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Leaving Paradise (Leaving Paradise #1)

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  33,160 ratings  ·  2,035 reviews
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 freedo
Paperback, 303 pages
Published April 8th 2007 by Flux (first published April 1st 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~*
Apr 23, 2013 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: YA Romance readers
Recommended to Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* by: My love of Perfect Chemistry by this author.
(4 Stars)

Loved this! Can't wait for the second book, Return to Paradise, coming out in September 2010, as the story is not over yet. Longer review to follow later.

Almost half a year later….my review...

(4.5 Stars)

I’m finally writing my review after my re-reading of Leaving Paradise just prior to reading the sequel, Return to Paradise.

Earlier this year I read Perfect Chemistry by this author, and absolutely LOVED it and Alex and Brittany. Alex is one of my fave YA heroes! So sigh/
You know your Monday night is going downhill when you're stuck weeping over a cliffhanger.

I mean, this is the last straw in the haystack. The last chocolate in the box. The icing on the cake. The hole in the piñata.

I get that there will be cliffhangers. What I don't get is why only I ever seemed to be constantly plagued by them! 4/5 times, a book I will pick up will go something like this:

Book: Introducing a delicious guy character with soulful eyes and a great sense of humour
Book: Ooh look - h
Before I reveal why I'm only giving this one 2.5 stars, let's go over what I liked:

The writing. I'd have to say that was my favorite part of this novel. Just like with Elkeles' Perfect Chemistry series, it was spectacular. She always knows how to depict teens as they really are. She doesn't choose to sugarcoat their more amorous feelings or leave out curse words to make her novels more "teen friendly." I love that because, for me, it's better to be realistic than to make prudes happy.

The charact
Katrina Passick Lumsden
So...mashed potatoes. That's what this book is. Mashed potatoes. Tastes kinda good, relatively harmless and easy to digest, but nothing spectacular. Sort of bland, but occasionally satisfies a particular craving. Mashed potatoes.

Yes. Not the real, red-skinned taters mashed potatoes, we're talking good old boxed taters.

Premise was good, but it was kind of slow. It seemed to take forever for Maggie and Caleb to see each other again, but once they did, it was like instant love....which just didn'
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
**2.5 stars**

I am totes not on the bandwagon for this book.

Was this book bad? No, not at all. I think this author has some talent and I liked the shifting POVs. The story actually seemed vaguely familiar to me but I liked the concept behind it. I would most definitely read more by this author in the future.

However, a few things about this book really rubbed me the wrong way.

1) I think that Maggie's reactions are totally unrealistic. If a boy hit me with his car and PERMANENTLY MAIMED ME. I woul
Opening Line: "I'd been waiting a year for this moment"

4.5~ I don’t generally read much YA stuff but Caleb and Maggie’s forbidden coming of age romance got to me and I found myself quite wrapped up in all their teenaged angst. I guess it was the unique story idea that first piqued my interest; that of a romance developing between the offender and his victim was too good to pass up. And once you get into it the reasoning’s as to why they get together it felt realistic. I mean they‘ve both been aw
Donna {Book Passion for Life}
Posted on:

After reading Simone Elkeles Perfect Chemistry series, I've been itching to find something just as good. And while I have read a few books that have been really good, nothing had been better than Perfect Chemistry. Well……that is until Leaving Paradise completely surpassed all my expectations and blew me completely away!

Both Maggie Armstrong & Caleb Becker's lives changed one fateful night after Caleb accidently ran over Maggie while drunk dr
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
AAGGGH!!! I had this really long ranting review about this and then it got deleted. *EXPLODES* Well now I have to write the whole thing all over again, and now that I am in a bad mood it will probably be twice as long and twice as angry, so brace yourself.

Okay, so my first impression of this book was …bad. I flip open to the dedication, and it reads something along the lines of, "To Brent: who brightens my day just by looking at him" ....... *long pause* .... like, seriously? SERIOUSLY?! GAAHH
Sep 04, 2007 Stephanie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: YOUNG ADULTS (AKA teens)
Such a great book. Ok it's about a girl and guy. For the past year the guy, Caleb Becker, has been in Juvinille detention for hitting a girl with his car while also being drunk. On the other side of the story, Maggie Armstrong, the girl Caleb hit with his car, has been in physical therapy for the past year. Now Caleb is finally out of jail, and is coming back home, and Maggie is going to try to face school even though she has a terrible limp. Story's very real, raw, great emotions. I could hardl ...more
Again, this is one of those books that leave me with a 'why didn't I read this sooner?' feeling.

I kept seeing this pop up on my flist and I enjoyed it a lot.

Usually, when I read about female characters, my thoughts go from 'why can't I be more like her' to 'for the love of god, please somebody, slap her!' but this time I recognized something of myself in Maggie.

