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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)

    I’ve always been in love with Luke. For as far back as I can remember. 3 1/2 stars. This is a very sad book in verse about a girl dragged into a relationship with a much, much older man. Main strength: I found myself unable to look away. Lily’s story is so horrifying and feels strangely real, starting as if it could be an innocent unrequited crush by a 14-year-old and becoming more and more serious as Logan makes his interest clear. It perfectly mirrors the quick progression of events, and th I’ve always been in love with Luke. For as far back as I can remember. 3 1/2 stars. This is a very sad book in verse about a girl dragged into a relationship with a much, much older man. Main strength: I found myself unable to look away. Lily’s story is so horrifying and feels strangely real, starting as if it could be an innocent unrequited crush by a 14-year-old and becoming more and more serious as Logan makes his interest clear. It perfectly mirrors the quick progression of events, and though Lily is very naive, her character consistency makes the entire book so much more horrifying. Main con: I felt the ending was a little unsatisfying. We don’t see much of her journey to deciding to tell; I think that sometimes realizations and impulsess can come quickly, so this could have been totally fine, but the book ends… immediately upon Lily’s decision. I don't know if this was the best thing I've ever read, but it was certainly an incredibly tense experience and an enrapturing way to spend my night. I think this will be marketed towards a younger audience - an audience just discovering the dangers in the world - and I'm down for it. TW: pedophilia, rape via coercion, dissociation, forced alcohol consumption. ✨Arc received from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review. [ releases: 4 September 2018.] Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

  3. 4 out of 5

    Riley

    4.5

  4. 5 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

    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

  6. 4 out of 5

    emily

    woah

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    ”To Luke, it was probably no big deal. But to me- it felt like the opposite of innocent.” Sometimes the smallest of books can pack the most punch Lily has been in love with Luke, a friend of her fathers, since she was a little girl. As she grows older, this feeling doesn’t diminish. So when he returns from a trip to Africa and stays with them temporarily, she’s over the moon. It isn’t long before he starts to notice her that way as well. But as her burgeoning crush turns into something much much more ”To Luke, it was probably no big deal. But to me- it felt like the opposite of innocent.” Sometimes the smallest of books can pack the most punch Lily has been in love with Luke, a friend of her fathers, since she was a little girl. As she grows older, this feeling doesn’t diminish. So when he returns from a trip to Africa and stays with them temporarily, she’s over the moon. It isn’t long before he starts to notice her that way as well. But as her burgeoning crush turns into something much much more, lines are crossed, boundaries are pushed, and the feelings of isolation, fear, and oppression start to sink in. One thing I will have to commend the author on is the very realistic progression of this twisted relationship. Lily has nothing more than an innocent crush on a man who so very clearly takes advantage of her, and it’s heartbreaking to watch it all unfold out from her perspective. There are those who won’t like Lily because of her being so naive and young, but I think that was the point. She is so naïve and young. I loved the relationships Lily had with her family (particularly her little sister), and her wonderfully supportive friend group. They wanted what was best for her and were so supportive of her throughout the entire novel. And, unlike a certain other book that I will not name, there was no victim blaming here among the adults and people she cared about in her life. It’s a quick read (I read it on my hour-long lunch break at work), but it does not diminish the quality of the work. It makes it no less powerful or important, even if the ending will be unsatisfying for those that want a concrete ending. At once sorrowful but hopeful, this book will break your heart but leave you with a feeling of hope for Lily that you hope she can find for herself.

  10. 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.

  11. 5 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*

  12. 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.

  13. 4 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.

  14. 4 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!

  15. 5 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.

  16. 4 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.

