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Ella Berman

Autor(a) de The Comeback

2 Works 413 Membros 15 Críticas

Obras por Ella Berman

The Comeback (2020) 248 exemplares, 12 críticas
Before We Were Innocent (2023) 165 exemplares, 3 críticas


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
20th Century
David Forrer



While the story of friendships (or friendships going very, very wrong) was interesting, I really did not enjoy Before We Were Innocent. Every character was unlikeable and I had no sympathy for any of them. I believe I might have enjoyed this novel if it was not told in first person; as it was, seeing the world through the eyes of a depressed 25 year old did not make this story appealing to me.
dinahmine | 2 outras críticas | Apr 9, 2024 |
Bess, Joni and Evangeline are BFFs. Yet, after a summer in Greece 10 years earlier, only Bess and Joni return home. Ev is dead, and Bess and Joni were suspects, but then were free to go. Now, Joni is involved in another mysterious disappearance, and she asks Bess to cover for her. Bess has to decide if she trusts Joni and if she will stand behind her like Joni did for her years earlier.
However, as this new case is examined, and the media hounds her, Bess wonders what the truth about their friendship really is, and who she can trust. What really happened 10 years earlier, and what is happening now?
A story of friendship being tested to the limits and of innocence that was lost.
… (mais)
rmarcin | 2 outras críticas | Jun 19, 2023 |
Bess, Joni, and Evangeline are on the cusp of adulthood. At the end of the summer they would all be heading off to college in different directions. They decide to spend their last months together at Evangeline's family home in Greece.

However, by the end of the trip Evangeline is dead, and Joni and Bess's lives are irrevocably changed forever.

After the events of that summer the public scrutiny caused Bess to fold in on herself. She has tried to live as secluded a life as possible.

Joni, on the other hand, capitalized her infamy into a lucrative brand for herself as a self-help guru.

Now, ten years later, Joni shows up on Bess's doorstep and it seems like history is repeating itself.

Joni's fiancée is missing and, with a new book coming out, she cannot risk the bad publicity. So, she turns to Bess. Having Joni back in her life is bringing up the past in a way that causes Bess to reevaluate what happened all those years ago.

I'm always drawn into stories that look at the past with a different lens. The idea that, over time, with growth and experience, you can understand something differently than before.

Before We Were Innocent tackles this very thing. For Bess, it's not just about revisiting the time leading up to Evangeline's death, it's about reevaluating how she sees herself and how she has been publicly depicted by everyone from journalists to true crime aficionados. She has to reconcile with her actions after the fact as compared to Joni.

I'll be honest, there were a few times that I felt like I was going to put down this book not because the story wasn't keeping my attention, but because I didn't think that I could deal with reliving the past with Bess. The tragedy and the heartbreak of it all. I'm happy that I didn't put the book down, that I kept on going even when I would have stopped because by the end, I felt like it was such a bittersweet commentary on girlhood and growing up. About female friendships and the kind of backwards way that society views how women should act in public. The idea that people think that they know who you are from a post on social media or from one text message taken out of context. That's exactly what Bess and Joni suffered through and continue to suffer through.

The story is told from Bess's point of view in the "present day" of 2018 as well as a retelling of the events of the summer of 2008. I thought it was also interesting the idea of having a first person narrator when the thought of trust comes up so often within the story. Trust of your friends, and trust of your own memories. For readers, we have to decide who to trust. Do we trust Bess's feelings about the past? Do we trust her suspicions in the present? Or is she someone who is so desperate to find answers that they seemingly pop up everywhere?

For me, I felt a sympathy toward Bess which made me want things to work out for her. I wanted Bess to get those definitive answers for herself so she could start living again. I won't say anymore in order to keep from spoiling things, but I ended up really enjoying this one and was super happy that I did not put it down because it's been a story that I've been thinking about since I finished.
… (mais)
AmyM3317 | 2 outras críticas | Apr 6, 2023 |
I disagree with a lot of the reviews. I thought the author did a wonderful job building tension and it physically hurt to read in the best way possible. It wasn't like, the best book I've ever read and there were a few loose ends and underdeveloped plot points, but I would definitely recommend it still. It was a hard read but worth it.
ninagl | 11 outras críticas | Jan 7, 2023 |



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