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The Opposite of Innocent

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Poignant and chilling by turns, The Opposite of Innocent is award-winning author Sonya Sones’s most gripping novel in verse yet. It’s the story of a girl named Lily, who’s been crushing on a man named Luke, a friend of her parents, ever since she can remember. Luke has been away for two endless years, but he’s finally returning today. Lily was only twelve when he left. But Poignant and chilling by turns, The Opposite of Innocent is award-winning author Sonya Sones’s most gripping novel in verse yet. It’s the story of a girl named Lily, who’s been crushing on a man named Luke, a friend of her parents, ever since she can remember. Luke has been away for two endless years, but he’s finally returning today. Lily was only twelve when he left. But now, at fourteen, she feels transformed. She can’t wait to see how Luke will react when he sees the new her. And when her mother tells her that Luke will be staying with them for a while, in the bedroom right next to hers, her heart nearly stops. Having Luke back is better than Lily could have ever dreamed. His lingering looks set Lily on fire. Is she just imagining them? But then, when they’re alone, he kisses her. Then he kisses her again. Lily’s friends think anyone his age who wants to be with a fourteen-year-old must be really messed up. Maybe even dangerous. But Luke would never do anything to hurt her...would he? In this powerful tale of a terrifying leap into young adulthood, readers will accompany Lily on her harrowing journey from hopelessness to hope.


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Poignant and chilling by turns, The Opposite of Innocent is award-winning author Sonya Sones’s most gripping novel in verse yet. It’s the story of a girl named Lily, who’s been crushing on a man named Luke, a friend of her parents, ever since she can remember. Luke has been away for two endless years, but he’s finally returning today. Lily was only twelve when he left. But Poignant and chilling by turns, The Opposite of Innocent is award-winning author Sonya Sones’s most gripping novel in verse yet. It’s the story of a girl named Lily, who’s been crushing on a man named Luke, a friend of her parents, ever since she can remember. Luke has been away for two endless years, but he’s finally returning today. Lily was only twelve when he left. But now, at fourteen, she feels transformed. She can’t wait to see how Luke will react when he sees the new her. And when her mother tells her that Luke will be staying with them for a while, in the bedroom right next to hers, her heart nearly stops. Having Luke back is better than Lily could have ever dreamed. His lingering looks set Lily on fire. Is she just imagining them? But then, when they’re alone, he kisses her. Then he kisses her again. Lily’s friends think anyone his age who wants to be with a fourteen-year-old must be really messed up. Maybe even dangerous. But Luke would never do anything to hurt her...would he? In this powerful tale of a terrifying leap into young adulthood, readers will accompany Lily on her harrowing journey from hopelessness to hope.

30 review for The Opposite of Innocent

  1. 4 out of 5

    destiny ♎ [howling libraries]

    In The Opposite of Innocent, we follow a story that’s painfully familiar for a lot of people: a girl being groomed by a sexual predator, and that grooming turning into a fully-blown abusive relationship. What sets this book apart, however, is both the fact that it’s a story told in prose, and the fact that our narrator is so incredibly young and naïve; she genuinely has no clue what’s coming until it’s too late. I’ve always been in love with Luke. For as far back as I can remember. Right from th In The Opposite of Innocent, we follow a story that’s painfully familiar for a lot of people: a girl being groomed by a sexual predator, and that grooming turning into a fully-blown abusive relationship. What sets this book apart, however, is both the fact that it’s a story told in prose, and the fact that our narrator is so incredibly young and naïve; she genuinely has no clue what’s coming until it’s too late. I’ve always been in love with Luke. For as far back as I can remember. Right from the beginning, we’re shown these memories of Lily’s, where she tells us how she’s always been in love with Luke, and how her entire life, he’s promised to wait for her. It’s the sort of scenario that feels uncomfortable anyways, but when you know what the book is about, watching everything piece together is like sitting in traffic and watching the distracted driver behind you wait too long to hit the brakes; you know what’s coming before they do, and sometimes, all you can do is grit your teeth and brace for impact. He was my best friend, my hero, and my soul mate all rolled into one. The most mortifying part of this tale is how young Lily is—and how naïve her narrative feels. There’s some inconsistency when she’s with her friends; sometimes, they’re all jokes and games, jumping on beds and goofing off, while other times, they’re talking about “going all the way” and Lily’s friends are tremendously concerned about this “older boyfriend” she alludes to. The biggest reason I gave this 3 stars, in fact, was simply because Lily felt very self-contradicting to me at times. I don’t understand how a person can feel so awesome and so awful at the exact same time. While the book does follow the standard formula for this plot—girl is groomed, girl is abused, girl begins to realize that she deserves more than this—it’s still heartbreaking to watch her grow up right before our eyes as she begins to miss the comforting ease she feels with boys her own age, rather than the man fifteen years older than her. I wish that Lily more openly understood the fact that she’s been groomed for this moment, because I think, with that small addition, this could become a great cautionary tale for young girls who might recognize behaviors in men in their own lives and realize what those motives truly are. All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to HarperTeen for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    3 1/2 stars. I don't know if this was the best thing I've ever read, but it was certainly an incredibly tense experience. This is a story in verse, and I just felt so in it. Absolutely enrapturing. review to come!!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Riley

