Before We Were Innocent

I really enjoyed this! I think I would classify it as a thriller. It’s definitely not scary, but it is very suspenseful. Ten years ago, Joni and Bess went on a trip of a lifetime. Post high school graduation, their friend Evangeline invited them to spend ten weeks with her in Greece. Only the trip didn’t turn out as planned. The girls fought, Evangeline turned out to be a bit controlling, while Joni and Bess wanted to be young, free, and party. Evangeline ends up dead, the girls find their lives ripped apart. Ten years later, Joni has capitalized on her infamy, turning her life around and becoming a motivational speaker. Bess has done the opposite, moving to the desert and making her life as small as possible. When Joni turns up on Bess’s doorstep, asking her to be an alibi for a similar crime, Bess has to relive the memories she’s pushed aside (and has to make a decision). Told in alternating timelines, past and present, this one kept me on my toes and made me need to keep compulsively reading! I think the book does a really good job at looking at what it is like to be young and stupid (and also to learn to forgive yourself for childish antics!). Also: parts of it reminded me of Woman of the Year but I liked this one better!

Author: Ella Berman