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Road To Paradise

3.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,005 Ratings  ·  97 Reviews
Meet Shelby and Gina. Eighteen years old, fresh out of high school, and once best friends. When Shelby gets a bright yellow Mustang for a graduation gift, she decides to drive across America to find her missing mother, who walked out years before. Gina invites herself along for the ride, in a hurry to get to California to stop her wayward boyfriend from marrying someone el ...more
Paperback, 544 pages
Published November 5th 2007 by HarperCollins
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Bree T
Aug 10, 2010 Bree T rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 14, 2010 Zeek rated it liked it
Tough book to process:

Road to Paradise is nothing like The Bronze Horseman Trilogy by this author- LOVED those books- and can't really be compared to her other books either. The book is all about dialogue- both internal and external.

Road To Paradise centers around Shelby Sloane- a young woman unsure of who she is and unsure of who she Shall Be. So she decides to take a road trip across the states in her mint condition canary yellow mustang, given to her by the woman who raised her. The same woma
Aug 01, 2009 Faith2 rated it did not like it
I couldn't finish this book. In fact I struggled to get as far as I did which was about 1/4 of the way through.

The road trip was becoming extremely tedious and without having traveled to the places she was writing about, I couldn't make sense of the outrage upon them discovering that the "small detours" they were taking were actually hundreds of miles out of their way.

Not recommended.
Jan 14, 2010 Jane rated it liked it
I read this book in India when I found it on a random bookshelf, and it drew me in because the only Paullina Simons books I have read are the ones following The Bronze Horseman (which I loved) - so I gave it a go. There were many aspects I found interesting about the book, maybe Paullina herself more so.. The fact that she actually traveled around America herself to write this shows for sure - you can see that she did more than go on Google Images and imagine what a place was like - you could te ...more
Ursula Colmer
Jan 01, 2015 Ursula Colmer rated it did not like it
Well. Where to begin? I have just finished this book after struggling through it for what felt like years. I must admit, I had to skim read the final quarter as it was just SO. BORING. I absolutely LOVE the Bronze Horseman trilogy, but since those have found a lot of her books largely self-indulgent and rambling. This was no exception. If the irritating main characters aren't enough to put you off, the pages and pages of religious preaching should be. The plot is almost non-existent, and what li ...more
Zoe Palman
Jul 08, 2015 Zoe Palman rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No-one
Oh dear, I'm sorry Paullina I am such a HUGE fan of yours but I struggled SO hard with this book and I really didn't like it. In fact, you can tell how much of a fan I am because I am very apologetic about not liking this book when really I feel like you owe me an apology since I suffered weeks, going on months, with these characters. I actually was starting to feel claustrophobic shut up in that damn car with these girls by the end of it. It's definitely turned me off the idea of a road trip an ...more
Jul 26, 2008 Deva rated it it was ok
I am a fan of Paullina Simons but this is definitely my least favourite of her books thus far. The plot is interesting enough, the characters aren't that bad, but although I can't quite put my finger on what it lacks, it was an effort to finish this book. I actually skipped to the end to see what happened, which is not something I ever do. I found the dialogue pertaining to Christianity incredibly tedious, and despite trucking through it, I still had to agree with the character of Gina when she ...more
Aug 27, 2008 Jenny rated it really liked it
I have loved all her books I have read, I don't even care what it's about, I know it is going to be good.

While this wasn't the best book I'd read from Paullina Simons, I still enjoyed it. I am still trying to analyze why I liked it as much as I did. I think in many ways I identified with the main character - how she got swept up in the situation, was probably not like I would be, but I admired her compassion. I had read some reviews on this book while I was still reading it, and then I slowed do
Jul 21, 2012 Tina rated it it was ok
I don't read these kind of books very often any more, but this was a pretty slow read. The content scared me almost as much as "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" did (it was less graphic though..). Mostly, I just found it hard to empathise with the characters, so though the circumstances were sad, I continuously found myself annoyed with Gina, and then Shelby for making the decisions they did. The characters didn't really develop well, if at all. However I did manage to finish it, just because I ...more
Jul 04, 2016 Sarah rated it did not like it
This was the most painful book I have ever read. After reading Paullina Simons 'Eleven Hours', and reading the description of this book, I was looking forward to a good thriller. I struggled through this book, skim reading page after page, so bored, waiting for the exciting twist that was surely going to happen. It never happened.

The problem is that none of the characters are likeable. They are all painfully annoying. Gina and Candy are so slow and obnoxious and do everything they can to ruin S
Jan 18, 2014 Reb rated it did not like it
Best way to describe this book would be, a bunch of strangers each wrote a chapter and then they edited it to make one single book. The plot was so disconnected, that I kept thinking I missed chapters, or was struck with amnesia at some point and could not remember what I had previously read.
I have yet to read a book where the author was this reluctant to reveal her characters. The introduction to the 3 main characters was so miserly that by the time she started the unraveling, I could not care
Dec 28, 2009 Pugsykat rated it it was ok
This book is definately disappointing. The whole time I spent reading it expecting something to happen and invariably nothing did. I struggled through to the end and wondered how somebody who had wrote The Bronze Horseman could have come up with this.
Oct 26, 2015 Tasmin rated it it was ok
I loved the Bronze Horseman trilogy and the Girl in Times Square so I was geared up to like this book but I just didn't enjoy it. All the places they visited just blurred into one, the same thing seemed to happen in every single place they visited, there were endless tedious conversations about religion and the ending was completely random. It's like Paullina Simons just wrote about three girls with the worst luck in the world, screwed everything up for them (I just don't understand why Shelby d ...more
Jul 13, 2012 Meg rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
this book is driving me's so boring but I can't not finish it...then my next thought is life is too short to read bad books...
ok I've finished it. very tragic I think but not tragic enough to warrant anyone reading it. def don't recommend
One thing this author does really well, is female protagonists looking to escape their lives. I really enjoyed this story, it's sense of adventure, and the depth that is always in P.S.'s characters.
Riki-lee Unsworth
Jun 27, 2014 Riki-lee Unsworth rated it it was amazing
I loved this book but it is very slow to start I find it odd how many one star reviews it got but I would highly recommend it
Tonia Elson
Jul 27, 2011 Tonia Elson rated it did not like it
This book just dragged on, too much religious rubbish, and nothing interesting really happens - pointless.
Mar 04, 2010 Vicky rated it did not like it
Really disappointed. Didn't relate to the characters. I gave this book away once read!
A Reader's Heaven
I read this book as a part of our 2016 Reading Challenge - you can find out more here:

