09 January 2012

Book Review: Leaving Paradise

Book Details
Author: Simone Elkeles
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 1603 KB
Publisher: Flux (April 1, 2007)

Book Summary

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.
Book Review

Rating: 5/5

Leaving Paradise is another one of my Simone Elkele’s favourites. Once again, she made an amazing story about two unlikely characters falling in love and surviving the past. This is a story of how one reckless night can change lives of many. How love and loyalty can make or break you. 

Caleb, the once-popular kid, who have everything at his disposal got out of juvie after a year only to find that everything has changed. His family, his friends, his girlfriend were not the people he used to know. No matter how he tries in moving on, he realizes that it was not that easy. 

Maggie’s life went a 180 once she got hit that night. She’s no longer the ‘normal’ person she hoped she could be. She no longer has friends, even her best friend no longer talks to her, she stopped school for a year, no longer play the sport that could make her father proud of her and suddenly, Caleb, the guy who hit her went out of jail straight back into her path. 

The good-girl-falls-in-love-with-the-bad-boy story line filled the story with excellent chemistry. Two people, bonded by a tragedy that affected their lives, living as an outcast from the rest of the world, turned into the last person they have expected to – each other. 

I also like Mrs. Reynolds who gave both of them a chance to be normal. She’s an amazing character, a little bit pushy but Caleb and Maggie wouldn’t try something new and something they couldn’t think they can without a little motivation. 

I don’t know if a plot could be simple but can have the necessary depth – because Leaving Paradise has it. It is simple to a point that I can see this story even in newspaper stands. However, this is not just a love story. It has a reality thrown into it, an important silent advocacy that booze and driving do not go hand in hand. That an accident caused by irresponsible driving can damage and ruin future chances in life. 
Favorite Quotes

“being afraid to take chances is scarier than actually doing things that challenge you.” 

“No, the next time I kiss you it'll last a long, long time. And then when we're done you're gonna realize being turned on is not about experience” 

“It's hard keeping everything the same when the same things look and feel so different” 

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic Review. Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts and opinions about this novel. Sounds like a great read.


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