Friday 23 April 2010

Review: Leaving Paradise - Simone Elkeles

What happens when the person who damaged you for life...

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.

...becomes the person you trust the most

Paradise Series:
Leaving Paradise
Return to Paradise
Paradise (Bind up containing Leaving Paradise & Return to Paradise)

For more information visit Simone Elkeles' website

Caleb has spent the last year in juvenile detention after being convicted of having an accident while drink driving. He hit Maggie with his car and then drove off leaving her seriously injured. Having spent a year away from home he is looking forward to picking up his life where he left off. Maggie however, has spent the last year in hospital suffering through multiple operations and physical therapy while trying to learn to walk again. All she can focus on is trying to get out of Paradise before Caleb returns.

When Caleb is released early for good behaviour it is Maggie's worst nightmare come true. As they are neighbours who grew up together living in a small town it is going to be impossible to avoid each other no matter how hard they both try. They are going to have to face up to their fears though.

I loved Perfect Chemistry so was looking forward to reading Leaving Paradise but was a little worried about reading it as I didn't think I'd be able to relate to Caleb - drink driving is something I feel very strongly about and I wasn't sure I'd be able to put that issue to one side to enjoy the book. I needn't have worried though - Simone Elkeles tackled a very sensitive subject but handled it very well and I did end up feeling sorry for Caleb despite the mistakes he had made.

I really liked both Maggie and Caleb, they were both very real characters and the developing romance between them was very well written and believable. I love the way Simone Elkeles switches the point of view between them so we really get both sides of the story. I also felt that the relationships between Maggie & Caleb and their respective families were very well written - the accident and it's aftermath had a major impact on family life for everyone involved.

I think the only thing I found slightly disappointing was the ending but I've got high hopes for the sequel Return to Paradise. If you are a fan of Perfect Chemistry I'm sure you'll enjoy Leaving Paradise and I would definitely recommend it.

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
I Want To Read That
Maria the Bookworm
Confessions of the Un-Published
Story Wings
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.


  1. It sounds so good! I love the tagline "What happens when the person who damaged you for life...becomes the person you trust the most"

    Lovely review hun, id never heard of author or book, so you pimped good cause im adding it to my buy list lol

  2. Hey Bear, it's a great tagline isn't it LOL. I really enjoyed Leaving Paradise but I think Perfect Chemistry would be my favorite of the 2. I can't wait to get my hands on the sequels to both though LOL :o)

    I would apologise for adding to your wishlist but since you do it to me all the time I'm not going to LOL!

  3. I loved Perfect Chemistry...think I need to get hold of a copy of this while I wait for Rules Of Attraction!

  4. This is the second good review I've read this week. I'll have to dig my copy out soon. Thanks! :)

  5. I havent read Perfect Chemistry, I know! But it's on my tbrlist! :)
    I keep hearing really good things about this one, it looks and sounds really good. I'm sorry the ending wasn't that all great!

  6. Have yet to read Perfect Chemistry, but I will need to do so and Leaving Paradise sounds like another book I need to pick up. Enjoyed your review.

  7. @ Rhiana - I'm sure you'll enjoy it - I'd definitely recommend it while you're waiting for Rules of Attraction but I have to warn you you'll then be desperate to get hold of Return to Paradise too LOL

    @ Prophecygirl - I hope you enjoy it - please come back & let me know what you think :o)

    @ Nina - I can't wait to see what you think of Perfect Chemistry! It wasn't so much that the ending wasn't good, I think it actually fitted the story well but it did leave me desperate to get my hands on the sequel LOL :o)

    @ Jan - I'm glad you liked my review :o) I'm sure you'll enjoy both this and Perfect Chemistry!

  8. I just picked out Perfect Chemistry & it looks like I will be buying all ehr books as all I hear are amazing things about each one! Thanks for making my wishlist grow ;)

  9. Hi Mel, Simone Elkeles has definitely earned a place on my favorite authors list so I'll be getting all of her other books too LOL :o) I hope you enjoy Perfect Chemistry (I'm sure you will!)

  10. i just bought this!!!!

    excellent review!!! sooo excited!

  11. Hey Amanda, I'm sure you're going to love this! I'll look forward to reading your review :o)

  12. hey hun, just re-reading our reviews on this. Its funny how we read so many of the same book and can sometimes have such different opinions on them!

    And most of the time when we love the same thing hehe

    btw im also reading the Jaz Parks series atm! lool i just saw that and i was like we always read the same stuff lol

    how you going hun?

  13. Hey Amanda, I'd forgotten you didn't really like this one! It's funny as we usually have quite similar tastes in books but I guess we can't have the same feelings about everything LOL!

    How are you getting on with the Jaz Parks series? I've only read the first 2 books but am enjoying it so far - I really love Vayl!!

    I'm doing OK apart from a rotten cold thanks, hope you're well :o)



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