Meet Shelby and Gina. Eighteen years old, fresh out of high school, and once best friends. When Shelby gets a bright yellow Mustang for a graduation gift, she decides to drive across America to find her missing mother, who walked out years before. Gina invites herself along for the ride, in a hurry to get to California to stop her wayward boyfriend from marrying someone
Jessica Micallef
Jul 23, 2014 Jessica Micallef rated it did not like it
Shelves: own
I found this book in a salvos store and I decided to buy it knowing that the other Paullina Simons book I had read was the Bronze horseman triology, which is my all time favourite Simons. Unfortunately I was really disappointed. In fact I struggled to finish.

I feel as if the story really dragged on. So many ridiculous set backs. Parts that took chapters to read, could of been done in a lot shorter time. There was also what I felt was unnecessary religious conversation between characters, that i
May 28, 2014 Carleen rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book more. It's basic premise has a lot of potential and even the initial character profiles have promise, it was just disappointingly executed. Shelby wasn't the strong lead that I wanted her to be and the constant bickering between Gina and Candy quickly became very tiresome. There were sooo many setbacks on their cross country journey set in the 1980s that it just dragged on. Every person who was meant to help them only screwed them over and none of the girls took ...more
Sep 05, 2011 Ali rated it liked it
I wanted to give this book more but I couldn't. Within the pages is a good story but alas not the one that was published - ok that might be a bit harsh but honestly the book is too young with more and more wrong turns being made that just start to make the whole thing predictable - if the publisher had taken half the size of this book it would've been a good story! It's about 3 lost souls all searching for something coming together for a cross country road trip across america that is a bit of a ...more
Jan 26, 2013 Kate rated it really liked it
This is the second Paullina Simons book I've picked up (the first was Tully) and boy does she really know how to play on your emotions.
Others complained that the book was far too long and descriptive and needed several sections edited out completely. No doubt it is a long, meandering story, full of stops and detours but that's what I loved about it. Every single detail adds richness to the story, creating such a strong atmosphere I found myself longing for a roadtrip across America. Don't be pu
Rachel Zylstra
Aug 26, 2011 Rachel Zylstra rated it really liked it
Well...Simons never fails to deliver. I have read the back of this book many times in the bookstores and can't say I was excited by the description. But I'm glad I finally bought it. I think I knew deep down I was in for agreat story. Paullina is amazing. No two books from her are quite the same. She brings something different to the table everytime. Alot of people seem to think that her stories are too long or not edited enough, but that's what I love most about her writing. She is so descripti ...more
Jun 17, 2014 Lisa rated it did not like it
I have come to a screaming conclusion that the writing of Paullina Simons does nothing for me. I become annoyed, agitated and exasperated with the nonchalant way the characters continue to accept all of what goes on around them, without speaking out. Without questioning, without seeking answers - I can't STAND IT. Passiveness is a character flaw. I can't waste my time trying to read a book that's full of characters that don't have a voice.
Leanne Lamaro
Jan 09, 2016 Leanne Lamaro rated it liked it
Although there were moments in this book that kept you wanting to know more, it was often slow, with some aspects just needless to the overall story and thus frustrating. Then to top it all off the ending was really disappointing - a real non-event, with more questions than a real conclusion to the story. Overall, not as good as others books by Paullina Simons.
Sara Cole
Two young women leave home one summer, after finishing high-school, to go on a cross-country road trip. Both of the women have a plan, but of course, the trip doesn't go as planned. What unfolds is a story riddled with danger and uncertainty. I found myself shaking my head wondering how these girls got themselves into such a mess!

There are times when, as the reader, you really feel the slow drag of life on the long winding roads. The story plods along desperately wanting something to happen. An
Aug 17, 2015 Melbuckley rated it liked it
Hated the lead female character. Selfish, thoughtless woman who got what was coming to her in my opinion. Guess the fact that I hated this character so much is a testament to what a good author Paullina Simmons is but makes it hard for me to give this book a higher rating.
Doron Yam
Jan 08, 2011 Doron Yam rated it really liked it
Shelves: modern-classics
The book is about friendship, loyalty, principals, religion, points of view, dreams, dissappointments, hopes and charchteristics. It took me a while to read it but I'm happy to say that it kept me tensed to the very end, and what an end it was. The charachters are so different from one an other in their view of life that its hard, maybe impossible, to them to understand one another.
The plot takes us threw their dreams and hopes, ups and downs, hate and love, through the entire US (cost to cost)
Jan 03, 2016 Erin rated it did not like it
Took me three tries to finally read this and wished I hadn't with such a nowhere ending, consistent with the whole storyline really. Certainly not anywhere as good as some of the authors earlier books.
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Paullina Simons was born in Leningrad, USSR, in 1963. At the age of ten her family immigrated to the United States. Growing up in Russia Paullina dreamt of someday becoming a writer. Her dream was put on hold as she learned English and overcame the shock of a new culture.

After graduating from university and after various jobs including working as a financial journalist and as a translator Paullin
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