04 November 2009

Review: Leaving Paradise By: Simone Elkeles

Title: Leaving Paradise
Author: Simone Elkeles
Publisher: Flux, 312 Pages (April 1, 2007)
From: Purchased from Amazon

Synopsis: 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 pitystares-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 torjourney for Caleb and Maggie, yet they end up finding comfort and strength from a surprising source: each other.

Review: 5 Stars - LOVED this book. Simone Elkeles has written another great story. From page one - Leaving Paradise kept my full attention, with alternating character chapter points of view, I was able to get a better idea as to who Maggie and Caleb both are and how they each remembered the accident that forever changed both their lives, and the ones around them.

To read how they both struggled through things, trying to get back to whatever normal they could was sometimes hard to read. They had each changed so much that what was, could really never be again.

Maggie wants nothing to do with Caleb when he returns home after being in jail for a year for the accident, however they find that to heal and become the people they are suppose to be they really need each other. The twists and turns each face to forgive and heal really shine throughout the story. It made both Maggie and Caleb feel more real from beginning to end.

The ending had my heartbreaking on many different levels. This was the first book in a long while that I was surprised at the ending. It was hard to read, but you felt it was the right way to end things... for now.

Simone Elkeles writes a great story about a hard subject, one that many can relate to on various levels. The forgiveness part of the story made me hope that if faced with something this horrible, caused by someone else that I'd be as strong as each of these characters and be able to deal with things as well as they did. I'm happy to say that I won't be forgetting about this anytime soon and am excited to read the next installment in the series out fall 2010.

Find the Author

Follow me on Twitter     /     Be friends with me on Goodreads
Subscribe to my RSS Feed


  1. OH! i totally agree w/ what u said. I was like sad for a minute b/c it was over and the ending... i found out there was going to be a sequel! Now i'm super happy and that :D

    I <3 Simone Elkeles!

  2. I absolutely loved this book! I can't wait for the follow up.

  3. Haven't heard of this one before, but it definitely sounds heart-rending. Thank you for the review, and since you gave it such an awesome rating, I might have to check it out sometime! :)

  4. I'm so happy that people are getting into Simone Elkeles' books. She and her novels deserve a ton of attention.

  5. Great Review! I'll have to check this book out since you liked it so much :)

  6. Great review! I'm soooo going to have to check this one out for sure!

  7. I really loved Perfect Chemistry so I'm definitely going to have to check this out.

  8. Faye - glad you agreed with the review. It's great that there's going to be a sequel, if not I would have hated the ending :o)

    I <3 Simone Elkeles too!!

  9. loreleimarsh -

    It's great that I'm not the only one and that others are loving this books too. :o)

  10. Jenn (Books At Midnight)-
    Your welcome and thanks! You should check it out, it's one not to be missed! Enjoy when you pick it up.

  11. Michelle -

    I so agree with you, I hope the more who read it an post reviews get even more talking about her books. Now, if only the sequels would be out sooner!

  12. choco (In Which a Girl Reads)-

    Thanks! It's a must read if you ask me. :o)

    Enjoy when you read it.

  13. Jamie -

    Thanks! Yes, check it out soon! You'll love it!!

  14. So Many Books, So Little Time-

    You'll love it if you loved Perfect Chemistry. I have much love for that book as well. Enjoy!!

  15. Great review! This book sounds really good. I'll have to add it to my (quite extensive) wish list!
    Thanks for popping by my blog! ^-^

  16. ZG - Thanks! I'm sure you'll enjoy!

    I've been a lurker to your blog for awhile, and figured it was about time I left a comment. :o)

    Thanks for making your way to mine as well!

  17. WOW this sounds like a GREAT book - must add it to my must reads :) Thanks for the awesome review!

  18. Book Crazy Jenn - it is an amazing read. Great story. Glad to hear your adding it to your must reads! :o)

  19. Looks awesome! I will definitely plan on reading this one now. Great review! :)

  20. StepTheBookworm, it is a awesome read, and you should totally read it soon.

    Thanks for the comment! :o)

  21. All I can say is : I'm a huge fan of Simone Elkeles. What can I say more ? Oh yeah, this book is amazing with characters that can only move you.
    Great ! Now I want to re-read it !


Comment and let me know your thoughts on this post.

Twitter Goodreads Email

Recently Read

Blog Archive

Search the Blog!

Learn more about RAK

Book Soulmates
Xpresso Book Tours

Total Pageviews


FTC Disclaimer:

In accordance with FTC Guidelines, I have not received any monetary gain for any information posted within the pages of this website/blog. Any and all information has been provided by the publisher, author and or publicist for free. Content is also based on purchases made by myself or of my guest reviewer(s). Any and all opinions expressed within the pages of this website/blog are solely my own or those of the authors of any and all guest reviewers(s) or guest bloggers.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

About Me

Hi, I’m Lisa and I'm a proud bibliophile.

I enjoy reading and reviewing a variety of different books within the Young Adult, "New Adult" & Adult genres/categories. If you have any questions or if you are an author or publisher and would be interested in promoting a book, please feel free email. You can find my email under the "mail" button or under the contact link at the top of the page.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Authors, Publishers & Publicists

Have a book you'd like me to review or Promote? How about doing an Author Interview? Or maybe a Guest Post? Great! I'd love to! For more information about having your book reviewed here, please follow this link for more information:

Reviews, Interviews, Guest Posts and Contest.

Guest Reviewer Jenny

Guest Reviewer Jenny
Click for info & links to her reviews!

My Ratings

When I review I rate from 1 to 5 stars, 5 being the highest rating. I review based on many different things from the writing, to the story - to the characters and how I can relate to them or how they are developed. I also review based on if an author has worked their magic and was able to draw me into a story so deeply that I don't want to put the book down. If you would like me to review a book, please contact me or view my Contact Information and Review Policy for further details.

5 Stars - I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!
4 Stars - I Really liked/Loved it.
3 Stars - I liked it/Was pretty good.
2 Stars - It was, eh okay.
1 Star - It just wasn't for me.


Follow the Blog

Follow on Bloglovin

Follow By Email

Enter your email address:

Grab Me!

Blogs I Love