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The Fall of Innocence

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  323 ratings  ·  86 reviews
For the past eight years, sixteen-year-old Emilia DeJesus has done her best to move on from the traumatic attack she suffered in the woods behind her elementary school. She's forced down the memories--the feeling of the twigs cracking beneath her, choking on her own blood, unable to scream. Most of all, she's tried to forget about Jeremy Lance, the boy responsible, the boy ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 12th 2018 by Philomel Books
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Average rating 3.61  · 
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PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
Gorgeous. Atmospheric. Painful. Tragic. Heartbreaking.

At age eight, a viscous attack by a neighborhood bully leaves Emilia traumatized and unable to speak. Eight years later, she still suffers the from effects of PTSD. Her father left, her mother hovers, her brother feels helpless and her boyfriend just wants to love her. Everyone worries, yet no one realizes the extent of her pain and delusions. Emilia’s psychosis preceded her attack, but aren’t really addressed directly in the story. She iden
Emilia DeJesus is trying so hard to live a normal life again. She’s in high school now, and has a steady boyfriend. But things are just not the same since she was assaulted on the playground of her elementary school when she was eight years old. The events of that day have had a lasting effect on Emilia and her family as well. Flashbacks and a deep sadness often overcome her. Her mother and brother continually worry about her state of mind, and panic if Emilia is late coming home. Her father, de ...more
It’s tough to read this story of the aftermath of abuse. The sentences takes elliptical turns as the many characters in this try to deal with Emilia DeJesus’s broken spirit in the wake of a brutal attack that left her body broken and unable to speak.

The passages loop between past and present, reality and imagination, until it can be hard for a reader to know which is which. It is exasperating to read the various characters ask each other “Are you okay?” ad nauseam when we know for a fact that th
Brooke — brooklynnnnereads
Nov 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs
Before I even get into my review of this book, I want to put a disclaimer and trigger warning out there for this book.

The contents of this novel are very emotional, graphic, and dark. Some of the trigger warnings that I think are applicable would be those involving: abuse (physical and sexual), PTSD, depression, and suicide. If you are worried about the topics involved in this novel, be cautious and read other reviews before picking this up.

With that disclaimer aside..

From the very beginning, th
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Sanchez, Jenny Torres Fall of Innocence, 448 pages. Philomel (Penguin), JUNE 2018. $19. Language: R (65 swears, 25 ‘f’); Mature Content: PG (rape mentioned); Violence: PG-13 (suicide)

When Emilia was a little girl she was attacked by Jeremy, an older mentally challenged boy at her school. All these years she has struggled to keep it together, even after her father left. With the help of her friend, now boyfriend, Ian, and her mother and brother, she has built a safe space. Then comes the day that
Tara Weiss
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
While I appreciate some darkness, this story was just too much to take. I don't think it works as a YA novel. Also, the current trend of inclusiveness in literature is appreciated, but the misplaced emphasis takes away from the most prominent issues. As the novel pulls the reader further into the spiral of awful that makes up one family's horrifying life, I found myself clamoring to get out of reading. I got depressed. I didn't want to be depressed. I turned off my Kindle, stared at the ceiling, ...more
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Say it with me: please stop with the multiple POVs.

Beyond that, this was fairly predictable but teen readers will enjoy this book about a girl, horribly damaged by an attack when she was younger, and her attempts to be "normal" by having a boyfriend and going through regular high school. How that long-ago event still affects her mental state, and how she tries to deal with it, will sadden readers. As an adult, I wondered what happened to getting her into therapy, but that isn't ever discussed -
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I'm honestly not sure I can move on to my next book right after finishing this. I feel like at the end, I finally understood the pain Emilia felt, and how trauma shaped her life and the way she thought. Phenomenal.
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the most beautiful, haunting books I've ever read.
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
This is a story of a sad story about a girl who when through a horrific event and never healed from it.

Full review will be posted as part of the Blog Tour.


Full review can be found here:

The premise of the story alone is what caught my attention. The story is about the aftermath of a violent sexual attack that happened to Emilia when she was young. She thought she recovered and was “normal”, but that just is not the case. She was far more fragile and br
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
First Thoughts:

Caution! Trigger for victims of PTSD, Sexual Assault and Mental Illness!!!

There are no words to express how deep this book cut down to my soul. There isn't a pretty way to put how torn up I got after the last word was read. If you're looking for a happy and simple read, this book isn't for you. There's so much texture and real life scenarios that it made it all the more real. This book really messed with me emotionally and I think those are sometimes the best kind of books....

