From someone who doesn't like the whole Young Adult genere this book was simply amazing. The author hooked me until the very end, and though the ending does leave you hanging in an "Oh come on! You can't end now! Not like this!" fashion the reader knows this is not the end of this duos story. And now the long and impatiant wait for the sequel to this captivating read, "Return To Paradise", begins.
And I agree with whoever said there was nothing wrong with this book. At. All. So add this to your wish list, I demand it. :)
Reviewed by Randstostipher "tallnlankyrn" Nguyen for TeensReadToo.com
Two very different people are joined together by the most common yet dreadful experience. Both live in the town of Paradise, but for them it is nothing like the name.
Caleb Becker had spent time in juvenile detention for the crime of driving while intoxicated and accidentally hitting someone with his car. And now that he has done his time, Caleb is able to go home to his family and his girlfriend, if they are still together. But for Caleb, returning to Paradise isn't so easy. His mother is trying to act like nothing has happened, his sister hardly talks to anyone and has went from prep to goth, and his dad is just there.
Maggie Armstrong was that innocent person that Caleb hit, and she's been living in her own prison, the hospital. Trying to get back her life, Maggie has been trying her best to walk right again. But during those times, the people who Maggie thought were her friends began to grow apart from her. It's bad enough that her mother is trying to make ends meet and trying to make Maggie happy, but since Paradise isn't such a big town, there's a greater chance of Maggie running into Caleb.
For Caleb, it's much easier for him to gain his life back, since he was always the popular one -- but for Maggie, she's closer to the outside. But the one thing they both truly needed wasn't their old friends or their old lives, but each other. That one incident, that one thing that affected both of them, each in a different way, has caused a strong connection between them that they would never be able to ignore.
LEAVING PARADISE was honestly an amazing story, and was wonderfully written to where whoever reads it will not be able to get the story out of their head. Simone Elkeles, author of the highly acclaimed HOW TO RUIN A SUMMER VACATION, has switched gears and made an issue that is so common her own and very unique. The relationship between Caleb and Maggie was so real and extremely heartwarming, and the ways that they struggled to continue their lives, both individually and together, makes you wonder if you are able to be as strong as they are.
This is another wonderful novel from Simone Elkeles, and I cannot wait to read her future publications.
Simone Elkeles does it yet again. Writes yet another fantastic story. I can not wait for Return to Paradise to come out. Talk about a bombshell being dropped towards the end of the book. Those who have read it probably get what I am talking about. Another one to add to your stack the next time you visit your local bookstore or library!!!