Young Adult - Romance
276 Pages
Reviewed on 02/09/2015
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Karen C. Webb for Readers' Favorite

In author Callie James' book, Innocent, seventeen-year-old Missy and eighteen-year-old Will are stuck in the friendship zone. She often sleeps over at his house, hiding out from her abusive mother. She definitely wants more, but she is unsure of his feelings for her, and with her own tortured and emotionally scarred past, she's not sure how far she would be willing to take a relationship with him. Will is an artist who'd rather brush his feelings onto canvas than share them with her. His feelings are strong, but he has a cynical view of relationships and marriage. Despite her mother forbidding her to see Will, Missy continues her quest to sort out her own past with her therapist CeCe, and to face a future filled with some very difficult decisions.

Innocent is a fast-paced, emotionally charged love story that I found hard to put down. Callie James' characters seem to leap right off the first page and pull the reader into their young lives. The dialogue is fresh and crisp, the characters compelling and genuine. Callie James' style of writing is unique and impressive. Beginning the story as if you have just fallen into the lives of Will and Missy is, in my opinion, brilliant. Within a page, I felt as if I'd known them forever. The story flows smoothly from scene to scene, with enough humor and suspense mixed into the drama to keep the reader on edge. Perhaps a little racy for the younger reader, but certainly not limited to a young adult audience.