Thursday, 30 September 2010

Review: Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles

My Rating: E, R, B

Published: 2007
Publisher: Flux

Author's Website:

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Caleb Becker spent the past year in juvenile detention.

Maggie Armstrong spent the past year in hospitals and physical therapy.

Two teens who are scarred one fateful night are going to have to face their greatest challenge yet – meeting up with each other again.

Leaving Paradise is the first book in the Leaving Paradise series by Simone Elkeles.

Maggie has just started back at school after the accident. Not only does she have schoolwork to deal with but she has everyone staring at her because of her limp. She can’t think her life could get any worse, but then Caleb is released from juvenile detention is back at school. Maggie is furious that the boy that left her for dead is being allowed back to the same school. So she does everything to stay out of his way. But their paths cross when Maggie gets a job with Mrs. Reynolds. Caleb turns is working at Mrs. Reynolds house as part of his community service which Maggie is not happy about but unwillingly lets him stay. They slowly get past the accident and start to grow closer together and form a relationship.

I think this book was so lovely. There were moments when I wanted to cry alongside Maggie and wanted to scream at Caleb but at the same time I was sad because their life-long friendship had been ruined by one horrible night gone wrong. I felt a bit sorry for Caleb too as he wasn’t exactly welcomed home with open arms once he was released but at the same time I thought he deserved not to be able to waltz back into everyone’s life as if nothing was wrong.

There are hints throughout the story that the accident isn’t exactly as it seems. Life is not as that straight forward and some people are keeping their secrets hidden.

My favourite part of this book was the fight at Mrs. Reynolds house as this was the turning point for the whole story. This is where we see Maggie and Caleb starting to put the past behind them and work towards a better future for both of them. At the end of the book I was so sad because when it all seemed to be working out for them both; one of them has to leave Paradise as they can no longer see a future there for themselves.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read the sequel, Return to Paradise. Hopefully everything is sorted out in the next book and we see a bit more of a happy ending.

Disclaimer: I own this book and I have not been paid to review this book. Everything I have said is of my own honest opinion.


Melissa said...

I really loved this book. I got the sequel, but I hear it's not as good...great review! :)

Cem said...

I adored this book!! I love the sequel as well, although I think this had a higher impact on me, still a must read though.