Forever Innocent by Deanna Roy 2.5 STARS
Synopsis: "Our baby died on prom night, and nothing was ever the same again."
Corabelle doesn’t feel like any of the other college girls. On what should have been one of the happiest nights of her life, she and her boyfriend Gavin watched a nurse disconnect the ventilator from their seven-day-old baby. During the funeral two days later, Gavin walked out and never returned.
Since then, her life has been a spiral of disasters. The only thing that has helped is her ability to black out whenever the pain gets too hard to bear, a habit that has become an addiction.
When Gavin shows up in her astronomy class four years later, he is hell-bent on getting her back, insisting she forgive him. Corabelle knows she can’t resist the touch that fills the empty ache that has haunted her since he left. But if he learns what she has done, if he follows the trail back through her past, her secrets will destroy their love completely. And once again, she’ll lose the only person who always believed she was innocent.
Overall- I think that this is a heartfelt, deep and well intentioned novel about a couple who lost their ban and are still trying to cope with the guilt when they happen to meet again and attempt to rekindle their love. Generally speaking, the story is beautiful and very interesting. But I feel that it missed the mark for me. This was nothing like Pulled by AL Jackson. I felt that even though the emotions were typical and the guilt a normal response, that there was a connection missing. Both main characters were frequently in their own head rather than ever discussing their thoughts or feelings, with anyone, much less each other. And while they connected over their son, it ended their and their love just seemed lost. I was VERY disappointed with the ending, which felt odd. But it was clear that this book is meant to set up the next book.
Rating: PG 13
Overall: emotional roller coaster
Characters: Gavin and Corabelle
Page Turner: No
Series Cont.? Yes
Genre New Adult Romance
Sex Scenes: Yes
Setting University of San Diego
Plot- The general plot of the book is quite depressing in an of itself, and Im glad that I know right off the back that their baby died. Through the book, the reader learns all about the incident and the in between events (especially for Gavin) before meeting again. I knew it would be a very emotion filled book, and I was ready. However, I didnt connect with them, I connected with Corabelles depression, which is understandable. And I connected with the pain between the two, again understandable. But I couldnt connect with much pass that. Corabelle blamed herself, and took the guilt to an extreme, while Gavin blamed himself and took his guilt to a different extreme. I do think this type of feeling occurs, and is the norm. I even felt that their running into each other and the rawness of this shook them both. Where I start to have trouble is that the books pace just doesnt propel to want to keep reading. It takes place in the span of two weeks, with flashbacks throughout. During this time period though they have every extreme and keep secrets and then get immature on each other. Each piece made sense and worked, but overall it lacked movement for me and I think thats what held me back. I felt that there was too much internal monologue and thought and not enough interaction between any of the characters. I was annoyed with so many flashbacks an quite honestly I would have preferred the flashback to have been a prologue rather than randomly throughout the book and oddly placed. It was hard sometimes to tell where the flashback started.
Characters- Gavin- I liked Gavin more than Corabelle. I found his story- his past- to be quite unrealistic and bizarre. It struck me as weird that he did certain things in his life. In fact I feel like I get to know Gavin's past but not his present whatsoever. Gavin was a loving man, but he was broken, and I appreciated that as a character I felt he grew some through the book, though not much. His anger is what eventually got to me. I didnt understand hs stalking and anger issues. I also didnt like the scenes with him at the garage, the story ended up talking more about cars than moving the plot forward.
Corrabelle- I liked Corabelle overall, but found her depression to actually be too depressing. I think generally speaking her feelings and thoughts surrounding the death of her child were normal, but after 4 years I have to wonder why she never sought any "help" and that no one thought it was weird that they knew nothing about her or her life. Being shy is one thing, but she more than kept to herself. I liked the raw and normal emotions that I got off Corabelle. And some of her reactions to Gavin felt typical. There were quite a few moments though where I felt that she was being just weird. (the blacking out?) I didnt like the friends in this book. They were annoying, they were all enabling her depression to continue, never saying anything to her about it. I did like that her friends were willing to stick up for her to Gavin when she was upset with him, but I was frustrated with her response to Gavin, which is exactly what she was at him for! Her weird response to pot (at the boys house) was beyond odd. In the end I dont feel that Corabelle grew as a character though developmentally, the character did open ip a little more and became more willing to listen to people by the end...