Title/Series: Leaving Paradise (Leaving Paradise, Book 1)
Published: April 1st 2007 by Flux
Paperback, 303 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.
So as you may already now, I love this author. To me, Simone Elkeles never disappoints. Leaving Paradise was actually the first I've read from her books and so this is how the glorious discovery of this super spectacular author started...
I began reading this book in Barnes and Noble, my back lay against the teen favorites book shelf and when I saw that I couldn't stop reading I had to run to the cash register because whether I finished there or in my bedroom, I wanted
Leaving Paradise in my possession.
For Simone Elkeles, it's all about the characters and how they live. She works with the idea of confused and/or troubled teens who need a some positive energy to get them thinking of their life's worth and what better positive than love and forgiveness.
Caleb Becker for one isn't feeling to good about himself, he not sure if he wants to live life portraying a boy who physically impairs teen girl, Maggie Armstrong by crashing into her while driving drunk. He's done his time in jail but things just don't feel how they should be.
Maggie is trying to live as best she could with her permanent limp but she can't help her fury from being mad at the world...and Caleb. She finds no use in crying over the past but when she grows a curious relationship with Caleb she can't help but feel a number of emotions, ones that shouldn't even be worth a thought.
This story was the first and certainly not my last by this author. I can never fully tell the ways of how Simone Elkeles stories have this amazing affect on me...it's all life, love, raw emotions, and humor...it's some of the best ya fiction out there...
I strongly recommend Simone's books, you might hate it, you might love it, you might just think they're okay...but at least try them because one can never fully explain all the ways why her books are so likable.
Sequel: Return to Paradise (Book 2)