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Review of Before We Were Innocent by Ella Berman

Fans of We Were Liars will absolutely love Ella Berman's debut novel, Before We Were Innocent. It's a perfect-for-summer unputdownable read!

Bess hasn't seen her childhood friend Joni since the death of their best friend Evangeline, where they were both dragged through the media as suspects involved with their friend's death. When Joni arrives on Bess' doorstep, not only do we immediately feel the alpha- beta- tension of this long estranged friendship, but when Joni brings with her a revelation, her girlfriend has gone missing. Bess is transported to their shared experience especially when their pact becomes leverage for more lies. With this 'surprise' suspicion and old wounds are opened, made worse by the buzz of journalists whirling around and the ten-year anniversary of Evangeline's death fast approaching. Before We Were Innocent is a sizzling literary fiction novel that puts female friendships under a microscope, examining layers of toxicity, competitiveness and secrets in a way that unravels like an edge-of-seat novel. With a coming-of-age edge, we can all identify with the growth and entanglement of friendships, and how they can both devour and empower us.  My only regret when reading Before We Were Innocent was not to slowly savour the gorgeous writing, but instead I greedily lapped it all up!

Review by Danielle.

Before We Were Innocent was published on 13/07/23 by Head of Zeus.

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