“Leaving Paradise” is not only a book I read 2 weeks ago and did NOT write a review on, but it is a book that a review has already been written on; by my guest reviewer Nicole. Don’t worry, I don’t plan on doing this on a regular basis, but I didn’t want to leave y’all hanging for the weekend, and since I haven’t had time to (bows head in shame) even start my next book (due to Spring Break with my kiddo’s) this has turned into my fall back plan.
I wanted to read this novel the second I read Nicole’s review of it for 2 reasons.
1. The synopsis sounded different and very engaging.
2. I have personally seen the effects of BOTH sides of this particular plot. (Naturally it didn’t turn out so peachy in the end, but hey… this is life, not a book.)
Caleb had it all, he was the high-school dream boy and all that that entails; sports, girls, weekend beer fest with the boys, but in the blink of an eye all that changed. A few bad decisions and a couple of cop cars later Caleb is carted away to jail and Maggie, his neighbor, is rushed to the hospital. A year later both are trying to regain their ground, Maggie is learning how to walk again, and Caleb is learning how to cope with the inevitability of his decisions. Both lives are upside down and inside out and only fate can help them fix it. Who can they trust? Who can they love? And what happens when what you thought was the whole truth is nothing but a snip-it of it?
“Simone Elkeles” is by no means new to the YA world, and over the last several years she has proven herself more than worthy of the fans she has acquired. Her skill for angst building is spectacular and her plots are surprisingly original in a “copy cat” filled genre. The most beautiful thing about her writing structure is that she doesn’t always end her novels the way “society” would expect, but more the way SHE sees it. They aren’t always happy, but they are warm and heartfelt, which sometimes means more than the generic happy ending. The only flaw I can give you is that her attention to characterization is great. Why is this so bad you ask? Well, because she wraps you up into a nice little emotional cocoon and then hits you with the hard stuff; “Leaving Paradise” is only book number one. (You see my problem.)
I am definitely slating this as a must read for lovers of the YA genre. You never know where you are going to learn lessons and in what form they come it… but this one has a good one. Get it, Live it, Love it…pass it on!
Happy reading my fellow Inmates and remember: Some people can change, sometime you just have to look past external appearances.
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