The Opposite of Innocent
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.

The Opposite of Innocent Details

TitleThe Opposite of Innocent
Author
ReleaseSep 4th, 2018
PublisherHarperTeen
ISBN-139780062370334
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Poetry

The Opposite of Innocent Review

  • destiny ☠ howling libraries
    January 1, 1970
    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!
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  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    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!!
  • Camila Roy ••RoyIsReading••
    January 1, 1970
    RATING: 3/5ARC provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest reviewFourteen-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: 3/5ARC provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest reviewFourteen-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.
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  • emily
    January 1, 1970
    woah
  • Tanya
    January 1, 1970
    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
  • Samantha (WLABB)
    January 1, 1970
    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
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  • Victoria Lee
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • BookChic Club
    January 1, 1970
    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!
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  • Beth Rodgers
    January 1, 1970
    '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*
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  • Alyson Kent
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Hallie
    January 1, 1970
    CW: This review will talk about sexual assault, pedophilia, and rapeSonya 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 rapeSonya 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.
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  • Brianna Brickiseed
    January 1, 1970
    ** 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.
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  • Lindsay
    January 1, 1970
    Wasn't a fan of the ending. Thanks Edelweiss for the ARC.
  • Rebekah
    January 1, 1970
    ARC Copy.
  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    **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.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Received advanced reader copy from publisher via Baker & Taylor book supplierLuke 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 supplierLuke 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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  • Sarah Levine
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Darryn
    January 1, 1970
    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.
  • Sam
    January 1, 1970
    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 downSeriously. 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 toldIt’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 lightlyThe 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 characterAs 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.
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  • Mrs.Heather Lassley
    January 1, 1970
    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.
  • Heidi Rikard
    January 1, 1970
    Every mother and father should read this with their daughter. Such a perfect story of how predators "groom" their victims and use coercion and fear and the threat of taking away what matters to the person to get what they want. Kudos to this author for tackling this subject.
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  • Maryalice
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. Lily has grown a lot since Luke left two years ago, and her childhood crush has deepened. Though Luke is older, he is perfection in Lily's eyes. When Luke moves in with Lily's family until he gets on his feet, she feels like the stars have aligned. Her friends don't understand her crush on an older guy and are distracted by more age appropriate love interests. As Lily spends more time alone with Lu I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. Lily has grown a lot since Luke left two years ago, and her childhood crush has deepened. Though Luke is older, he is perfection in Lily's eyes. When Luke moves in with Lily's family until he gets on his feet, she feels like the stars have aligned. Her friends don't understand her crush on an older guy and are distracted by more age appropriate love interests. As Lily spends more time alone with Luke, she knows their love is real. Even if they can't be seen on a date in public, Lily dreams of one day. At first the secrecy is exciting. Eventually Lily catches up to her friends' opinions and questions Luke's intentions, but it may be too late to save herself from heartbreak. THOUGHTS: A must-read for fans of dark romances, readers are drawn into this intense, page-turning verse novel. Mature relationships and underage drinking make this most suitable to high school readers.
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  • Zoë Danielle
    January 1, 1970
    I'm always interested in reading a new novel in verse, so of course I had to pick up The Opposite of Innocent by Sonya Sones, one of the most established names writing in that format. This is a quick read about a teenage girl, Lily, who has a crush on a much older man that is a friend of her parents, Luke. When Luke moves in with her family it is Lily's dream come true. But after Luke kisses Lily, what seemed like a dream quickly becomes a nightmare.The voice of Lily in The Opposite of Innocent  I'm always interested in reading a new novel in verse, so of course I had to pick up The Opposite of Innocent by Sonya Sones, one of the most established names writing in that format. This is a quick read about a teenage girl, Lily, who has a crush on a much older man that is a friend of her parents, Luke. When Luke moves in with her family it is Lily's dream come true. But after Luke kisses Lily, what seemed like a dream quickly becomes a nightmare.The voice of Lily in The Opposite of Innocent feels genuine and I wanted nothing more for her parents or somebody to figure out what was going on and help put an end to it. Sones captures that helplessness and struggle realistically, and the ultimate outcome is a very heartbreaking story. Even though the writing is so sparse, I felt like I really got to know Lily and her friends. That said, I wish that the book was longer and that the ending was less open-ended, it felt like a bit of a cope out after all that happened to leave things that way. Still, I enjoyed Sones writing and I'll definitely continue to pick up books by her in the future. 
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  • Mrs. Porter
    January 1, 1970
    Read the ARC I received at ALA Annual. Strong voice, excellent plot. The ending left me with hope. As always, I think that Sonya Sones should be required reading for teenage girls.
  • Paul Hankins
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come with release date.
  • Kimberley
