hiding deep pain—and secrets, of course. Even so, the quick pacing will keep readers engrossed in this series kickoff as Alice and Charlie try to sort through the soap opera that is their new lives and figure out who they can trust. It’s Gossip Girl for Connecticut’s Gold Coast. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)
VOYA - Laura Woodruff
Teen sisters Alice and Charlie move to Serenity Point, Connecticut, with their newly married mother and their enormously rich stepfather, Richard Flood III, to spend the summer in his magnificent beach house and adapt to the lifestyle of the wealthy. Still hurting from their mother's rapid divorce and remarriage, the girls vow to stick together until Labor Day, when both will leave for private schools and have some degree of freedom. They soon meet Cybill, leader of the local teenagers, who is strangely connected to her handsome cousin Jude—romantically? —and meet even handsomer Tommy, boyfriend of Richard's dead daughter, Camilla. Cybill reveals that beautiful Camilla did not die in an accident, as Richard had reported, but committed suicide. Alice, strongly attracted to Tommy, knows that she resembles the dead girl and believes that she senses Camilla's ghost in the Flood home. Why did Camilla, who had everything, take her own life? And why did her father lie about it? Alice and Charlie deal differently with the darker side of their new acquaintances' lives and the hidden secrets that ultimately threaten their survival. The first novel by Peloquin, The Innocents will be followed by a second book in summer of 2013. Seeking to blend mystery, romance, and gothic drama, it is a fast-paced read that alternates chapters between Alice and Charlie as they deal with the drug-heavy, selfish lives of their privileged friends. The characters of the girls ring true. This initial novel will probably appeal to high school readers. Reviewer: Laura Woodruff
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Sisters Alice and Charlie Flaherty's lives are turned upside down when their mother suddenly marries millionaire Richard Flood. They find themselves uprooted from their home to the luxurious town of Serenity Point. There, they quickly learn the rules for survival. They also learn that with privilege comes a wealth of secrets shrouded in mysteries. For instance, what would make Richard's daughter, a girl who had everything, want to take her own life? And are Richard and their mother being truthful about when they actually began dating? The characters are by and large clichés: Alice is the eldest daughter and therefore intelligent and shy. Charlie is younger and more carefree. The rest of the teenage supporting characters are mainly shallow and indulgent, with the occasional glimmer of depth. While Peloquin's writing style is mainly solid, at times the plot takes a turn into the melodramatic. The abrupt ending is a bit jarring until readers realize that this is the first book in the series. Fans of the decadence of Cecily von Ziegesar's "Gossip Girl" series (Little, Brown) and Sara Shepard's "Pretty Little Liars" series (HarperCollins) will enjoy this read.—Kimberly Castle-Alberts, Hudson Library & Historical Society, OH
Kirkus Reviews
It's dangerous when a novel references The Great Gatsby; it only begs unfortunate comparisons. Sensible Alice and rebellious Charlie have just arrived at the Connecticut shore after a whirlwind romance between their just-divorced mother, Maggie, and a filthy rich architect, Richard. It takes no time for them to be caught up in the dreary intrigues and festering secrets of the 1 percent. Charlie hurls herself into the country-club world of their new stepfather, connecting almost instantly with a creepy-yet-charismatic pair of cousins, the dissolute Jude and bitchy Cybill. Alice, though more resistant to the allure of luxury, is drawn to the ruggedly handsome Tommy, whose most recent girlfriend just happens to have been Camilla, Richard's late daughter, who committed suicide the year before and who bore an uncanny resemblance to—gasp—Alice. Charlie drinks and acts out; Alice alternately moons over Tommy, obsesses over Camilla and questions Maggie and Richard's past. While Peloquin isn't a bad writer—her control over a shifting third-person voice that captures both Alice's reserve and Charlie's attitude is particularly effective—Fitzgerald she ain't. Readers will particularly wonder at the unfulfilled role of green-eyed waiter and scholarship student Stan in Charlie's love quadrangle—until they get to the end and realize that the entire book has been an elongated setup for a series. This Side of Jealousy is scheduled for summer 2013; here's hoping the characters develop some substance between now and then. (Chick lit/mystery. 12-16)

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Innocents Series , #1
Sold by:
Penguin Group
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Lili Peloquin grew up in New England, where the first breeze of summer still reminds her of a whispered secret. The Innocents is her first novel. Follow her on Twitter (@lilipeloquin).

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The Innocents 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It is a suspending story that has great details. I am 15 almost 16 and I would totally recomend tgis book for any girl my age!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While I agree with several points you made, i also disagree. Alice's obsession and her similar appearance is part of the plot. In this book, charlie played a minor part, but her role will change in book 2
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
FuzzyCoffeeBooks More than 1 year ago
Good build-up but the end left something to be desired What I Liked: 1) The Gothic Mystery element. I read so much paranormal fiction that often I forget how mysterious contemporary novels can be. This one is a nice example of the gothic mystery (albeit pretty easy to figure out, I think I figured it out about 100 pages in.) 2) The secondary characters. The secondary characters of Jude, Cybill, Camilla, and Tommy fascinated me, probably more than the two MCs did. Their lifestyle, which MCs Alice and Charlie are just learning about, is one of indulgence and extravagance, like being dropped into some overdramatic reality tv show. Or a soap opera is more like it. 3) Alice. I connected with Alice a lot when she was doing all of her sleuthing to try and figure out what the big secret was about Camilla. Alice seemed to think she was being sneaky about it, but to me it was just research, and she wasn't giving up until she knew the truth. I'm like that when I'm curious about something, I will research and research until I get my answers. And since her curiosity became my curiosity, that was a big part in keeping me interested. What I Didn't Like: I hated the way it ended. Hated it. It was like being dropped off a cliff. Not like a big cliffhanger, in fact there wasn't really a cliffhanger at all. But there was a big reveal (of the answers to Alice's mystery) and then nothing. She goes a little crazy in a Henry James kind of way in making all sorts of assumptions, none of which made any sense to me at all. And then the book was over. Really? REALLY? That's how you're going to end it? It's not an ending that drives another book at all. I was very disappointed in that. I also did not like Alice and Charlie's mom at all. But people who completely change their personalities because of some new person in their life bug me in real life too. Overall thoughts: There is a lot of promise in this debut as it picks up to a great start with fully developed characters and an intriguing mystery. The overindulgent lifestyles of the youth (and the adults) in Serenity Point adds a flair of the dramatic and a lot of fun. The ending was very disappointing though, as the author was simply tired of writing. Yes, it answered the questions that had been developed throughout the course of the story, but there was no gradual let down. It was BOOM, The End. The saving grace for the series is the fact that an excerpt from the next book is included at the end. My belief in Lili Peloquin's talent, plus that mysterious little excerpt have convinced me to give the series another shot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago