Leslie (Working for the Mandroid)'s Reviews > Ingenue

Ingenue by Jillian Larkin
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's review
Jul 06, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: drama, fiction, romance, ya

See complete review here on Working for the Mandroid

The drama and action start from the very first page of the prologue when a nameless, faceless female character gets instructions to kill the three main male players of the previous book – wealthy banker Sebastian (Gloria’s former fiancée), creepy mobster Carlito (whose man Gloria killed) and Jerome (who used to work in Carlito’s club in Chicago). In Vixen the mysterious female in the prologue ended up being one of our main characters. In Ingenue the mystery and suspense of the prologue doesn’t really play out in quite as an exciting way; it just sets all the pieces into motion when our fourth protagonist Vera, Jerome’s younger sister, sees the unnamed assassin kill Sebastian and rushes to New York to warn her brother.

The entire book is told in chapters alternating between the adventures of the four girls, staying in the same order throughout, so that the pacing still feels constant even though you as the reader are jumping between plotlines and stories that stopped on cliffhangers three chapters before. This is always where Larkin has impressed me the most. It takes some talent to weave that many stories, telling them in spurts and it still all flow seamlessly together. Yes, some of the stories of the four girls do cross, but more often than not, they’re leading four separate adventures that only involve the other characters in the peripheral.

All these characters have naturally grown, some even learning from the mistakes of the previous book. All are compelling narrators and I can believe the choices they choose to make. Clara is the girl I wish I was at 18. She’s the girl I wish I was now. She’s confident, outgoing and willing to make sacrifices to get what she wants. She’s the type of protagonist I like to read. Gloria, on the other hand, is love sick and grumpy from entering poverty after growing up with a silver spoon yet I still enjoy her character too. She has goals, but above all, she loves Jerome in a world where that isn’t allowed and she doesn’t care. Then there’s dopey, airheaded Lorraine. I hated her much less in this novel than the last, but she still comes across as self-centered and oblivious to how the world actually works. I felt some satisfaction at watching all her plans fall apart.

Vera is the least developed, probably because she didn’t have her own story in Vixen, but she still comes alive as the worried little sister, whose ingenuity and gumption probably save everyone in the end. The gentlemen in the story are minor roles compared to the girls, but even then, they’re realistic and nice, boys worthy of the attention given them. I want to be friends with all of these people (maybe even Lorraine) and go to swanky illegal bars and dance like a crazy person. That’s the genius in this series. It’s so real that I want to crawl inside this book and take a vacation there. Larkin did her research and she puts it to great use.

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Reading Progress

July 6, 2011 – Shelved
November 4, 2011 –
page 58
15.76% "Wow, Larkin didn't drag her feet with this one, did she?"
November 5, 2011 –
page 86
23.37% "Slow but steady"
November 7, 2011 –
page 244
November 8, 2011 –
page 276
75.0% "And we're all starting to come together..."
Started Reading
November 9, 2011 –
page 304
82.61% "Bummed I couldn't finish last night."
November 9, 2011 – Finished Reading
November 10, 2011 – Shelved as: drama
November 10, 2011 – Shelved as: fiction
November 10, 2011 – Shelved as: romance
November 10, 2011 – Shelved as: ya

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