  17. 4 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.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Brown

    So my rating for this is based on how well it is written and not for the topic itself. I enjoy this author's work so I usually just pick her books up without reading the synopsis's. After starting this one, I realized it's about a tough topic: child abuse, sexual abuse, mental abuse, etc. Lily is a young girl who is taken advantage of by a family friend, Luke. The trust the parents had in him makes you know that he was close to the family. When she tries to back out of "being" with him, he messe So my rating for this is based on how well it is written and not for the topic itself. I enjoy this author's work so I usually just pick her books up without reading the synopsis's. After starting this one, I realized it's about a tough topic: child abuse, sexual abuse, mental abuse, etc. Lily is a young girl who is taken advantage of by a family friend, Luke. The trust the parents had in him makes you know that he was close to the family. When she tries to back out of "being" with him, he messes with her head and gives her a no-win situation. The way the author handled Lily's feelings was what I thought was well written. As a reader, we can see how she falls for him and then him grabbing onto that for his personal satisfaction. I did feel like the ending was a little disappointing. There is an author's note that mentions what would happen next, but I feel like it should've been written in the story. If I was a young reader who was experiencing this and had picked up this book, I'd want to read about how it all worked out in the end for Lily. I needed more.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Maxine Livingstone

    Practically in tears this book is told in verse of a young high school freshman in love with her father bestfriend. Of course this was just a little girls crush. However, things turn for the worse when the relatonship escalates. Of course the fact that a grown man who is 29 pursues a romantic relationship with a 14 year old is against the law. He is a pedophile. My heart broke when Lily is coerced into having sex with him. All I wanted to do was cry for her. This may be fiction but this sort of Practically in tears this book is told in verse of a young high school freshman in love with her father bestfriend. Of course this was just a little girls crush. However, things turn for the worse when the relatonship escalates. Of course the fact that a grown man who is 29 pursues a romantic relationship with a 14 year old is against the law. He is a pedophile. My heart broke when Lily is coerced into having sex with him. All I wanted to do was cry for her. This may be fiction but this sort of thing happens on a daily basis. I'm just glad that she finally found the courage to tell someone what is happening. I wished the book didn't end the way it did I would lived to have read of Lily's parents reaction as well as her friends.

  20. 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.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Patti Wlliams

    This is a YA book told in verse. I enjoy this kind of book because I think it gets right to the emotions of the story. The story in The Opposite of Innocent is sadly so true. It does an excellent job of describing how victims are groomed by their predator, sometimes for years. It also shows how easily victims get trapped by their predators machinations. This book made me uncomfortable, but it is supposed to. It also handles the sexual abuse in such a way that it isn't graphic, but it is still em This is a YA book told in verse. I enjoy this kind of book because I think it gets right to the emotions of the story. The story in The Opposite of Innocent is sadly so true. It does an excellent job of describing how victims are groomed by their predator, sometimes for years. It also shows how easily victims get trapped by their predators machinations. This book made me uncomfortable, but it is supposed to. It also handles the sexual abuse in such a way that it isn't graphic, but it is still emotionally devasting. I think a lot of girls need to read this book.

  22. 4 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.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

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

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tina

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

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amie Newberry

    Hmmm...writing felt like it came from the pen of a teenager—which I suppose could be a good thing considering it’s a YA book. It still felt predictable and a little gross. I can’t recommend it, even with the redeeming pitch at the end to help abused teens.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah

    ARC Copy.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Holy crap! That was the most disturbing shit I’ve read in a long time. This guy is 15 years older than her. He’s pushing 30...she’s in 9th grade! He is grooming her then he takes to sexually abusing her! As someone who has been the victim of sexual assault this was a huge punch in the stomach! I was never abused in the way Lily was- but assault is assault! It ruins your life, it isolated you from everything, it covers you in a filth you can’t wash off. I felt that thick layer of dirt. It strangl Holy crap! That was the most disturbing shit I’ve read in a long time. This guy is 15 years older than her. He’s pushing 30...she’s in 9th grade! He is grooming her then he takes to sexually abusing her! As someone who has been the victim of sexual assault this was a huge punch in the stomach! I was never abused in the way Lily was- but assault is assault! It ruins your life, it isolated you from everything, it covers you in a filth you can’t wash off. I felt that thick layer of dirt. It strangles you. Damn. I don’t know what to say except betcha I have nightmares. I think my next book needs to be something light hearted. That was too much! Why did I think this would be a good idea. Oh but yeah it deserves 5 stars! Yeah I’m gross and I wish I didn’t read this but there’s something powerful about a book giving you such a strong reaction. Damn! This was intense.

  28. 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.

  29. 5 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.

  30. 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.

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