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Edelweiss+ for this Advanced eGalley of “The Opposite of Innocent” by Sonya Sones. Lily is “in love” with Luke. But, unbeknownst to her, he’s been sexually grooming her for years. Now that she’s a “woman”, he uses her lifelong infatuation with him to finally get physically close to her. By the time Lily figures out Luke’s dark intentions, it’s too late to turn back. This is one of those books where the reader can see what’s coming, but still holds out hope something will happen to keep Thank you Edelweiss+ for this Advanced eGalley of “The Opposite of Innocent” by Sonya Sones. Lily is “in love” with Luke. But, unbeknownst to her, he’s been sexually grooming her for years. Now that she’s a “woman”, he uses her lifelong infatuation with him to finally get physically close to her. By the time Lily figures out Luke’s dark intentions, it’s too late to turn back. This is one of those books where the reader can see what’s coming, but still holds out hope something will happen to keep tragedy at bay. It frustrated me how easily Lily missed the signs, despite astute observations offered by friends and peers.On the other hand, Lily’s obsequious way of answering to Luke’s every whim was a strong example of how easy it is for a predator to groom a victim. Once they’ve done that, it’s tough for the child to separate truth from fiction. They’re powerless to the point of inaction, in many cases, and Luke’s manipulation of Lily was on display in many of their interactions.Told in verse, you get the full picture of how Luke came to be in Lily’s life, the way she “falls” for him, how she brightens at the realization of his requited “love”, his quick violation of her innocent ideals, followed by the spiral she traverses once she comes to understand his true intentions. It’s all here. Quick and minus the filter. Sones takes you into the mind of Lily, so you do have the chance to see how Lilly notes when something isn’t right. However, her desire to play out what she feels is a storybook love—embodied by the man she’s always dreamed of having—made it easy for her to ignore even the most obvious of signs. I didn’t care for the ending. There wasn’t enough of a resolution. And as far as her parents, I didn’t feel they were attentive enough. They seemed completely absent by comparison. That angered me endlessly. He may have been a friend of the family, but he was still a grown man who was far too willing to spend time with two young girls. As a parent, how are you okay with that? I don’t understand. This is a quick read, about a serious topic, told in an accessible way.
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  • Dani Amaya
    January 1, 1970
    This book. Wow. I am absolutely devastated and completely destroyed. This book is so important for so many reasons. This book, to me, shows the depth of emotion and struggle teens can go through. People look at teenaged girls and invalidate them, thinking that they exaggerate everything and feel their world is collapsing over tiny things. But they aren't tiny things. EVER. I remember very clearly being this age. 14. I thought very highly of myself and thought myself very mature for all the book This book. Wow. I am absolutely devastated and completely destroyed. This book is so important for so many reasons. This book, to me, shows the depth of emotion and struggle teens can go through. People look at teenaged girls and invalidate them, thinking that they exaggerate everything and feel their world is collapsing over tiny things. But they aren't tiny things. EVER. I remember very clearly being this age. 14. I thought very highly of myself and thought myself very mature for all the books I read. Romance novels, just like Lily. I was going through a lot at the time, not that anyone really knew that. It's scary to think how possible and real abusive relationships are, how possible and real pedophiles are. To me, the takeaway from this book is the importance of trusted adults. If you're a teenager, always know who you're trusted adults are. Because there may come a day when you get in over your head and you need one. It's nothing to be ashamed of. In high school, I thought I could handle things myself, but that wasnt true. I needed help. Everyone needs help sometimes. Adults need to offer their help to younger people, always. As adults, who know what being a teen is like and who have more knowledge on what to do in terrifying situations. Adults need to offer help wherever possible. Even if it's not accepted. This was a very gripping and terrifying book to me, but I'm so glad I read it because it's important to know how trapped people in relationships like this feel. How alone, how scared they feel so that if, god forbid, I'm ever in a similar situation or someone I know is; I know the signs, and I know who to call. This is is such an important book and it's written so well! The prose poetry format fits the story so well and us the perfect way to deliver the impact this story has. I read it super quickly as well! I couldn't put it down! I highly encourage you to read this.
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  • Lisa Fipps
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Peachy
    January 1, 1970
    "Sometimes I feel like a book. Like a book that's never been opened - hidden away in a long-forgotten library, waiting for someone to find me, ease me off my shelf, and read me." Themes: sexual abuse, innocence, sex with a minor, rape, poetry, photography, self-portrait, secrets, asking for help, little sisterLily’s story is both haunting and chilling – and with such a delicate subject. It was a very quick read but is also very heavy, emotionally. We have a character here who started out being "Sometimes I feel like a book. Like a book that's never been opened - hidden away in a long-forgotten library, waiting for someone to find me, ease me off my shelf, and read me." Themes: sexual abuse, innocence, sex with a minor, rape, poetry, photography, self-portrait, secrets, asking for help, little sisterLily’s story is both haunting and chilling – and with such a delicate subject. It was a very quick read but is also very heavy, emotionally. We have a character here who started out being so young – in age, heart, mind, and soul. She goes through this rapid progression of maturity, completely paralleled by the rapid narrative through verses. The unraveling of Lily’s story is both beautiful and ugly, full of hope but also full of pain.This is the first novel in verse that I’ve read. If you haven’t read a novel in verse yet, I highly recommend you do so, and maybe you could start with this one, too!BLOG REVIEW: https://goo.gl/qKjLqvAMAZON ASSOCIATE LINK: Buy your copy!
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  • Erika
    January 1, 1970
    I was hoping it wouldn't end that way or at least if it has she would have been able to avoid it or at least talked to someone and saved herself much earlier. I was hoping that Luke received punishment for what he did at the end but the story ends much earlier. I hate feeling helpless and definitely don't want my other sisters to feel that way especially when it comes to being raped. Pedophilia is something I hate with every fiber of my body and I was hoping it wouldn't have ended to that becaus I was hoping it wouldn't end that way or at least if it has she would have been able to avoid it or at least talked to someone and saved herself much earlier. I was hoping that Luke received punishment for what he did at the end but the story ends much earlier. I hate feeling helpless and definitely don't want my other sisters to feel that way especially when it comes to being raped. Pedophilia is something I hate with every fiber of my body and I was hoping it wouldn't have ended to that because Luke said he was going to wait for her till she's legal. But then again I thought he was much younger than that. I'm glad Lily decided to report him when she saw how Alice was going to be the next victim.Overall I'm glad that this story is out there to teach others who are in the same situation or someone who's close to getting into this situation to know that there is help for them and that your happiness matters more than others.If you are ever need this situation please do seek help. No matter what. Don't stay quiet because that has a bigger consequences than staying silent.
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