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Leaving Paradise

by Simone Elkeles

Series: Leaving Paradise (1)

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7764422,172 (3.91)14
In alternating chapters, seventeen-year-olds Caleb and Maggie relate the difficulties of readjusting to school, and changing relationships with family, friends, and one another, a year after a drunk driving accident sent her to the hospital with a crippling leg injury and him to prison.
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» See also 14 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
I loved the conflict and tension in this book. Caleb and Maggie are both deep characters and their complex relationship had me on the edge of my seat. This is my first Simone Elkeles book I've read. I'm not a fan.

The only reason it didn't get 5 stars is because of the ending. I would have liked things to go a little differently. ( )
  ElizaTilton | Nov 5, 2021 |
This was a great read! I really liked Maggie and Caleb and I liked the alternating POVs. I understood why Maggie was angry and felt like she couldn't forgive Caleb. He ran her over and she'll never walk the same way again. She went through a lot of pain and suffering. Caleb, on the other hand, has paid for his mistake through a year of jail time and a felony record. Everyone is treating him differently and he feels out of place. He's sorry for Maggie, but he doesn't know what to do to make it right. This story was so well written and I really felt for both characters. I also really enjoyed Mrs. Reynolds, she was sassy and a total matchmaker. I'm definitely going to read book two after that ending! ( )
  AlyP59 | Apr 25, 2019 |
I've had this one sitting on my shelf for over a year now. I picked it up last night after I finished unpacking to help me relax and I am so glad that I did! i literally couldn't put it down.

The chapters switch back and forth between Caleb and Maggie's point of view and we get to see just how the accident has affected both of them. With Maggie going through multiple surguries and physical therapy over the last year and Caleb being granted early release from the juvenile detention center, we get to see how being thrown back into high school affects them both.

Caleb was your average good looking jock, while Maggie was Caleb's twin sisters best friend and popular by default and her ability on the tennis court. A year later and everything has changed, Maggie is no longer popular, no longer star of the tennis court and she walks with a limp. Caleb, is now an ex-con and while his old friends don't seem to have a problem welcoming him back into the fold, they keep bringing up the accident, the one thing he really wants to forget about.

Maggie and Caleb run into each other a few times, and while Maggie is terrified of him, due to old nightmares and just the fact that he ran her over with his car, Caleb really wants her to forgive him. He paid his debt to society and now just wants to be free. They try to avoide each other as much as possible, but living in a small town and going to the same high school makes that hard for both of them.

When they end up working together at this old lady's house they start to grow closer. Both of them think that it is a bad idea, though they can't seem to not be drawn to each other. Things come to a head and they "split" up. Caleb ends up finishing the work he was assigned and completing his community srevice requirements, which gets him released. Things at home are not great for him, and we learn a secret that really changes EVERYTHING, but Caleb continues to guard this secret and ends up leaving home and Paradise. Maggie realizes what happened the night of the accident, but doesn't let it change things. The ending really has me wishing that I had the next book, and I am anxiously awaiting getting it in my addicted little hands!
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  chaoticbooklover | Dec 26, 2018 |
2.2 Stars

The start to the book was great. I liked Caleb and Maggie's slow, grudging relationship that eventually blossomed into a romance despite their best efforts to remain attacker and victim. But a lot of the "plot twists" were silly and unnecessary. Also, I think this story could've so very easily have been wrapped up in one novel, but instead the ending feels cheap and rushed as the reader is thrown a totally transparent hook for a sequel.

Sorry, I'm not buying it. ( )
  aquaorbis | Nov 1, 2017 |
I found this book on my book-shelf in my closet and I think it is the Best book EVER. I just randomly picked it up and started reading and it took me less than a day to read I am just in love with this book and I would so recommend it to students in high school. ( )
  NerdyAlien13 | Sep 25, 2017 |
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For Brett who brightens my day just by looking at him
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I've been waiting a year for this moment.
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In alternating chapters, seventeen-year-olds Caleb and Maggie relate the difficulties of readjusting to school, and changing relationships with family, friends, and one another, a year after a drunk driving accident sent her to the hospital with a crippling leg injury and him to prison.

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