The Innocence Treatment is coming out next week! In the meantime, be sure to check out my Q&A with author Ari Goelman and enter the giveaway below!

About the Book


Author: Ari Goelman

Pub. Date: October 17, 2017

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Pages: 304

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Find it: AmazonB&NiBooksTBDGoodreads

You may believe the government protects you, but only one girl knows how they use you.
Lauren has a disorder that makes her believe everything her friends tell her–and she believes everyone is her friend. Her innocence puts her at constant risk, so when she gets the opportunity to have an operation to correct her condition, she seizes it. But after the surgery, Lauren is changed. Is she a paranoid lunatic with violent tendencies? Or a clear-eyed observer of the world who does what needs to be done?
Told in journal entries and therapy session transcripts, The Innocence Treatment is a collection of Lauren’s papers, annotated by her sister long after the events of the novel. A compelling YA debut thriller that is part speculative fiction and part shocking tell-all of genetic engineering and government secrets, Lauren’s story is ultimately an electrifying, propulsive, and spine-tingling read.

Author Q&A

1- The epistolary nature of the storytelling structure in this novel is fascinating! Was it challenging to write a story in that type of format?

Thank you so much — I’m glad you liked it. It was a bit challenging, but also fun.  I found I had to keep pretty detailed time lines of all parts of the narrative in order to keep things coherent while I was writing.

The alternating nature of the narrative was especially tricky — the way it goes back and forth between the journal entries and the psychiatric transcripts (a few months in the future).  I had to go back and forth between:  1) reading each line of narrative straight through to make sure it was internally consistent, and 2) reading it in the back-and-forth narrative structure that I intended it to take in the actual finished novel.

I also made mistakes.  It’s much easier to experiment with complicated structures when you’re willing to make mistakes, in the expectation that you’ll (mostly) catch your mistakes later on.

2- I love the concept of how Lauren begins as a character who trusts everyone around her and then the juxtaposition of her character after the treatment. Would you say you yourself are a more trusting or cynical person?

Ha.  Good question.  For me (as, I think, for most of us) it depends on context.  One of the things which makes Lauren so different (at the novel’s start) is that she takes everything that everyone says at complete face value ALL the time.

I think I’m pretty good at differentiating.  Politically I would say I’m pretty cynical; personally I’m pretty trusting.  I ask a lot of questions, so I end up having friends who are pretty open and honest.  At least as far as I know.  Shoot, maybe I’m totally naive…

3- If you could choose any fictional character from any other book to appear in THE INNOCENCE TREATMENT, which character would you choose?

That’s a hard question.  There are a lot of fictional characters out there!  Off the top of my head, Commander Vimes from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series.  He’s so honest and committed to justice, I feel like he’d be a natural ally of Lauren’s.  Plus he always wins in the Discworld books, and I feel like Lauren could use some of that luck.

4- What are some of your favorite thrillers that you’ve read?

I haven’t read too many thrillers in the last few years. Back in the day, though, I enjoyed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  I was on a family vacation with my younger sister who was reading it, and I’m pretty sure I stole it from her and hid somewhere while I finished it.  These days I’m mostly reading young adult and middle grade fantasy.  I know Harry Potter isn’t shelved with thrillers, but I think J.K. Rowling does an amazing job with the pacing of those books, which is (along with putting her characters in jeopardy) perhaps the most thrilling part of thrillers.

5- Plotting a thriller seems like it would be challenging. Did you start plotting this story at the beginning or the end?

Great question.  I started with Lauren’s character and her cognitive disability — so in that way I very much started with the beginning of the plot.  That said, I definitely wrote the end before the middle of the book.  For some reason,  I almost always write the end first, maybe to reassure myself that I know how the story ends..

Overall, I would say the plot was not the hard part — the hard part was the structure.  The plot seemed to flow really organically from Lauren’s character and her struggle to deal — first with her disability, and then with its treatment.  Not to mention her struggle with the Department and its scientists.

About the Author


I’m Ari Goelman.  I write fantasy novels.  Stories, too.

My latest novel, due out in October, 2017, is The Innocent Treatment.  Lauren Fielding is a sixteen-year-old high school student with a cognitive disability – she believes everything her friends tell her, and she believes that everyone is her friend.  A cutting edge medical treatment helps Lauren, but after the treatment her mental condition soon veers into paranoia.   Or does it? The Innocent Treatment comes out in October, 2017, but in the meantime you can read (a little) more about Lauren here.  (You can also pre-order a copy here.)

My first novel, The Path of Names came out a few years ago.  It’s a middle grade fantasy / murder mystery / ghost story.  You can read lots more about it here.  Or you could just read the book.  Honestly, that’s probably a better idea.

Here’s my blog and here’s a list of the short stories I’ve published,  many of which you can read online for free.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Enter the Giveaway

3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE INNOCENCE TREATMENT, US Only.


Follow the Blog Tour

Thanks so much to Rockstar Book Tours for hosting this tour! Be sure to check out their website here as well as the other amazing posts on this tour!

