I reviewed this already, when it was originally the fanfic Dusty and I believe I gave it 4 stars. Those primarily because I found it to be absolutely horrible, but completely unputdownable. That opinion still stands now.
Dusty: Innocents is not a book that you can like. It actually pains me to read reviews talking about how much they love Dusty and Bliss. It worries me that anyone would find anything lovable about the relationship between those two. It also worries me when I read reviews talking about how unrealistic they seem. The lives that they lead may be hard to accept, but it's not unrealistic. And that scares the shit out of me. Innocents follow Dusty and Bliss from the early stages of their friendship at 11 & 13 through some semblance of a relationship, albeit hidden, at 15 & 17. It also follows the relationship Dusty has with his other bliss....drugs, alcohol, and sex. I know people don't want to think that young teens think and act like Dusty does, but they do. I've seen it firsthand. It's not pretty but The Elizabeths really nail the harsh realities of it. And somehow they do it with a lyrical style to the writing that makes you continue reading even though every bone in your body wishes you could stop. It's kind of fitting that way since you are reading a book about addiction in all forms. Addiction to the high, addiction to a person, addiction to appearances, all of which does harm to the person dealing with it and those around them.
Innocents sets the tone for the series as a whole. It gives you a peek into the monster that is Dusty & Bliss. It hints at things to come with their relationship and you know that it isn't going to be good. You can feel it throughout the entire book. It gives the perfect set up to leave you wanting to find out when all hell is going to break loose and wonder how it is going to happen. It's a massive mindfuck and I can't wait to see what is going to happen. And I'm probably going to hate every moment of it and that makes me love it. Dusty and Bliss are obviously not the only ones with problems.