Grade: 5 Butterflies
Name: Leaving Paradise (Leaving Paradise #1)
Author: Simone Ekeles
Released: April 8th 2007
Pages: Paperback, 303 pages
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
This book was fantastic!!! I read her Perfect Chemistry and loved it!! I was in the mood for a love story and for some reason it was difficult to find a book about two people falling in love. I just couldn't seem to find one, of course there where books that had a love story in it, but in all of them the love story wasn't the main focus in the plot. Then comes in Leaving Paradise. It was every thing I wanted and more!! This book was brilliant!! Just pure brilliance!! The plot wasn't really fast paced, but it was so good that I devoured this book in less then a day. The characters where great and the character development was outstanding. The writing was extraordinary, that's all I'm going to say about the writing, just extraordinary.
The plot in this book wasn't really fast paced, but that was how it was supposed to be. If the plot was any faster then it was, I think it would have ruined the book for me, because some plots just don't need to be fast paced to be exciting and gripping.
Another point I want to say about the plot is that not everything was on the surface and a big part of the plot was uncovering those secrets that were just under the surface. Throughout the whole book it switches POV every other chapter between Caleb and Maggie and sometimes when its on Caleb's POV the plot teases you with side thoughts from him that suggests that the car crush isn't all that it seems.
The characters in this book were so remarkable and the charcter development that happens to those charcter though out the whole book was so great. It has been such a long time since I read a book where the character development was this good.
My favorite character was Maggie. Even though at the begining of the book she thought she was weak, someone to pity, I always saw her as a strong charcter. No matter what the world threw at her to nock her down she would get right back up. I really admire that in a character.
The ending in this book I had mixed emotions about. If this was a stand alone, I would have hated it and when I finished it, I thought it was a stand alone, so I was really mad. However, I figured out that there is a sequel and after that I came to really love the ending.
The relationship between Caleb and Maggie was great. I could just feel the chemitry they had from the pages. I thought that it was moving a little fast, exspecially since he hit her with his car. I just felt like she forgave him too easily, but at the same side, that is what the book was about, accepting the past and moving past it. So, overall I really loved their relationship.
All in all, Simone Elkeles is now offically on my list of contemporary authors that I will read. This was a outstanding book that blew me away with its brilliant plot, it's extraordinary characters that I fell in love with, and writing that was outstanding.
This book got.....
Blew me away, one of the best books ever.
Recommened if you like: Love stories, Strong characters, and Perfect Chemistry series.
Thats my review, I hope you liked it.