Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Leaving Paradise

Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles

What happens when the person who damaged you for life, becomes the person you trust the most?

My review:

My very favorite Elkeles thus-far, and the sequel just came out! Hooray, if you feel like sending me a copy, I am all for it!

Alright, so a lot of people think this story is sad, and yeah, it has those twinges of grief and the ending it’s a happily ever after, but the storytelling that happens here is monumentally spectacular!

I will try and remain spoiler free, but you shouldn’t have to read my review to be convinced of Leaving Paradise’s awesomeness!

Alright, so right from the beginning when we are meeting Caleb, you can just feel that he has no sense of grief, or guilt that he ran Maggie over with his car! He is so unremourseful that he maimed the poor girl that you will almost immediately feel a deep and unapologetic sense of anger and even, dare I say, hatred towards one Caleb Becker. He even wants everyone’s complete trust and forgiveness restored, which is just unrealistic, I mean, can’t he get it through his thick skull what he had done?! Geesh.

And then there is Maggie, and she is so weak, almost childlike and is searching desperately for the easy way out of things, you kind of wonder why an injury like that didn’t make her stronger, you know?

So you have these two total opposites, who have a shared history and live right next to each other, might I add. And you have about two hundred pages to go. You will begin to question Mrs. Elkeles brain cells, because how in the world is she going to bring these two together and make you fall in love with them, while they fall in love?

Oh, ye of little literary faith.

Basically, magic happens and a wise old woman gets a project, but it’s never conspiratorial, she sort of walks blind into her own way to help the two kids who stumbled into her life. When they all three say goodbye, I just kept reading and “watching” that scene over and over, it’s the most well-written last scene of a book! Gorgeous! Gorgeous!

I want to read the sequel because by the end of the book the two characters changed places, Maggie got stronger and stopped running, while Caleb gave up and kept going. Wow. Simone Elkeles, you are a miracle worker! I can’t wait to see how they return to each other, and return to Paradise.

Thoughts on the cover: One cover, the one I own, is very campy, and yet so very perfect, you can see a dimly lit road is the scene on the back cover and on the front are a bunch of neon lights that just scream, “How to get yourself the heck outta here!” The second cover is much more romantic, but boring IMO.

Notes on the names: Caleb and Maggie, I think they work well together and work for the characters, but all the names in this book only appear to “work” not really to stimulate.


Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

awesome review!! i really want to read something by this author. i gotta say i like the dark cover better. definitely makes me want to read it more.

Gabrielle Carolina said...

I loved this one and my review for Perfect Chemistry was one of my first posts.

This book is my fav because the plot is so unique.

Hope you get to reading!

Miranda said...

I like the dark cover better, it's darker and gives a more dark romantic feel which is exactly how the story is!
My favorite is Perfect Chemistry, but I love these books as well! The sequel will not disappoint you, I promise! :) It's wonderful<3

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Alison said...

I like the bottom cover more. The top one is too bright.
Great review. This does sound like a good book. Caleb sounds like a frustrating character at first.

mfay2 said...

I loved this book! I liked Caleb a lot. His parents are awful to him. Maggie's amazing. When I finished this book, I had to buy the ebook because I couldn't wait days to get a physical copy of the sequel. Itwas very good.