Week One:

10/2/2017- A Dream Within A Dream– Excerpt

10/3/2017- It Starts at Midnight– Review

10/4/2017- BookHounds YA– Guest Post

10/5/2017- Savings in Seconds– Review

10/6/2017- Books at Dawn– Excerpt

Week Two:

10/9/2017- Howling Libraries– Review

10/10/2017- YA and Wine– Interview

10/11/2017- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review

10/12/2017- Kendra Loves Books– Review

10/13/2017- Lisa Loves Literature– Interview

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21 thoughts on “THE INNOCENCE TREATMENT Author Q&A and Giveaway!

    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      Thanks so much, Brittany! <3 I haven't gotten to read this one yet, but I'm super intrigued by the concept. 🙂

  1. Sarah @ Reviews and Readathons says:

    I’ve just started seeing this book around. I’m a sucker for thrillers lately & I love anything told in non-traditional format. Will definitely be checking it out. I also nominated you for the Blog Recognition Award over on my blog. You can find the post here. I’d love for you to participate, but no pressure!

    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      There’s been some great YA thrillers this year! They’ve been a lot of fun to read. Thanks so much for the nomination! I really appreciate you thinking of me.

  2. Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

    I adore epistolary novels, but I tend to shy away from thrillers (as I’m sure you’re tired of hearing, Krysti!). Did you read this book, Krysti? If so, do you think I’d enjoy it, despite the “thriller” label?

    Ari Goelman: Thank you for participating in this Q&A! It sounds like writing The Innocence Treatment was quite a complex endeavor! What inspired you to take the epistolary path? Do you feel like this was the right format for this novel, or could it be done just as well in a more traditional format?

    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      I do too! I think epistolary novels are fascinating when they’re well done. I haven’t read this one yet, so I can’t really say if you’d enjoy it or not. I have to be in the right mood for a thriller. Otherwise, they make me super anxious!

      • Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

        Strangely, I don’t think I’ve read an epistolary novel I didn’t enjoy (unless we count Anne of Windy Poplars, which seemed to have lost it’s epistolary edge about halfway through the book…)! I’ll keep an eye out for The Innocence Treatment, then. Thanks for yet another recommendation! 🙂

      • KrystiYAandWine says:

        I honestly can’t think of one either. 🤔🤔🤔 Interesting. What other epistolary novels would you recommend?

      • Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

        YES. SO MANY.

        Speaking of adult literature… One of my favorites is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It’s about the only German-occupied British land during WWII. It’s beautiful historical fiction.

        When it comes to Sci-Fi I have an adult suggestion: Sleeping Giants. When it comes to YA, Illuminae and Gemina.

        Oh! Also historical fiction: The Color Purple. Have you read it? Please do. Immediately.

        Do you need more? Perhaps some more YA? I have them. 😉

      • KrystiYAandWine says:

        Oh nice! Guernsey is actually one of my grandma’s favorites, and it’s been on my TBR forever.

        I ADORE the Illuminae books. By far my favorite audiobooks I’ve ever listened to actually. They’re full cast and just incredible.

        I haven’t read The Color Purple. I’ll see add it to the TBR though!

      • Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

        Please read Guernsey. I really want to know what you think of it! Plus, Grandma’s favorite books are always fun to read (my Grandmother adored Anne of Green Gables).

        I really need to listen to the Illuminae audiobooks. I can’t even imagine the experience will be as good, honestly. I love the unique epistolary format so much— but I totally trust you. Bring it on.

      • KrystiYAandWine says:

        You’re right. I NEED to! I’ve heard nothing but good things, and it would be super fun to talk about it with my grandma. 🙂

        It’s a really hard choice between the Illuminae audibook and the physical book for me, but I would pick the audiobook. I am a total audiobook nut though.

      • Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

        I do love audiobooks, and I do a TON of driving for work, so there is no reason for me to NOT listen to it.

        What are some of your favorite audiobooks? I am always looking for new good ones. A bad narrator can ruin a great book. Seriously.

      • KrystiYAandWine says:

        I actually love my commute, because I get to listen to audiobooks. It makes it a lot of fun!

        The greatest audiobook I’ve listened to is Illuminae, but we already talked about that. 🙂 I honestly am not particular about narrators. I have Siri read me my eARCs a lot! So I’m probably a terrible person to ask. LOL. I can get into the story no matter who is narrating.

      • Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

        Right! I forgot you are the person who introduced me to Siri reading books. XD I really should try that more often, honestly. Well, keep it in mind for when you have the time/flexibility in your blogging schedule to listening to more fully developed audiobooks– I want to know your favorite narrators!

  3. Danielle Lynn says:

    Hmmm. I’ve seen this book around and wondered about the writing style (I wasn’t a huge fan of Illuminae)…

    Still… I think I’ll look into it. Thanks for the post!

    • KrystiYAandWine says:

      Oh, gotcha! I’m not sure how much of this book is epistolary honestly, so I’m not sure if it’s one you would like or not. I wonder if Goodreads would have more info.

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