    4.5

  4. 4 out of 5

    Camila Roy ••RoyIsReading••

    RATING: 3/5 ARC provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review Fourteen-year-old Lily has been infatuated with Luke for as long as she can remember. Luke is a friend of her family, who happens to be twice her age. A crush turns into a relationship that Lily cannot handle. Staying means losing herself but leaving means losing everything Let me start off by saying that I liked the book’s writing style. 1) It felt like I was reading a poem at times and 2)it really suited the storyline. Its a RATING: 3/5 ARC provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review Fourteen-year-old Lily has been infatuated with Luke for as long as she can remember. Luke is a friend of her family, who happens to be twice her age. A crush turns into a relationship that Lily cannot handle. Staying means losing herself but leaving means losing everything Let me start off by saying that I liked the book’s writing style. 1) It felt like I was reading a poem at times and 2)it really suited the storyline. Its a short book but we clearly witness Lily’s transition from an infatuated, childish teen to a more mature girl. On the negative side, I think the book fell short of its potential. It should’ve been longer and gone more in-depth. I’m actually a bit angry about the way it wrapped up. I wanted to see Lily’s actions to fix the situation. The ending felt really anticlimactic to me. Overall, it’s a decent book but it could’ve been far better.

  5. 5 out of 5

    emily

    woah

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tanya Tate

    4.5 Stars! I received a copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. A Proper representation on how I feel right now. RTC

  7. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Lee

    I was lucky to get my hands on an ARC of this book on Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. I don't usually go for novels in verse, but this was gorgeous, and so immersive, and I was immediately swept away by Lily's emotions. The slow shift of her feelings toward Luke, and the dawning clarity of Luke's true nature, was masterfully done. I'm a survivor, and in some ways this was hard to read because of just how well it reflected my own experiences back to me...but Sones handled the subject I was lucky to get my hands on an ARC of this book on Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. I don't usually go for novels in verse, but this was gorgeous, and so immersive, and I was immediately swept away by Lily's emotions. The slow shift of her feelings toward Luke, and the dawning clarity of Luke's true nature, was masterfully done. I'm a survivor, and in some ways this was hard to read because of just how well it reflected my own experiences back to me...but Sones handled the subject matter deftly and respectfully, and I think this will be a very important book. I really wished it had been longer--that's my one thing! But that's just because it was soooo good that I wanted to keep reading. I literally devoured this book in an hour on a plane ride and totally forgot about the jerk to my right who kept jiggling his leg up and down nonstop.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    She thought the sun rose and set with Luke, and felt like she was living the dream, when Luke finally began to see her as a woman. However, Lily soon learned how Luke was a wolf in sheep's clothing. • Pro: It amazed me how Sones could write about something so ugly in such a beautiful way. • Pro: This was a pretty emotional read. The story was told in such a way, that I felt my heart breaking piece by piece with each bit of innocence Luke stole from Lily. • Pro: Lily broke my heart. She was a youn She thought the sun rose and set with Luke, and felt like she was living the dream, when Luke finally began to see her as a woman. However, Lily soon learned how Luke was a wolf in sheep's clothing. • Pro: It amazed me how Sones could write about something so ugly in such a beautiful way. • Pro: This was a pretty emotional read. The story was told in such a way, that I felt my heart breaking piece by piece with each bit of innocence Luke stole from Lily. • Pro: Lily broke my heart. She was a young teen with a crush on her dad's friend. She had these wide open eyes and a wide open heart, and Luke robbed her of that. He trapped her in a web of secrets and lies, leaving her with no options, or so she believed. • Pro: I was a fan of the triatomics, Lily's group of friends. I liked how Sones used them as the norm to which Lily would compare her "relationship", and they were also just really supportive friends to Lily. • Pro: I felt like Lily had this big "eureka" moment at the end of the book, and I was really proud of her. • Con: BUT, I wish we had gotten more closure. I will never subscribe to the open ending, which allows me to draw my own conclusions thing. I always want definitive answers. Though I do understand, that if Sones met my requirements the endpoint would turn this into the Odyssey. • Pro: Sones built a compelling case for how this happened to Lily, which added to the believability of the story. Overall: An emotional and painful story of abuse, which was beautifully told. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  9. 4 out of 5

