Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Review of Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles

Title: Leaving Paradise
Author: Simone Elkeles
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Flux
Source: Library
Pages In This Edition: 303
Rating: 3/5 Stars


On the Cover:

Beyond the Cover:

Summary from Goodreads:

"Nothing has been the same since Caleb Becker left a party drunk, got behind the wheel, and hit Maggie Armstrong. Even after months of painful physical therapy, Maggie walks with a limp. Her social life is nil and a scholarship to study abroad—her chance to escape everyone and their pitying stares — has been canceled.

After a year in juvenile jail, Caleb’s free . . . if freedom means endless nagging from a transition coach and the prying eyes of the entire town. Coming home should feel good, but his family and ex-girlfriend seem like strangers.

Caleb and Maggie are outsiders, pigeon-holed as "criminal" and "freak." Then the truth emerges about what really happened the night of the accident and, once again, everything changes. It’s a bleak and tortuous journey for Caleb and Maggie, yet they end up finding comfort and strength from a surprising source: each other."


Review:  


I've read Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction and I loved them. So I thought I would give Leaving Paradise a try.


I have to say when I first began this book, I wasn't blown away. The characters were great, I just felt that until about 200 pages into the book, the plot dragged. It was completely predictable up until that point, AND I was comparing it to Perfect Chemistry the whole time. (For me that's a hard shoe to fill.)


But after that first 200 pages, it was an amazing read. I felt like maybe that whole built up was kind of necessary to get to know the characters and their thought processes in such an intimate way. That's one thing that Simone Elkeles is amazing at; building up amazing and very believable human characters. It felt like Maggie and Caleb were real people. 


I also enjoyed the fact that their relationship was grown out of more than just lust. It seems that half the books I read with romance in them have situations where people full head-over-heels in love with someone, but yet have no backbone to the relationship. Maggie and Caleb have history, they have things in common. The grow together, and learn together. They aren't driven crazy just because of each others bodies.


I probably would have given this book a 4/5 instead of the 3/5 if it wasn't for the the ending to the book. Personally, I would have liked it to end another way. But that was before I had read the second book about Maggie and Caleb. Now that I've read Return to Paradise, I realize that what happens at the end of Leaving Paradise is important and necessary. That doesn't mean I have to like it though...

Overall, Leaving Paradise is a great contemporary romance with and twist, and if you can get past the first 100 pages or so, a great love story with amazing characters you can't help but root for. I would recommend it to anyone who likes contemporary romance (book like Perfect Chemistry. :) )


--Alexis

2 comments:

Sarah said...

Great review :) I enjoyed this book as well. I think it would have been a great standalone book if the ending was different lol

LindsayWrites said...

hey there! new follower! :)
i haven't read any of her books yet! i should!

love the blog.

stop by mine and follow me?
http://lindsaycummingsblog.blogspot.com/

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Hi my name is Alexis and I'm so excited to be heading to Oregon State University in the fall. I will be majoring in English and hope to become an editor or technical writer in my future.

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With Beyond the Cover, I want to help people interested in YA with a resource to refer to. This blog will be composed of reviews as well as other book related subjects.



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