Book Review: Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles

Blurb: 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.



Sleepless Points: imagesimagesimagesimagesimages

Genre: Young Adult

Length: 303 Pages

Published: 2007 by Flux





It was super intense; I could hardly breath. Leaving Paradise was one of those books that once you read, you’d never ever forget. This amazing book made me feel pain and pleasure; sad and happy; laugh and almost cry…all at the same time.

For the story, I loved the way Simone Elkeles linked each of characters together after the accident that changed everyone’s life. I loved how the way story went: slow but great, bitter but sweet. However, first few chapters, my main focus was on Caleb and Maggie’s romance that was nowhere to be found. At first, I felt disappointed and then I realized that this story had so many things to tell other than a love between two people. This story was about lives and friendships and that made me love this book even more.

Every characters in Leaving Paradise had their own strength. I really loved Caleb, Maggie, and Mrs. Reynolds. Caleb was a very good guy. He wasn’t selfish like his family thought he was. He tried really hard to make everything right after he came back from DOC. He was true to himself and never changed who he was. Maggie, she was the character that seemed to grow up every times I met her. She used to give up and carry all those weight on her shoulders but then she finally learned how to let go and lived her life the way she wanted. I thought Mrs. Reynolds was like a glue that put Caleb and Maggie together. She taught me a lot of thing and I was really sad when she passed away.

With cliffhanger ending, I’ll have to stop writing this review right now so I can start reading Return to Paradise.



2 Comments Add yours

  1. C.S. Wilde says:

    This seems like a pretty cool read


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