    Beth Rodgers

    'The Opposite of Innocent' is yet another fantastic novel-in-verse by the illustrious Sonya Sones. The story will draw readers in and not let go, making them wish for what they want to happen but know may only be a desperate wish. It will haunt readers well past the last page, eager to know just what happened to Lily and how she will tear herself away from an undeniably horrific situation. The story starts off pleasantly enough, with Lily crushing on an older man - her dad's best friend who is fi 'The Opposite of Innocent' is yet another fantastic novel-in-verse by the illustrious Sonya Sones. The story will draw readers in and not let go, making them wish for what they want to happen but know may only be a desperate wish. It will haunt readers well past the last page, eager to know just what happened to Lily and how she will tear herself away from an undeniably horrific situation. The story starts off pleasantly enough, with Lily crushing on an older man - her dad's best friend who is fifteen years her senior, Luke. He is kind and sweet to her, making her fourteen-year-old self feel like she is the most important person in the world. The fact that he is staying with her family - including her parents and her younger sister - thrills Lily to no end, and she can't believe her luck that he is in the room directly adjacent to hers. When Lily gets a taste of what she has always wanted - a kiss from Luke - her world becomes upended, and she feels that life is finally fulfilling the only dream she's ever known. Little does she know what she's in for, as Luke's manipulative and endearing qualities work hand in hand to cripple Lily's belief in love, and even kindness. Lily finds herself incapable of sharing her troubles with anyone, which is so true of the world today when people find ways to manipulate others to fulfill their own desires. Luke is the perfect portrait of a terrible guy wrapped up in a nice-looking and overall nice-seeming package. His generosity and friendliness make him the least suspicious person, but his true nature causes Lily catastrophic mental anguish. Despite the fact that the conclusion is somewhat open-ended, the fact that Sonya Sones can write such beautiful and compelling verse, yet shed light on such heinous topics, is incredibly motivational for readers and writers alike. Anyone who enjoys contemporary romances, thrillers, novels-in-verse, or coming of age stories should rush to pick this up. It will grab readers and not let them go, all the while encouraging important discourse about topics that are too sadly prevalent in this day and age. Beth Rodgers, Author of 'Freshman Fourteen' and 'Sweet Fifteen,' Young Adult Novels *Review originally posted at YABooksCentral.com*

  10. 5 out of 5

    BookChic Club

    I was excited to see a new Sonya Sones book available on Edelweiss, as I didn't know she had one coming out. I downloaded it and read it over the course of two days. As usual, the book was in verse so it's a pretty quick read, but it was a really powerful one. Sones told Lily's story so poignantly and so realistically- where Lily's crush on Luke becomes more than just a crush and what that new attention does to her over time. I got sucked in to her story and felt so badly for her as things with I was excited to see a new Sonya Sones book available on Edelweiss, as I didn't know she had one coming out. I downloaded it and read it over the course of two days. As usual, the book was in verse so it's a pretty quick read, but it was a really powerful one. Sones told Lily's story so poignantly and so realistically- where Lily's crush on Luke becomes more than just a crush and what that new attention does to her over time. I got sucked in to her story and felt so badly for her as things with Luke got worse and worse. I do wish the ending had gone a little further though; I thought it ended abruptly- the reader can definitely guess at what will happen but I would've liked more. It is still a heart-wrenching story and the sparse verse makes it even more so. Definitely check this book out when it releases!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jeweliana

