A Compelling Contemporary Story
'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.