Wow what a week! Sorry I have been a little quiet this week I’ve had so much going on work experience, gigs to prepare for, deadlines etc, I got this book in a bundle of 100 (?!?!?!) I had a pile of books I wanted to read and decided to do a deal one book kindle, next book a real book. Its going okay apart from a lot of the book books are quite feminine which I don’t know if it presents who I really am, despite being excited about studying the God that is Shakespeare I also like kicking back with a fun fictional novel or something that hits hard or…well anything really.
I love this book for a light summer read, I think it grabbed me because the main character, Evie, is an actress travelling across the globe to try and fame and fortune. However despite her bold move and dreams we find Evie 15 years late teaching a late night adult’s acting course, a single mother struggling to make ends meet. Sounds terribly cliché doesn’t it? So let’s add in her dead best friend coming back to haunt her and tell her this isn’t the life she really wanted to live….okay yes this is very typical and not really a book that would grab me but it did!
Evie moved to London fresh faced from a sleepy town in Ohio, intent on chasing her dreams and becoming a worldwide actress. So let’s throw in a dingy flat, two flat mates one outrageous and outgoing, the other with a rather mothering streak, a goody two shoes boyfriend back home and a bad boy with a guitar. Unfortunately this books is so, so stereotypical of the arts type I know aspiring actresses, I am a musician so it majorly annoys me when people go oh yep this is an actress she’ll give up anything for a lover, there’s a musician they’re always shooting up or dealing and an ‘I don’t care about anyone else as long as I get a deal’ attitude. I’m not saying it’s a god damn awful books because it’s not it’s just at some points very lacking.
I did like it though, it wasn’t awful, but I am very attention to detail with literature, I hate massive loose ends in books (honestly even as a child if a story didn’t have a proper ending or another book to explain the ending after god help the author if they met me!). So much to my annoyance the character of Robbie is just a bundle of loose ends (who should of had a lot more detail surrounding her thank you very much), I don’t feel this adds to her eccentric character rather than takes away from her. We learn the reason Robbie is the way she is, is a combination of many things, she is clearly mentally ill, her parents are rich and have neglected her meaning that she is over the top and cannot handle herself but as this is a novel supposedly about friendship why is it that as soon as Jake is introduced the characters of Imo and Robbie are thrown away. In fact Imo is mentioned for a couple of chapters then is thrown away with some bloke and we don’t hear much of her after apart from a brief mention and even when she is mentioned she’s hopelessly in love with someone acting like a puppy! Going back to Robbie we really learn little about her through the novel and anything we do learn is snatched away and replaced by something about Evie and Jake AGAIN. I was craving to know more about the best friend who really bring Evie out of her shell and gives her a future she deserves (which you guessed it she throws away for the selfish boyfriend, Jake) and oh yeah comes back from death to reboot her life again (which ARGH, her death is again something that is casually thrown away).
Evie is a rather frustrating character and in some aspects ‘Innocence’ mocks the performing arts society a lot, making all of us out to be complete idiots who will do anything for love. She just gives up with everything and oh my delight that Tessaro has put in my absolute favourite excuse for a woman giving up on her dreams, she had a baby. Shock horror because we have all forgotten that once you have a baby your life is over forever. Where is the drive? the passion within her? it all melts away because of Jake.
I wouldn’t say don’t bother to read this book its a good love story (although it wouldn’t end as you suspect, the man she falls in love with is one of my favourites, love him!) and there are some great characters within it but I feel it was ruined for me as a performing arts student, because of the way the main characters have been portrayed too us ( don’t think that all musicians are druggies and all actors/actresses are hopeless we’re not a bad bunch really!) as embarrassingly stereotypical.
I will give this 3 stars, ***
It’s not awful, but not a favourite.
Innocence by Kathleen Tessaro
Published by Harper Collins
Review by Chloe Metzger