Paradise by Simone Elkeles
|Paradise by Simone Elkeles|
|Reviewer: Loralei Haylock|
|Summary: Clever plot twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat, realistic, balanced and ultimately likeable characters and a sweet unlikely romance make this one of the best books I've read for a while. A really enjoyable tome that I demolished in nearly one sitting, despite its hefty length of 624 pages. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 624||Date: August 2013|
|Publisher: Simon and Schuster|
|External links: Author's website|
Caleb Becker has spent the last year in juvie for hitting Maggie Armstrong in his car whilst drink driving. He thinks getting out of jail is the first step to things going back to normal, but he's about to learn exactly how much can change in a year and the terrible price of a secret within his family.
Maggie just wants to forget about Caleb. With her promising tennis career destroyed with her ruined leg, her demotion to loser in the high school social hierarchy, and the horrible feeling of stares following her every limping step, Maggie can't wait to get out of their hometown, Paradise. But if she's going to make it to Spain for a semester of study abroad, she'll need to face up to much more than Caleb's return and the feelings she used to have for him as a young girl.
Simone Elkeles has spun not one, but two tales of unlikely romance, in which the stakes are so nailbitingly high, it was just impossible to put the book(s) down. Paradise contains both Leaving Paradise and Return to Paradise - both volumes following Caleb and Maggie as they try to piece their lives back together after disaster ripped them apart.
Initially, I was concerned that the amount of bitterness on show between the two leads would be grating after more than a chapter or so, but Elkeles is careful to get things moving on a path to redemption fairly early on, so the initial dislike I felt for the characters was quickly overcome. In fact, by the end of the two novels, I understood every emotion and decision they went through so intimately, it was like reading about two really close friends rather than fictional strangers.
The stakes are so high, and Elkeles is sure to make it so there's never an easy, clear cut decision for either Maggie or Caleb. The romantic tension between them, and the fact that they are made for each other, is clearly obvious to the reader, but unlike so many 'will-they-won't-they' novels, the reasons for their caution or sudden about-turns are just as clear and believable. The situation that the characters were in was so horrible, I had to keep reading just clinging on to the hope that they would find the redemption I wanted them to.
Clever plot twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat, realistic, balanced and ultimately likeable characters and a sweet unlikely romance make this one of the best books I've read for a while. A really enjoyable tome that I demolished in nearly one sitting, despite its hefty length of 624 pages. Highly recommended.
If you enjoy this, definitely check out Simone Elkeles' other series, which starts with Perfect Chemistry.
For another emotionally complex (but slightly lighter) romance try Up In Flames by Nicole Williams.
You can read more book reviews or buy Paradise by Simone Elkeles at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Paradise by Simone Elkeles at Amazon.com.
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