    "I wish I could just tell them the truth/ but they'd go bonkers if they knew/ how old Luke really is." Books about pedo's are always hard to read but this one left me feeling unsatisfied with its lack of a concrete ending. Plot I'm 100% certain this plot has been done in at least 78 Lifetime movies. It's not overly graphic, but the story is pretty much laid out in the summary. Girl 'dates' 30yo man. There was definitely a lack of tension that made this a rather tame read. You know where it' "I wish I could just tell them the truth/ but they'd go bonkers if they knew/ how old Luke really is." Books about pedo's are always hard to read but this one left me feeling unsatisfied with its lack of a concrete ending. Plot I'm 100% certain this plot has been done in at least 78 Lifetime movies. It's not overly graphic, but the story is pretty much laid out in the summary. Girl 'dates' 30yo man. There was definitely a lack of tension that made this a rather tame read. You know where it's going and there's no surprises or twists. The ending left so much to be desired. I really only read it to see the fallout after the relationship comes to light but the story cuts off before any of the good stuff happens. Which ticked me off. We just read about this pedo and now we don't even get to see how the situation is resolved?? Characters Dull. Cookiecutter. Lily is your standard naiive freshman with low self esteem. It may be because the story is written in verse but everything about the characters felt generic. Writing Not sure why it's in verse. It reads like prose. And honestly, I do suppose this is a story I wouldn't want to be dragged out for a full 300 pages. The writing wasn't bad but didn't stand out either. Do I Recommend? If you've never read a book about a teen falling for an older man, maybe. But if you have, I think you'll be fairly disappointed with how tame this story is.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Aya Serry

    3.5 This was a beautiful,painful and very difficult ‘at some points’ to read book! And the authors note is one of the best i’ve ever read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jaclyn

    If you are looking for a quick, dark, taboo contemporary I would suggest trying this one out. It is told in verse and is very readable; I finished it in like 2 hours. It will def. make you uncomfortable, but I think that the author wants you to. It is interesting to see how their relationship progresses/how this can happen to someone. I do feel like it rushes a bit and certain things could be expanded more. Lilly definitely came to certain decisions and choices rather fast to me. Nevertheless, i If you are looking for a quick, dark, taboo contemporary I would suggest trying this one out. It is told in verse and is very readable; I finished it in like 2 hours. It will def. make you uncomfortable, but I think that the author wants you to. It is interesting to see how their relationship progresses/how this can happen to someone. I do feel like it rushes a bit and certain things could be expanded more. Lilly definitely came to certain decisions and choices rather fast to me. Nevertheless, if you want a taboo contemporary that doesn't take much time to read, it is worth a read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alyson Kent

    Based off an ARC the library where I work received. This is one of those books where I’m left with mixed feelings and a low, queasy feeling in my stomach. The subject matter is horrific and heartbreaking. I want to bundle Lily up and drag her to the best therapist there is (after ensuring that Luke’s body will never be found). This is the type of book that I know I’ll be thinking/talking about for a long, long time.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Hallie

