Saturday, 21 August 2010

Review for Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles

I bought this book after reading and adoring Simone Elkeles’ Perfect Chemistry. Even though Leaving Paradise isn’t out over here in the UK yet I managed to find and buy it off of Amazon because I was just desperate for more of Simone’s writing and romance. I started this book with high expectations and it didn’t disappoint! Simone Elkeles is the kind of author that is born to write she’s just a brilliant story teller and I honestly don’t think she could write a bad book even if she tried. This book has such an original plot and the romance is just as touching as Perfect Chemistry although surprising Maggie and Caleb’s romance felt very different to that of Alex and Brittany. Where Alex and Brittany’s relationship in Perfect Chemistry was fiery and passionate Maggie and Caleb’s is raw and emotional. I really loved the difference between them because for me that just showed how well Simone manages to develop her characters and relationships. Leaving Paradise starts with Caleb getting released from Juvie after spending a year in there for being the driver behind a drunken hit and run. The point of view then shifts in the next chapter to Maggie the girl Caleb has scarred for life and has left with a permanent limp. After taking a year off school to under go painful surgeries and physical therapy, Maggie’s finally ready to go back and face the music at school. Each chapter is told from either Caleb or Maggie’s perspective which I love about Simone Elkeles’ books as you get to see both sides of the story/romance. You really get a sense of how isolated and alone Maggie and Caleb feel after the accident so it’s not surprising when they turn to each other for support as their the only two who can really understand what the other is going through. Caleb’s such a sweet guy who desperately wants to protect Maggie from the cruel remarks she gets at school and Maggie whilst being vulnerable never shows weakness and who I actually thought was a really tough admirable girl. Their romance is so sad and tragic and I loved how they turned something bad into something good. I think that’s a really good moral that the readers get to take away with them after reading this book. I really loved everything about this book and I got a bit teary eyed reading the end! Even the secondary characters are wonderful. I especially had a soft spot for the elderly Mrs Reynolds. Despite how much I enjoyed this book I couldn’t give it the full 5 stars that I gave Perfect Chemistry just because I didn’t enjoy it quiet as much. That said this is still a good book in its own right and I’m really glad that the sequel Return to Paradise is out soon because I’m already itching to read it to find out what happens next to Maggie and Caleb. A bitter sweet romance which comes fully recommended. 4 stars. My Rating 4/5 stars ****


  1. Great review! I loved Perfect Chemistry, too, and I've been debating buying this one for a while!

  2. I've heard great things about this book but haven't read it yet... I really want to though! Great review! It definitely makes me want to get a move on and read the book, lol.

  3. This book rocks. I think I even like it more than Perfect Chemistry of that's possible haha.

  4. Great review! I have this one on my shelf... can't wait to read it!

  5. They're very different, Leaving Paradise and Perfect Chemistry, aren't they? I think I preferred Leaving Paradise because of all the pain. Felt more emotional to me.


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