Saturday, December 24, 2011

Review: Leaving Paradise

Author: Simone Elkeles
Publish date: 2007
Source: purchased (ebook)
"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 downloaded this in Kindle ebook form a while ago when it was pretty cheap (maybe 99 cents) and read all of it today on my new Kindle Touch, which I adore already. I have previously read Elkeles's Perfect Chemistry (review here) and mostly enjoyed it, so I figured I would like this one too.

The plot itself was pretty intriguing and entertaining. The idea that two people like Maggie and Caleb could fall for each other after such a horrific accident really interested me and I wanted to see how the author would handle such a delicate situation. The whole storyline was pretty enjoyable and there was a major plot twist toward the end that I definitely was not expecting, especially in this kind of book, so that was a plus.

This is the kind of book that I wanted to love, but just couldn't. I liked it, but just like Perfect Chemistry, I felt like the writing was a bit lacking at times. It seemed like things got forced near the end, almost like the author was tired of writing and just wanted to finish it. The characters weren't anything fantastic, but the plot saved it for me. I would only recommend this for Elkeles fans or those looking for a quick YA read.

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