    CW: This review will talk about sexual assault, pedophilia, and rape Sonya Sones is one of the queen’s of contemporary, hard-hitting YA. I remember staying up late in middle school to read her books. The topics seemed so forbidden and unlike anything I had ever read before. Her latest book tackles another tough, but sadly realistic, topic that teens face–sexual predators and abusive relationships. The most striking part of the book is how young and innocent Lily’s voice is. She’s a 14 year old who CW: This review will talk about sexual assault, pedophilia, and rape Sonya Sones is one of the queen’s of contemporary, hard-hitting YA. I remember staying up late in middle school to read her books. The topics seemed so forbidden and unlike anything I had ever read before. Her latest book tackles another tough, but sadly realistic, topic that teens face–sexual predators and abusive relationships. The most striking part of the book is how young and innocent Lily’s voice is. She’s a 14 year old who still believes adults are all trustworthy and safe. She loves her little sister and her best friends fiercely. She adores romance novels and discussing her favorite books with her best friend. She’s just starting to think about dating, staying out late, and all that high school will entail. She squeals and plays around with her friends at sleepovers. Any grooming or abuse by a sexual predator is disgusting regardless of a teen’s experiences, personality, or world view, but Lily’s innocence is such a contrast to Luke, a sexual predator disguised as someone who cares about her. The book includes some descriptions of Luke sexually abusing Lily. The rape is not graphically described but implied and may trigger some readers. Sones’ books have always shown that both good and bad experiences can happen to anyone. Lily is an average teenager with a crush on an older family friend and before she knows it, she is stuck in an abusive situation. This is an important read for teens because it points out how quickly a toxic and harmful relationship can begin. Lily starts by making small exceptions and telling little lies. Soon she is hiding the truth from everyone she knows while being sexually abused and raped by Luke. She feels ashamed and terrified to tell anyone. Sones gives Lily room to explore her feelings and make her own decisions. She gives examples of the signs of an abusive relationship and has Lily’s friends notice these signs. Sones follows a basic pattern of how abusive relationships go–a crush, a beginning of a relationship when everything feels perfect, cycles of harm and apologies, and an exit from the relationship. The book will bring no surprises plot-wise but it will help teens learn what to look out for. Lily may feel alone, but she has several allies throughout the book. Her parents are somewhat involved in her life and it seems they would immediately act if they knew what was going on. However, Lily turns elsewhere for help. Her friends try to point out that something isn’t right with a man who is interested in someone her age. They try to protect her and help her when she needs it. They also help her laugh with pop culture references and funny stories. Lily discovers a new love of photography during the course of the book and is able to express herself through art. Lily and her friends also have a beloved book store that they visit frequently. The store is ran by a trusted adult, Bella, who is there for the teens in a way that parents or teachers can’t be. Lily finds that she can go to Bella without fear of judgement or repercussions when she realizes she needs help. Teen readers will see the importance of looking outward for help when they read Lily’s story. It’s very hard to read about Lily going through this abuse. Readers may want to find a non-fiction resource or helpful website to refer to about toxic and abusive relationships while reading this book. It will spark many conversations and questions from teen readers. The Opposite of Innocent is a difficult read but it’s an important one for teens learning about signs of abusive relationships, sexual assault, and how to take care of yourself. The final version of the book will include a resource list for teens looking for more information. Thank you to Harper Teen for a free ARC of this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    First sentence: The Friend of the Family I've always been in love with Luke. For as far back as I can remember. I used to climb into his lap, throw my arms around his neck, and tell him I was gonna marry him when I grew up. And Luke would smile down at me and say, "I'll wait for you, Lily. I promise." Premise/plot: The Opposite of Innocent is a verse novel for young adults. I hesitate to add for young adults--though perhaps not for the reason you might suspect. (I'll address this in 'my thoughts First sentence: The Friend of the Family I've always been in love with Luke. For as far back as I can remember. I used to climb into his lap, throw my arms around his neck, and tell him I was gonna marry him when I grew up. And Luke would smile down at me and say, "I'll wait for you, Lily. I promise." Premise/plot: The Opposite of Innocent is a verse novel for young adults. I hesitate to add for young adults--though perhaps not for the reason you might suspect. (I'll address this in 'my thoughts' below.) Lily, our narrator, is fourteen. She is head over heels in love with Luke, a twenty-nine year old man, a family friend who has known Lily's father practically forever. (Lily's parents think it is SO ADORABLE that their Lily has a "little girl" crush on Luke.) In fact, Luke is living with the family these days as he's looking for his own place. He's in no hurry and neither are they. If Luke were to leave who would take care of their children? Who would take them to school? pick them up from school? stay home with them when they're sick? help them with their homework? take them to the library? If Luke weren't around, one of them at least would have to actually parent. Lily doesn't dare to hope that Luke is as madly in love with her as she is with him. But lately she's been noticing him noticing her. Could her dreams finally be coming true at last? Does Luke LOVE her back? My thoughts: The Opposite of Innocent handles a mature topic--sexual abuse. It is just as much of a must-read as Laurie Halse Anderson's SPEAK, in my opinion. It is intense, compelling, and dramatic. Dare I say more than a little scary? As far as content goes, it is a mature topic. Lily is NOT ready for the relationship LUKE wants to have with her. Lily does not have the life-experience to know that Luke is manipulating her. Not only in the present tense, but that he has spent years manipulating her--grooming her. Not only her but her parents as well. Lily's parents trust Luke 110%. No reservations. No rules. So it does get graphic. I won't lie and say this is a clean read when it isn't. But the fact that it is graphic should not keep (strict) parents from allowing their (teen) children to read it. It is too important a topic to ignore. It is a book that needs to be read and discussed. Parents should read the book too. I'll go a step further. Adults should be reading this one. Parents. Teachers. Librarians. Anyone. Everyone. The topic does stay front and center, but it is also very much character-driven. If you've not read Sonya Sones' novels before, you should give them a try.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Brianna Brickiseed

