Innocents (Dusty #1) by Mary and Sarah Elizabeth


DustyThe girl with an innocent heart knows all about bad choices, but has yet to make them for herself. Searching for freedom, she finds it in the delinquent down the hall.

The troublemaker with summer-sky blue eyes knows he should stay away, but can’t resist the blissful wonder who makes his house a home.

She’s a hopeless romantic. He’s just hopeless.

She’s his reason, but he might not catch her when she falls.

She loves him. He loves her crazy.

This is what happens when a love made of secrets is kept with rules instead of promises.

My Review:

I just recently read Paper Princess and immediately went into this horrible mourning that left me wanting to find another amazing NA book that was going to blow my mind and leave me in yet another pit of book depression. Several people recommended that I read Dusty Innocents by Mary and Sarah Elizabeth. They claimed that it was one of the best NA books out there and would break my heart into a million pieces.

I originally had a very difficult time reviewing this book. I say that, because I did really skim a huge section of this book. Normally, I’ll just DNF a book that I skim and write up a quick DNF review. After careful deliberation, I decided that, yes, I’m going to give this one a 1 star. I’ll explain more in my review. I do want to say, though, that I absolutely hated this book. I hated the messages it offered. Above all else, though, I hate that this is some people’s favorite book.

Books that start out in the past own my heart. When they start out with the love interests meeting when they’re children and watching the scenes as they grow up together. The problem with these books, though, is that they’re never done right. Dusty Innocents was a prime example of that. It spent way too much time in the elementary and middle grade years. I would say a good 75% of this book doesn’t even surpass the age of 14 for the main female lead. I actually not even sure if she reaches age 15 by the end of the book.

Note to authors: You CANNOT label a book NA if your characters are children. And I’m sure this is the 25-year-old part of my talking, but I felt like a cradle robber reading about a 13-year-old girl getting her sexy on with a 15-year-old boy. I couldn’t even read those scenes. This book would have been way more successful if there had been more of a progression of years and the majority of the book would have been focused on their upper teen years.

Another major problem with Dusty Innocents was that Dusty treated Leighlee like absolute crap. Okay, readers! I understand loving the bad boy and loving the angsty relationship. I get it! Dom males are HOT and are even hotter in NA. I’m all over it. Dusty, though? NO! He was super emotionally abusive to Leighlee…….there’s no reason at all to love that boy. It was not okay that he was constantly playing with her emotions, sleeping with other people, calling her weird names like “sweet baby princess, little girl, and little princess baby.” Okay….GAG. Seriously? Somebody calls me that, and I’m going to shove their goods clear up into their throat. Talk about a total creepster.

I also really didn’t like how Dusty was constantly putting Leighlee down for having male friends, telling her what to do, ordering her around, biting her until he tasted blood? Okay….there’s giving someone a hickey, and then there’s trying to pretend to be a vampire…..

Let’s also mention that the whole “love” thing between Dusty and Leighlee was absolute crap. He didn’t love her. She didn’t love him. They were hormonal young teenagers who thought that being in lust meant being in love. Not to mention that Dusty was a total druggy. I’m not talking a stoner who smokes a few joints an hour. I’m talking bags of coke and other drugs. Dusty was so high throughout this entire book. It was just gross….

Overall, I didn’t like this book. I’m not going to get into it with people who do love this book, because everyone has their own opinion, but this showcased a VERY dangerous relationship between, what I consider, little kids. I know there’s a second book in this series. Maybe it gets better? I won’t be finding out, though. I’m done.

Rating: [rating: 1]