We’ve all heard the saying: you never forget your first love. For some, however, perhaps the better terminology is haunted—haunted with the memories, the connections, and the life-changing relationship. So begins the tale of Emma Ranstein and Corbin Jones, two typical teenagers who travel the road of first love together, hearts sealed by a seemingly impenetrable bond. When Corbin Jones is convicted of murder and faces years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, though, their love is put to the test. As Emma and Corbin await his release from prison decades later, both reflect on the power of a relationship neither has gotten over. Their unique story speaks to a universal heartstring within all of us: how do we move on past a first love if we aren’t meant to do so? More importantly, it reminds us that there is hope if the heart leads the way.
Voice of Innocence is the debut novel from author, Lindsay Detwiler. She was nice enough to send me an email for an honest review. I love it that authors are doing this! I get to read so many new things and find new authors to follow in the future. As such, here is my review.
Voice of Innocence is told in two different point of views and two different time periods. If you think that sounds ambitious and confusing, it can be. However, the flashbacks move seamlessly into the story alongside the present day and it isn’t confusing when the voice changes! That same seamless weave is in there.
Detwiler’s writing is easy to get into. I was instantly pulled into the story. Though the reader does know what happened fairly early on, the emotion and love between Corbin and Emma make you want to see what happens. I liken it to watching a train wreck that you know is going to happen, but not because of the sick sadistic value. You are watching this train wreck in the hopes that the passengers survive. Kind of like watching Titanic, you know there is a romance and an iceberg, but you keep watching, hoping that the relationship survives.
That’s a bit of how I felt while reading Voice of Innocence.
I’ve read some other reviews that dealt with the crime that the book is centered in. The others felt that the police who solved the crime didn’t really do their job and therefore it didn’t seem realistic. Unfortunately, there is a number of crimes where the police just “forget” evidence or don’t do their job 100%. I’m not saying they didn’t intend to, just that it happen.
In other words, the way Detwiler handled the crime didn’t surprise me. It makes it more upsetting, but it isn’t actually past the point of belief.
The story felt real. The romance felt real. I wanted to comfort Emma and Corbin. I wanted them to be happy. If anything, it is the ending that I wasn’t sure of.
The only reason I say that is because Emma is unsure of the future which makes the reader unsure. I would love to see more of them, to see if they get their happy ending. However, I fear a sequel would take away what this book has fostered beautifully.
This book isn’t a romance in the typical sense. It has romance, it has deep sadness, it is also a coming of age for two teens. A beautiful book and a quick read.