    ** I received a galley of this title ahead of its publication date from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review** Reviewing this book is particularly hard because its verse format and overall message is favorable, but its fast-paced plot and conclusion is a bit lacking of proper consideration and excitement. Instead of giving a summary of The Opposite of Innocent, I’m cutting straight to my thoughts and concerns. The easy to read format of this verse novel was a huge pro for me. I’m a big Ellen ** I received a galley of this title ahead of its publication date from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review** Reviewing this book is particularly hard because its verse format and overall message is favorable, but its fast-paced plot and conclusion is a bit lacking of proper consideration and excitement. Instead of giving a summary of The Opposite of Innocent, I’m cutting straight to my thoughts and concerns. The easy to read format of this verse novel was a huge pro for me. I’m a big Ellen Hopkins fan, and enjoyed reading a book with this style again. The Opposite of Innocent definitely brought out various emotions in me, such as anger, sadness, hope, and satisfaction. I rooted for Lily, and wanted her to make it out of this situation intact. The twists were revealed in a satisfactory manner, and I felt my heart pounding as Lily makes mistakes and faces the consequences of doing so. I understand the importance of spreading the word about sexual abuse, and I respect Sonya Sones’s take on this, especially with the Me Too movement being in such full swing. However, this book was extremely fast-paced and lacked an in-depth look at the pain of one who is abused. I literally read this book and found myself wondering why and how Lily’s whole mindset could change so rapidly. I feel that those who are victims of sexual abuse, especially by the hands of those who are so close to them, have a harder time grappling the fact that their abuser is wrong. This was not the case with Lily. I just expect a bit more realism in a read based on abuse and the ramifications of rape and sexual assault. The ending forced me to foreshadow my own conclusion, which I disliked. I’m hoping for a sequel or an alternate ending, but I’m not sure Sones is planning to return to this story. Ugh. I like books that have a good plot and happy ending, and instead of getting that through the book itself, I am left having to make up my own conclusion. Argh. While The Opposite of Innocent presents a growing problem and the ramifications of cause-and-effect, it fails to satiate readers’ hunger for justice and satisfaction.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Reading this as an adult, there's a terrible sense of creeping doom as Lily slips further under Luke's influence. That could be triggering for some readers, but it also does make this, as the cover blurb from Gayle Foreman says, a great #MeToo introduction for teen readers with adult guidance. Who Lily eventually goes to for help also feels more realistic to me than the norm in this sort of book, and I think the decision to end where it does is a good one. Lily isn't a fool. Neither are her frien Reading this as an adult, there's a terrible sense of creeping doom as Lily slips further under Luke's influence. That could be triggering for some readers, but it also does make this, as the cover blurb from Gayle Foreman says, a great #MeToo introduction for teen readers with adult guidance. Who Lily eventually goes to for help also feels more realistic to me than the norm in this sort of book, and I think the decision to end where it does is a good one. Lily isn't a fool. Neither are her friends. Her parents pay attention. None of that is a failsafe against the sort of predation she faces, and while that's upsetting, it also helps Sones make the point she needs to in the book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Fipps

