Sunday, June 20, 2010

Book Review: Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles

Review: Leaving Paradise
Series: Leaving Paradise – Book 1
Author: Simone Elkeles
No of Pages: 303
Release Date: 1 April 2007


Caleb Becker spent the past year in juvenile detention.

Maggie Armstrong spent the past year in hospitals and physical therapy.

Two teens who were scarred one fateful night are going to have to face their greatest challenge yet – meeting up with each other again.


My Thoughts:

I am so glad that I didn’t read this before I read Perfect Chemistry, or it would have put me off Elkeles altogether.

Leaving Paradise was one big selfish teenage whinge. Yes these kids have problems, but they don’t do anything about it and they don’t take any of the blame themselves, everyone else is at fault.

Maggie was hit by a car driven by Caleb a year ago, resulting from that is a mangled leg that Maggie refuses to use. What I couldn’t stand about Maggie was her lack of courage and willpower. She refused to put any pressure on her leg and expected everyone to treat her special because of it.
When the elderly Mrs. Reynolds refuses to give her special treatment Maggie doesn’t like her. It showed a lack of character. Sure there may be people out there like Maggie, but it doesn’t set a good example.

Caleb on the other hand is fresh out of gaol and expects everyone to just accept him and go back to normal after he has mutilated one of the townsfolk. It grated on my nerves how much of a chip on his shoulder he had, I wanted to punch him the face for most of the book and tell him to wake up.

I know teenagers can be stupid, but did these two have to be that stupid?

Then there was the romance, Maggie fell in love with the guy that crippled her...there was a complete eye-roll moment as soon as I read the sentence. That whole part of the story was completely far-fetched.

The only thing I did like about Leaving Paradise was Mrs. Reynolds, she taught the pair to wake up and get over themselves. She had a world of wisdom that I could have listened to for hours and a wit that only an old lady can get away with saying out loud.

There was thankfully a change in Maggie toward the end when she hardened-up, the way it came about though and her sudden change in thinking was another complete eye-roll moment.

Elkeles is a masterful writer and it shows in this book, this just wasn’t one of her better ideas.

Also in this series:
Return to Paradise

Others who reviewed this:
Sarah's Book Reviews


prophecygirl said...

Thanks for the honest review of this one. I haven't read this yet, though I love Perfect Chemistry. I might give it a go one day!

Unknown said...

I must agree some what.
I adore the Perfect Chemistry trilogy but this just didn't catch my attention as much as Perfect Chemistry did.
Even though it wasnt all that spectacular, I still am getting the next one.

Alyssa Kirk said...

I haven't read her books but won't put this one on my list. Thanks for the review.

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

That's a great, honest review. Thanks for sharing!

Sarah said...

I did like this one but you're right that it isn't as good as Perfect Chemistry. I'll still be reading the sequel though :o) I've added your link to my review


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