BAYA Librarian
Emilia De Jesus has basically gotten her life back together after a brutal attack when she was 8 years old shattered her and her family. After years of hard work she now has a good relationship with her mother, her brother and her devoted boyfriend. Sure, her dad has been AWOL for years and no, she hasn’t made a ton of friends. But things are basically ok. Until, that is, she learns that she identified the wrong person in her attack. And now the possibility of having to confront him, and the rea ...more
If ever a book describes vividly the lasting effects of a traumatic assault, it would be this one, a touching exploration of a sixteen-year-old girl trying to move on past the event that has stained her life for the past eight years. Emilia DeJesus was assaulted eight years ago by a neighbor with special needs, but as it turns out, Jeremy Lance, the boy she thought was to blame is actually innocent, a fact revealed when the real assailant confesses. This and other events send Emilia spiraling in ...more
Branka Mataj
"The Fall of Innocence" was a really good book. In the book the protagonist, Emilia is battling with PTSD from an attack that she dealt with as a child. Emilia tries to distance herself and forget what happened but something changes in the investigation that leads Emilia to try and find the right answers. This book is ideal for young adults.
Nickole H
Oct 19, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is very sad, it didn't have the ending that I thought and hoped that it would. This book is a very realistic book about living with a trauma, dealing with that trauma and lots of the time the results aren't what you are hoping they would be.
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I actually read this a few months ago but hadn't reviewed it - I saw some crows today and they reminded me of Emilia and my eyes welled up within a millisecond. Such a beautiful, gutting book.
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Powerful and sad. Speaks to all the daughters and mothers of daughters, anyone who might be a little different and don't think they're seen. For the parents who leave and the ones who hold on. One of the best books I've read in a long time.
Linda Hutchinson
Sep 09, 2018 rated it liked it
⭐️⭐️⭐️ The Fall of Innocence by Jenny Torres Sanchez revolves around a horrific event with a tragic outcome. This is totes not a feel-good book. I’m ready for a light hearted and fun read. One last point, this book needed some editing and clarification. The brother figure could have been a bigger part of this story and I would have cut the stripper out. Some books need crisp editing. #bookstagram #idratherbereading #book #books #read #reading #abuse #abusesurvivor #bummer #downer #ineedadrink #n ...more
Amy Broome
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaaway
Received as a Goodreads giveaway. I devoured this book in two evenings. The topic matter is tough, but the writing moves it along and makes it hard to pull yourself away. I found myself doing the ... just one more chapter thing (for several more chapters). The book does conclude in an angsty melodramatic way typical of teen fiction, which is why I went with 4 stars instead of 5.
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was the weirdest book, and I have absolutely no idea what to think about it.

Parts of it were lovely, parts of it were completely bizarre, and several parts were either pointless or went nowhere (Jane, Tomas, etc). This is set in the 90's but I completely forgot that until it was listed at the beginning of each new part of the book. Besides going to a Blockbuster one night, there was nothing in here that indicated it wasn't present day, so I'm just not sure what the point of it being 1994 w
Liz Overberg
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a novel about a girl who is struggling to cope with a trauma that happened to her eight years earlier. She was attacked by a developmentally delayed boy who lived at the group home next to her elementary school. For a year after the attack, she wouldn’t speak. She would only caw, believing she was a bird.

Now, at sixteen, things are mostly better. She can mostly function and go on dates with her perfect boyfriend and talk and pretend everything is okay. But inside her there is still a sad
Ellie M
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: multiple-povs
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julia Francis
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh gosh. Where do I even begin with this masterpiece of a novel?? This book was utterly amazing, I can’t even begin to tell you. Immediately upon reading the last page, I took to Instagram and fervently wrote out a thank you letter to Jenny Sanchez for writing this story, with this beautiful cast of characters.

I wrote to thank her for writing a story about a Hispanic individual-because so often you find stories about devastating traumas afflicting white girls, not those of color, when it happen
Riley DiGilio
Apr 30, 2020 rated it liked it
(SPOILER) The Fall of Innocence is the story about a 16 year old girl named Emilia. When Emilia was 8 years old she was attacked and left to die in the middle of the woods. After being rescued she was never quite the same. On top of the trauma from her attack, Emilia also had to deal with the absence of her father. Her father left after not being able to cope with the incident. Now 8 years later Emilia still finds herself being controlled by the memories of what happened to her. When the case re ...more
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen
When Emilia was eight years old, she was attacked in the woods near her elementary school. After the attack, Emilia identified Jeremy Lance as her attacker, a boy with special needs, who lived at the boy’s home near the school. He was a boy she had seen break a school bus window with his fists as he stared out at her. Emilia’s recovery was slow and painful. At first, she would not speak at all partly because of biting through her own tongue during the attack. She saw crows all around her, watchi ...more
Actual rating 3.5 stars
Received advanced reader copy from publisher via Baker & Taylor book supplier

Eight years ago, Emilia survived a violent assault. She has forced the memories into a dark corner of her mind and tried to forget the face of Jeremy Lance, the young boy who was responsible and caused her so much pain. But when a discovery about her attacker’s identity is brought forward, the memories Emilia has so carefully packed away begin to resurface and Emilia struggles to come to terms w
Chrissie Morrison
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Emilia had a particularly tough childhood... After surviving a horrific attack behind her elementary school, she was so traumatized that she actually stopped speaking for some time.  In the aftermath of the attack, her father also left because he couldn't deal.  Now that she is in high school, she is frustrated that she still can't quite get past the attack.  She sometimes finds herself mentally trapped in the time of the attack and reliving it.  Winters are especially bad, since that was when t ...more
Jul 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Emilia has been trying her best to forget the attack eight years ago. But it's winter again, and the cold isn't helping her to move on. She has her Ma, her brother, and her boyfriend. But she can only find comfort with the crows that helped her from the attack.

This was a hard read for me. It took me forever to finish reading this. I just didn't find it that interesting. It was very depressing and sad. But that's the thing isn't it? These are real feelings. This book may be fictional but the feel
Jul 09, 2020 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
4.5/5 stars

This book was so good, I can't believe more people haven't read it yet. Jenny Torres Sanchez, what you did to my heart was so unfair, and my eyes cannot stop sweating. I'm so glad I read this book, it was really unexpected, but it wasn't perfect, and therefore I felt like I couldn't give it a full 5 stars, it was just lacking that extra umph, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it, and I cannot wait to recommend it to all friends.

The story is very heartbreaking and poignant, in a way that
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