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Friday, September 3, 2010

Book Review: Return to Paradise (Leaving Paradise, Book #2) by Simone Elkeles

Return to Paradise (Leaving Paradise, Book #2) by Simone Elkeles
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Release Date: Available Now
Publisher: Flux
Pages: 312
Source: Received from publicist for honest review

Summary: Caleb Becker left Paradise eight months ago, taking with him the secret he promised to take to his grave. If the truth got out, it would ruin everything. Maggie Armstrong tried to be strong after Caleb broke her heart and disappeared. Somehow, she managed to move on. She’s determined to make a new life for herself. But then Caleb and Maggie are forced together on a summer trip. They try ignoring their passion for each other, but buried feelings resurface. Caleb must face the truth about the night of Maggie’s accident, or the secret that destroyed their relationship will forever stand between them.

My Review: I am thrilled to say, Simone never lets me down as a reader. Return to Paradise was ten times better than the first book, Leaving Paradise. From start to finish I was engulfed in Caleb and Maggie's world. Without giving away too much, in the beginning of Leaving Paradise, Caleb was known as a long time friend that hit Maggie with a car and ran. After finishing his sentence in juvie, Maggie and him connected in a way that no one expected. Now, Return to Paradise picked up eight months later with an unforeseen meeting between Maggie and Caleb. After getting into more trouble, Damon, his counselor made him join a Re-START program to prevent him from going to jail. That's where he bumped into Maggie, who was there to share her story of getting hit by a drunk driver.

The spark once again ignited between them. Even in their tense situation, the fiery chemistry oozed out of the pages. Maggie, still continued to amaze me. I admire her strength for dealing with betrayal, loss and a limped leg caused by the accident. Also, her determination and good heart made her the ideal person to straighten up bad boy Caleb. He, was the ultimate perfection of a sexy jerk who had moments of sensitivity. I definitely swooned over him and understood why he was angry at the world. He was carrying a secret burden that would drive any human being crazy (Leaving Paradise readers, you know what I am talking about.)

In addition, I also enjoyed all the other characters introduced in the Re-START program. Lenny was grotesquely nasty but, funny in his own weird way, Erin was a quiet girl with heart wrenching issues, Trisha was a talkative, tough girl and Matt was a sweet guy who comforted others. Simone did a lovely job creating a versatile group. Overall, the series ended perfectly. Just the right amount of romance to make my heart smile. I recommend anything Simone has written. She is one of my favorite authors and I always enjoy her story lines and characters. Lastly, a quick note for my young readers, this book does contain cursing and sexual content.

My Rating:
Author's Info:
Simone Elkeles has written five young adult novels, including Perfect Chemistry and Leaving Paradise, and was recently named Illinois Author of the Year by the Illinois Association of Teachers of English. She received her Master's of Science degree in Industrial Relations and also spends time mentoring other teen and adult authors.


Leilani @Leilani Loves Books said...

SO glad you liked it!!!!

I also thought it was ten times better. I fell in love with Caleb once again.

Simone never lets me down as well!

Aleksandra said...

I can't wait to read it! I loved Leaving Paradise! Great review!

Kelly Oram said...

I've been meaning to get to this one. I loved Leaving Paradise and I'm so glad you liked its sequel. Can't wait to read it!

Lauren said...

Great review! I just read and reviewed this one myself so it's great to see it's getting love from other bloggers as well. :)

Clover said...

Aw, what a great review. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this!

Cheryl said...

That was a great review! I added that to my Goodreads to read list!

Dwayne said...

Dyiiing to read this!

Monica said...

Happy you liked this! I read Perfect Chemistry and I'm dying to read the other two!

Michelle said...

I'm so angry that this one isn't in stock at any bookstore near me. ARG! I'm dying to read it. Glad to hear Caleb and Maggie's story continues on its awesome path. :)

Megan Hoover-Swicegood said...

I've got this one waiting for me on the hold shelf at my local library. I'm super excited about it. I love Simone Elkeles.

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