    Sonya Sones hits every note of a sexual abuse survivor's story, capturing what a predator does, so subtly at first and so boldly later, and how the prey feels each step of the way. As a survivor, I finish this book and begin this review by wiping away tears, tears because I know this book will be the end and the beginning for so many teens. The end of feeling they're alone with "the secret." The end of knotted, sour stomachs, and difficulty sleeping. The end to a zombie life hidden behind fake s Sonya Sones hits every note of a sexual abuse survivor's story, capturing what a predator does, so subtly at first and so boldly later, and how the prey feels each step of the way. As a survivor, I finish this book and begin this review by wiping away tears, tears because I know this book will be the end and the beginning for so many teens. The end of feeling they're alone with "the secret." The end of knotted, sour stomachs, and difficulty sleeping. The end to a zombie life hidden behind fake smiles; empty, joyless laughter; and "I'm fine." The end of feeling trapped with no way out because of the horrible things that you were told would happen to you, to those you love, if you told. The end to the fear that "they'll never believe you." The end to the lie from the pits of hell that you wanted it, asked for it, deserved it; it's your fault. The end to the soul-crushing weight of guilt and shame. And the beginning of the sweet relief of telling, telling until someone does believe you, telling over and over and over until it sinks in that it DID happen, that you DIDN'T want it, that it's not okay, and you're not okay -- but you'll get there. The beginning of reaching out for help. The beginning of life as a survivor, a conqueror, a warrior who stretches out her hands to others to help them tell and heal. The beginning of sharing stories, shouting THIS HAS TO STOP, standing up for one another, and standing against predators and a society that keeps letting it happen. Lily and Sonya Sones were brave to tell this story. Lives will be changed and saved by The Opposite of Innocent.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    Wasn't a fan of the ending. Thanks Edelweiss for the ARC.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    So heartbreaking and tense. I feel like I need a shower 😦

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah

    ARC Copy.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    **Actual rating: 4.5 stars** OK, wow. I expected this book to be intense, but I didn't anticipate how quickly I would get addicted. Or how scared it would make me feel. Lily was a wonderfully crafted character and I instantly wanted to protect her. This was a fantastic verse novel, too realistic and so heartbreaking, but ultimately optimistic, and I highly recommend you check it out.

  24. 4 out of 5

    sema

    I'm conflicted. On one end I totally despised the writing style. I was so excited to read this book due to the fact that I like taboo books, but the writing and execution totally blew it for me. Although it was quick, it was not very good. Now, the message behind this book is so important. It is so important to have young adult books that cover this topic. It was done in a really raw manner where you can see the character actually blaming herself for what is happening, which is not okay. The boo I'm conflicted. On one end I totally despised the writing style. I was so excited to read this book due to the fact that I like taboo books, but the writing and execution totally blew it for me. Although it was quick, it was not very good. Now, the message behind this book is so important. It is so important to have young adult books that cover this topic. It was done in a really raw manner where you can see the character actually blaming herself for what is happening, which is not okay. The book itself is a 3 stars for me because I just couldn't get over the writing style, but I would still recommend it if you can handle topics about rape, pedophilia, abuse and sexual coercion.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Received advanced reader copy from publisher via Baker & Taylor book supplier Luke is finally returning after two long years away. Lily was only twelve when he left but now, at fourteen, she cannot wait for him to see the new and improved young lady. When Lily’s parents announce that Luke will be staying with them for awhile, Lily’s heart soars. And when he kisses her? It cannot get any better … can it? The eloquent and lyrical verse of this novel will pull you in, make you queasy, and then t Received advanced reader copy from publisher via Baker & Taylor book supplier Luke is finally returning after two long years away. Lily was only twelve when he left but now, at fourteen, she cannot wait for him to see the new and improved young lady. When Lily’s parents announce that Luke will be staying with them for awhile, Lily’s heart soars. And when he kisses her? It cannot get any better … can it? The eloquent and lyrical verse of this novel will pull you in, make you queasy, and then tear your heart to pieces. I quite literally felt sick to my stomach as I read. To know that stories like these are “ripped from the headlines” just makes my heart ache so much. Yes, I felt Lily’s giddiness over her crush and kisses. But when I was reminded of Luke’s age? I just felt so light-headed and sad. Sonya Sones deftly pulled at my emotions and kept me awake as I hurried to the end to find out what happened next.

