Age Group: Young Adult
Other Books by This Author: Perfect Chemistry, How to series
Received From: Amazon.com
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 pity 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 tough journey for Caleb and Maggie, yet they end up finding comfort and strength from a surprising source: each other.
What can I even say about Leaving Paradise? The book is about two people on different sides of the same tragedy. Maggie was hit by a car and left for dead. Now she walks with a limp and everyone stares. Caleb was driving that car. He was drunk and left Maggie lying in the street. Before the accident Maggie and Caleb were neighbors maybe even friends. There might have even been some unrequited love in there but now Caleb is an ex-con and Maggie is a freak.
Simone Elkeles is proving to be one of my favorite authors. I don’t know what it is about her writing but it grips you and doesn’t let go until the very end. If it even lets you go then. She has a way of making you feel the emotions of the characters. Emotions you have never even felt. Leaving Paradise is full of strong emotions. Guilt, insecurities, hate, and eventually forgiveness, and love. You go on this journey with Maggie and Caleb weather you want to or not. There is a lot of hard times along the way and some twists and turns but I enjoyed the trip.
The reason I’m rating this book 4 stars instead of the 5 stars it was going to get is because of the ending. You will just have to read it to see what I’m talking about. Thank the universe there is a sequel coming out later this year! 4 Stars!
Check out my review of book two: Return to Paradise by Simone Elkeles