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Book Reviews

Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles: YA Book Review

leaving Paradise croppedA beautiful, honest realistic story told in alternating chapters by Maggie and Caleb, the two main characters. I found myself in a quandary with several of the characters – fluctuating between hating and loving them, and the ending drove me crazy!

I love stories with unexpected twists and boy does this one have a doosy!5 Star

Recommended age: 13+

Leaving Paradise
Series: Leaving Paradise – #1   leavingparadise_3002
Author: Simone Elkeles
Publication Date: 1 March 2011 (1st published 1 April 2007)
Publisher: Flux
Source: Purchased

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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.   

— Extract from Goodreads.com

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