  26. 4 out of 5

    H

    Sonya Sones remains the queen of teen. She is the rare author whose verse evokes the imagery and emotion of prose.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Levine

    I picked this book up from a box of ARCs from HarperCollins, flipped through it and got hooked. I read it in two hours, I just couldn’t stop. There’s something about the sparsity of verse that really makes you feel Lily’s devastation as her relationship with Luke goes from romantic daydream to traumatizing reality. I wanted to reach into the pages and hold her and tell her none of it was her fault. All of the characters felt wonderfully, achingly real. My only complaint is that I wish the ending f I picked this book up from a box of ARCs from HarperCollins, flipped through it and got hooked. I read it in two hours, I just couldn’t stop. There’s something about the sparsity of verse that really makes you feel Lily’s devastation as her relationship with Luke goes from romantic daydream to traumatizing reality. I wanted to reach into the pages and hold her and tell her none of it was her fault. All of the characters felt wonderfully, achingly real. My only complaint is that I wish the ending followed the story a little further down the line.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Darryn

    Thanks to Edelweiss for a digital copy of this book. I usually don't like books in verse but this was really good even with the abrupt ending.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    4.5/5 stars! This review and more: Sharing Inspired Kreations **Update - full review: Okay. Wow. What a ride. This book was nothing like I expected it to be. When I read the synopsis, I guess I didn’t really realize that this book is about a pedophile. I didn’t realize how old Luke actually was. I didn’t realize this book would hit me so hard. This book is told from the point-of-view of a 14-year-old girl named Lily. It feels like a romance at first. Lily is so young and innocent and doesn’t at all 4.5/5 stars! This review and more: Sharing Inspired Kreations **Update - full review: Okay. Wow. What a ride. This book was nothing like I expected it to be. When I read the synopsis, I guess I didn’t really realize that this book is about a pedophile. I didn’t realize how old Luke actually was. I didn’t realize this book would hit me so hard. This book is told from the point-of-view of a 14-year-old girl named Lily. It feels like a romance at first. Lily is so young and innocent and doesn’t at all realize what’s happening. She just knows that she has a crush on this older man and she wants to experience romance like in the books she’s always reading. But Luke is not just an older man. He’s 29 years old. He’s nothing more than a pedophile. As the book moves on, it gets darker and darker. I thought this book was told in a very honest way, from Lily’s perspective. I thought it was done very well. The ending was very abrupt and I wasn’t expecting it to end that suddenly! I wanted more. I wanted some kind of closure. I guess I will just have to make assumptions about what happened after that last page. I would recommend this book. It was a very quick read and those pages just turned themselves! I didn’t want to put it down. I’m definitely going to check out other books by this author. ---------------------------------------------------- Full review to come closer to release date. Four reasons you should pre-order this book: 1. You won’t be able to put it down Seriously. It’s written in prose and is, therefore, a super quick read. The pages turn themselves! The chapters end in a way that make you just want to keep reading and they are very short chapters, so there’s always time for one more until…you’re done! This book is so captivating. 2. The way it’s told It’s told in such an honest, innocent way that you can help but feel for 14-year-old Lily. She just wants a romance like she reads about in her books. Unfortunately, that’s not what she gets. 3. It’s heavy, but told lightly The subject matter is obviously very heavy and hits you hard. But it’s told in such a way that makes it feel a little lighter. Maybe it’s the prose? Or maybe it’s the innocentness of the character telling the story that adds that lightness to it. Whatever it is, it just works and maybe that would make it easier for a younger audience to read it? 4. Very relatable main character As I said above, Lily is a 14-year-old girl. She is sweet and innocent and just wants to experience romance. Like every teenage girl does. She thinks she falls in love with a guy. She doesn’t care about his age; she just cares about him. She doesn’t look at the situation the way that we, as experienced adults, look at it. She is just a young girl trying to find her way and ends up in this unfortunate situation. It’s heartbreakingly relatable.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mrs.Heather Lassley

    This book will haunt me. I know this sort of stuff happens, but I am horrified for her. The reason I am giving this a 4 star rating is because the writing was excellent and you are right there with the main character.

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