Hello to all of you fabulous people who took a little time from your day to read this review! I appreciate it, and truly adore you all. I also want to apologize for the complete bust that “Review Week” was. I definitely didn’t post a review a day, and I’m so sorry for that, last week was super hectic, and I tried to take on too much at one time. Anyways, today I am going to be discussing the Leaving Paradise Duology by Simone Elkeles, so let’s dive in!
Author: Simone Elkeles
Pages: 303, 291
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 4/5, 3.5/5
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.
Before I even started the series, I can honestly say I was pretty intrigued. The synopsis left me very curious, so once I started reading it sucked me in pretty quick. I’m not going to give you too much information about the plot, because I think it’s better to go in not knowing too much, but the characters are interesting and I enjoyed the dialogue between them a lot.
The first book starts off by introducing Caleb at the juvenile facilities, and with Maggie at physical therapy. I enjoyed this, because the reader was able to see the way the characters started, and by the end see the type of growth they both had. The dual perspective was really great, and I think that it helped to give us a better view of the different feelings both the characters had to deal with. The last few chapters get really intense, and as soon as I finished it I raced to grab the second book because of the massive cliffhanger at the end!
I didn’t enjoy the second book as much as the first. I felt like the characters were kind of annoying, and they seemed to constantly want to bicker, but the setting was interesting, and I think it added a lot to the story. Maggie and Caleb’s story ended with all of the loose ends tied up, and I was happy with the way things ended for the two of them.
Overall: The Leaving Paradise series was an enjoyable, short contemporary read. Although the second book wasn’t as good as the first, it still created a nice resolution and the series. Both books had other aspects that were explored and discussed, and it was not just a extra fluffy contemporary, it also was a tale of self growth and discovery. Overall, I recommend them, and if you have read them what did you think? Let me know in the comments!