Thursday, August 12, 2010

Leaving Paradise By Simone Elkeles

My Review Rating 7/10


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


I really enjoy reading Simone Elkeles books, although a YA writer she is one who can bridge the gap between YA and adults very nicely.

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 has just been released from having hit a girl whilst driving drunk and maiming her. Caleb now has to return to the small town of Paradise to rebuild his life. 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 looks like a vampire chick, and his dad is never there.

Maggie Armstrong was that innocent person that Caleb hit, and she's been living in her own prison, the hospital.The worst news comes to her is that Caleb has been released early and now school is starting she will have to face him every day. 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.

I really liked both Maggie and Caleb, they were both very real characters and the developing romance between them was very well written and believable. I love the way Simone Elkeles switches the point of view between them so we really get both sides of the story. I also felt that the relationships between Maggie & Caleb and their respective families were very well written - the accident and it's aftermath had a major impact on family life for everyone involved.

I'm really looking forward to the next novel, having left off the way it did makes me eager to know what happens with Caleb and Maggie.

If you are a fan of Perfect Chemistry I'm sure you'll enjoy Leaving Paradise and I would definitely recommend it.

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