The Innocents Lili Peloquin Book Review

So, I might get a little tiny bit ranty…just keep in mind my reviews are for READERS. K, thanks!

dis gon be good gif

It’s hard for me to put this nicely, but I just plain did not like The Innocents by Lili Peloquin. It’s not for lack of trying or lack of an open mind. I just could not get into The Innocents. I disliked the characters. I was bored by the plotting. I never felt compelled to set my life aside to read this book, and for a book that is under 300 pages, it sure did take me a long time to get through.

The Innocents Lili Peloquin Book Cover

When Alice and Charlie’s mom gets remarried to Richard, the two find themselves as fish out of water as they are thrust from a working class lifestyle to living like the 1%. The Innocents follows Alice and Charlie as they head to the beach for a summer among the upper crust. While adjusting to their new lives, the two make friends, meet boys, and try to solve the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of Camille, Richard’s daughter. I felt the summary was interesting, but ultimately I was disappointed.

Jon Stewart Disappointment

You guys, Alice is like the most boring person ever. She is a creep, too. Like, she gets all obsessed with Camille’s ex Tommy and there are a few pages where we just read a description of Alice staring at a picture of Tommy and Camille at the country club. I was really weirded out. Plus, Alice doesn’t try to make friends or anything. She just sits around all day painting or reading. I know that bit about reading is me calling the kettle black, but for serious SHE IS SO BORING. Also, she is kind of an idiot about a LOT of things. AND dumps her old friends and her old boyfriend from her pre-rich life which absolutely did not endear her to me. Then there is Alice’s sister Charlie, who is supposed to be interesting because she has a tramp stamp and drinks a lot. Also, I gleaned that Charlie is a slow reader. Charlie’s love interest is Jude who is a total jerk and I just cannot abide a jerk-face love interest. Like, the whole time reading I am alllll girl you can DO BETTER! But, kind of half heartedly because I could barely bring myself to care about the characters.

Emma Stone Shrug GIF

I hate to say this, but the writing style was very convoluted, as someone who writes convoluted reviews. Every little bit of action or thought is explained. The most inane things are ruminated on for PAGES. The Innocents had a very hard time keeping my attention. I know the book is short, but I felt like a lot of the description could have been cut to make room for some action or something. I mean, seriously, NOTHING HAPPENS during the book. Like, there’s a moment where I’m like oh yes, finally some tension and suspense, but nope.

Miss NY Boring As Hell GIF

In good conscience, I have a tough time recommending The Innocents. I imagine that there are people out there who will like it, and heck a few of my friends enjoyed it. But for me, I like my books with substance and with characters that I actually FEEL something towards — either love or hate. I guess if you like reading about nouveau riche girls, the beach, and love interests who are TOTALLY awful, then you might like The Innocents.

Disclosure: Won as part of Breathless Reads Box Set at Oblong Books.

Other reviews of The Innocents by Lili Peloquin:

Mint Tea And A Good Book – “The book was enthralling

Ex Libris – “The Innocents was like reading a soap opera, and I mean that as a compliment.”

Sash & Em – “a very juicy Mean Girls-esque debut with a dash of Gothic a la Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Yep. You know how I felt about it. I mean, I may have like it a BIT more than you did but I just was really underwhelmed unfortunately. I’ll be interested to see what people say about book 2 when it comes out because I personally think the end of this one set up for what could be an interesting series but unfortunately it came way too late in the game for me!

    • Honestly, I don’t think I’ll be back for book 2, there’s too many books out there to read more in a series that didn’t grab me. I’m glad I am not alone in the underwhelmed department!

  2. I have not read this yet but I loved your review! Sometimes I like books about mean girls and rich kids, so I MIGHT enjoy this. But then your remarks on the writing style have me worried. If there is one person that gets annoyed over certain writing styles, it is me. Voice is sooo important to me. So maybe I should try a sample first. Great review, April. 🙂

    • I think it’s a smart move to try a sample. I know a lot of people who did enjoy The Innocents, but it was just not for me, ya know?

      ALSO I like books about mean girls and rich kids from time to time as well.

  3. The sounds like how I felt reading the first 200 pages of The Hunchback of Notre-Dame….
    I hadn’t heard of this one before, but from your review it sounds like one I’d “throw” across the room out of frustration.

    I usually don’t like posts with gifs but didn’t mind them in this one. Thank you for sharing your honest opinion on this one. =)

    • Oh no, I have The Hunchback of Notre-Dame on my TBR list! I hope I like it.

      Yeah, I didn’t throw it or anything but I wasn’t in love.

      Thanks for the compliment about my GIF usage. I am still kind of new to using them in posts, but sometimes it’s nice to switch it up, ya know?

  4. Okay, I know I said I was about to read this like three hours ago, but….I’m here now! Also, I almost commented on a picture again, instead of the review, but I noticed and didn’t!

    Alright, I love that first gif, even though I have NO idea what’s happening.

    This is one of those books that I missed at BEA and I was all sad about it, but then I started seeing reviews and I was like OMG THANK GOODNESS I MISSED THE DROPS.

    Oh man, 300 pages and it took forever? And I know how fast you read. Oy. I mean, The Diviners took forever, but it was long. This probably wasn’t even a long 300 (like Stormdancer).

    You know what? The basic premise sounds a lot like All You Never Wanted by Adele Griffin, which I just read, only the two girls are assholes in this one. The girls in AYNW were totally messed up by the suddenly having money, but they were real characters and it was about issues and not gossip.

    Alice and Camille? Just their names make me go UGH. Wow, supposed to be interesting because she has a tramp stamp? No thanks.

    I would so never read this. Gross.

    • More like 250 pages.

      In the first GIF the guy, to me, looks like he is setting his chair down to listen to some drama or something.

      I haven’t read very many reviews for this, aside from Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner’s Review.

      I do read fast and this was nothing like Stormdancer because while that book was long, it had substance.

      I like the name Alice, lol.

  5. That’s my sticking point. I NEED TO FEEL FOR THE CHARACTERS. Especially coming from a character girl like me, where most of my attention is focused on character dynamics, personalities, and growth, and if that’s not there, JUST HOW THE HECK AM I SUPPOSED TO ENJOY THE BOOK. Characters need to elicit emotions from you, otherwise, what’s the fraking point?

    I’ll pass on this, thanks. Which I’d already mostly decided when the cheesy covers came to light for both this book and the sequel. Blech.

  6. hahahaha!!! Love the Gifs. Just from what you say in your review tells me this one would be boring.

    I wouldn’t like Alice, right off the bat. I just got rid of a creeper in my life. I have no room for creepers. Even fake book creeps. lol. I gets the cold sweats at the thought. I will have to tell you that story someday. It’s a good one.

    And whats up with ditching your none rich friends? What a Beotch.

    Pretty sure I will be passing on this one.

    Oh, but I have to say thanks for the laugh. I totally read Upper Crust as Utter crust and had a WTF moment.. then realized I was reading it wrong. lol

  7. Have you ever read Unraveling Isobel? It sounds like they have a similar general idea but I really liked Unraveling Isobel. I’ve not read The Innocents but it’s too bad it just didn’t quite make it for you!

  8. Oh my gosh, this book sounds awful! But, on the plus side, I enjoyed your funny review 🙂

    I’m staying clear of this one.

  9. First of all – I love all the gifs!! lol. I really enjoyed this review. I have this book on my TBR list and I had it on there with some reservations already. But now I think I’ll be moving it towards the bottom of my list 🙂