The part where Caleb makes her play tennis again, and she secretly loves it but doesn't want to admit it, that's exactly how I am. Tryi
3.5 stars.

Caleb Becker and Maggie Armstrong have spent the last year imprisoned. Caleb, imprisoned in juvenile detention for hitting Maggie while driving under the influence, and Maggie, imprisoned by physical therapy sessions for her damaged left leg that leaves her with a limp. When the two are forced together again after that one fateful night, how will they deal with the guilt and anxiety of trusting the person who's ruined ruined them forever?

Leaving Paradise possesses an interesting premis
Lots of lessons to be learned in this book. I liked the alternating points-of-view between Maggie and Caleb. My heart ached for both of them and all that they had lost. Maggie's struggle with her debilitating injury and the stares and teasing she was victim of, was just so wrong!! People just made fun of her and didn't understand the physical pain Maggie was suffering from was almost more than she could bear. Then to have to listen to the snickering and rude just made me want to sm ...more
Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles is such a great read! It’s the kind of book you pick up, keep turning the pages, and before you know it; you’re done with the story. I really enjoyed the format of the book and how the POV alternates between the two main characters.

The author did a great job of developing both Caleb and Maggie’s character that you immediately come to care for both of them regardless of their opposing circumstance. It’s a unique storyline with a sad ending that will have most pe
Caleb and Maggie come face-to-face for the first time, a year after the night that left them both damaged. Some of the damage is repairable, some isn't.

Caleb has just secured early release after a year in juvenile detention, having "paid his debt to society" for a drunk driving hit-and-run in which Maggie, his next-door neighbor and his twin sister's best friend, was permanently injured. His family isn't coping well with the aftermath of having a son convicted of a drunk driving hit-and-run. His
Paige  Bookdragon
We all have a book that the blurb is so good you wanna just make love to it but when you read the actual story, you were disgusted to find out it has herpes.


Let me start why I decided to read this book.

The blurb : I was hooked with it. A guy who was just out of prison. A girl he crippled. A secret. Now, my popcorns were popping and my soda was chilled.

The genres this book was shelved: Contemporary romance? Count me in!

My cursed curiosity

Now why I hated this book.

Inconsistent story line Too
Street corner TBR Challenge
August pick #4 per Flannery.

Ahh, This was one of those books I just couldn't put down. I was reading it every spare second I had. I didn't know if Elkeles was going to be able to pull off anything as awesome as "perfect chemistry", but she definitely brought her A-game with this book. Although, it just sort of abruptly ended....

I hate that ending. I want the goo-goo, happy ending. This one was sad! I hope there is some reconnecting in book #2.
Maggie, at first
Annie Brewer
Feb 06, 2012 Annie Brewer rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone who loves romance
Recommended to Annie by: Maida»-(¯`v´¯)-»
LOVE LOVE LOVE this book!!!!!! Absolutely amazing! Review to come!!

Okay, um I am not sure where to start. Well, let me start by saying Simone Elkeles has become a favorite author because of this book. I bought it on my nook cause it was cheap plus I loved the cover plus I have heard great things about it and my friend told me how amazing it is. And Maida, you were so right on!!!! This book was just....just. It just was. The romance, the story line, the characters, all of it was superb at its fin
It has been two or 3 years since I've read anything by Simone Elkeles. I still remember reading Perfect Chemistry trilogy, which I absolutely love. I'm so glad that I've read another novel of hers, giving me this jittery and sad feeling. If you haven't read that trilogy, GO READ IT. Especially, if you love Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry.

What happens when the person who damaged you for life... becomes the person you trust the most?

Leaving Paradise is an emotional roller coaster read. T
No me ha gustado nada la historia de Maggie y Caleb. Estos dos libros han sido una decepción absoluta, una de las peores historias de amor que he leído. Me ha gustado única y exclusivamente como escribe Simone pero la trama de la bilogía y sus protagonistas no me han gustado nada, nada y nada. Me ha resultado odiosa esta obra. Es más, ha habido momentos del libro, escenas de Caleb con otras tías, donde he sentido auténtico asco. No suelo decir esto pero estos dos libros los habría echado a la ho ...more
Leaving Paradise is my very first Elkeles novel (I was an Elkeles virgin o.0). I'd read mixed reviews from my GR friends but most of her books have high average ratings so I was keen to see what the fuss was about.

As you can see from my measly 2 stars, I didn't love it. But I definitely didn't hate it either. I don't regret paying (something ridiculous like a dollar...) for it on my Kindle. Would I pay much more than that? I don't know. Probably not.

Let's get the ugly stuff out of the way first
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Randstostipher "tallnlankyrn" Nguyen for

Two very different people are joined together by the most common yet dreadful experience. Both live in the town of Paradise, but for them it is nothing like the name.

