6.6/101 Votes Alchetron
Originally published 2000
Adaptations Innocence (2013)
Pages 208 pages
Country United States of America
|Media type Print, e-book, audiobook|
Similar American Music, I was Amelia Earhart, Burning Down the House: A
Innocence is a 2000 bestselling horror novel by Jane Mendelsohn. It was first released on 28 August, 2000 through Riverhead Books and follows a teen girl as she discovers that a pack of Lamias are out to use her blood in an attempt to retain their immortality and beauty. A film adaptation of the book was released in 2013.
Beckett is a teenage girl that has moved to Manhattan with her father after the tragic death of her mother. She's enrolled in an exclusive prep school where she is systematically ignored by the popular students, something that Beckett had expected to happen. What she didn't expect is to discover the bloody bodies of three of the school's most popular students beneath her apartment window, apparently as an act of suicide. Beckett is already unnerved by the strangeness of her new school and environment, but things begin to grow even more bizarre after the school nurse begins dating her father and moves in with them.
Critical reception for Innocence was mixed, and Publisher Weekly's Stephanie Feldman has listed the book as one of her "10 Creepiest Books" while Book Magazine criticized it as being "by turns, bloody, tedious, tortuous, confusing, disturbing and overwritten". The Boston Globe and Library Journal both praised Innocence, with The Boston Globe writing "Like Jeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides and Jay McInerney's Bright Lights, Big City, Mendelsohn's story muffles its death and sorrow in terminal irony, though the trait is less irritating than it might be because Innocence doesn't try to be more than it is." In contrast, the Los Angeles Times and New York Times both panned Innocence overall, and the Los Angeles Times criticized Mendelsohn as "[creating] little here to hold the reader's interest, let alone imagination."
A film adaptation starring Sophie Curtis as Beckett and Kelly Reilly as Pamela was screened at the Austin Film Festival in 2013 and received a limited theatrical release on 5 September, 2014. The movie, which was directed by Hilary Brougher, was poorly received by critics.