Caleb Becker had spent time in juvenile detention for the crime of driving while intoxicated and accidentally hitting someone with his car. And now that he has done his time, Caleb is able to go home to his family and his girlfriend, if they are still together. Bu
Dear cliff hanger
I hate you and wish I never met you

Angry Reader

This story was ok.. It started slow.. Kiiiiiinda cute.. Then rushed the end.. And left you hanging in a cliff.. No closure.. some cliff hangers I get even tho they make me angry... But this one jus made me angry..
Miss Kim
3.5 stars

Leaving Paradise is a straight forward drama-laden teen romance. It took a few chapters for Caleb to grow on me and then I ended up really liking him. I felt for Maggie and her issues, and just loved the old lady, Mrs. Reynolds. I saw the twist coming a mile away, but that was ok. What ticked me off was the ending! It was abrupt and left me saying ‘what the F!’
I would recommend this for those that loved her other series Perfect Chemistry, but in my opinion this one does not compare.

How you feel about yourself, family, friends and home can change after just one event, one night, and one mistake. How do you forgive and move on when that one mistake caused physical suffering and pain so embedded in your heart you cannot even admit it is there? Where do we even begin? Maybe it takes our worlds completely shattering for us to see the pieces in a whole new way--the pieces and people right in front of us or right next door.

Yes, Leaving Paradise has one of my biggest weaknesses—th
This review was posted at My Secret Romance

To sum it up: 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. She has no social life, 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
Beware of spoilers!

Okay, 2.5 stars to be exact. It doesn't sound that horrible! Trust me.

I liked this book, but then I didn't.

Why I liked it:

- The characters seemed real, and I love how Elkeles wrote them. She's obviously good at voice. She doesn't try to hide anything. Teens do what teens do. I liked the narration. Not LOVED it. Liked it.
Why I didn't like it:

- The pacing was just too rushed for me. I felt like the romance should have developed a little more. I mean, if I knew that a guy who I
Sarah Dessen has stiff competition as my favorite YA romance author. Simone Elkeles knocked this book out of the park. Leaving Paradise is simply brilliant, in particular the second half of the story. Once I picked it up, I read for four hours straight to finish it. It's a lot more emotionally draining than Perfect Chemistry so if you're looking for that witty banter, you won't find it here. Leaving Paradise will put your heart through the ringer. From their broken spirits to a strong attraction ...more
I loved the ending of this book, it was so realistic. Such a wonderful story of heartbreak and how to come back from an act that cannot be taken back, you can only move forward.

When we meet up with Maggie, she's a year post-op from a horrible accident that left her with a limp and her left leg full of scars. Enter Caleb, he's spent a year in jail for hitting Maggie while drunk with his car.

What happens when Maggie and Caleb come face to face in Paradise?

It's uncomfortable, beautiful, well wri
Já.. nemám slov.. :) ...more
YA Reads Book Reviews
Caleb wishes that his parents would stop pretending that everything is fine. He just got out of juvenile hall, for Pete’s sake – everything is not fine. So when Caleb’s mom throws a little ‘welcome home’ party for Caleb and invites all her friends rather than his, he almost wishes he was back behind bars. On top of that, he’s having trouble getting back into school, his friends are treating him differently and his girlfriend wants to pick things up from where they left off, but she’s seeing some ...more
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amazingness:) 7 122 Dec 16, 2012 04:44PM  
Book Lovers UnInt...: Leaving Paradise Series by Simone Elkeles 3 21 Mar 02, 2012 06:55AM  
Romance Readers R...: Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles [Buddy Read] 13 16 Aug 22, 2011 06:26PM  
  • Going Too Far
  • Love at First Click (First Kisses, #6)
  • Cross My Heart (Cross My Heart, #1)
  • Caleb + Kate
  • Sophie & Carter
  • October Breezes (October Breezes #1)
  • One Night That Changes Everything
  • What I Didn't Say
  • Perfect You
  • Double Clutch (Brenna Blixen, #1)
  • Take Me There
  • Breathing
  • Harmonic Feedback
  • When It Happens
  • What a Boy Needs (What a Boy Wants, #2)
  • Heart on a Chain
  • You Against Me
Simone Elkeles is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of novels for teens. Simone’s books have won many awards including being YALSA Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, being named to the YALSA Popular Paperbacks and Teens Top Ten lists, and added to the Illinois “Read for a Lifetime” Reading List. Simone also won the coveted RITA award from the Romance Writers of ...more
More about Simone Elkeles...

Other Books in the Series

Leaving Paradise (2 books)
  • Return to Paradise (Leaving Paradise, #2)
Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1) Rules of Attraction (Perfect Chemistry, #2) Chain Reaction (Perfect Chemistry, #3) Return to Paradise (Leaving Paradise, #2) Wild Cards (Wild Cards, #1)

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I give her the only honest and true answer I have. "You're where I want to be.”
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