Shelleyrae at Book'd Out's Reviews > Leaving Paradise

Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles
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's review
Jun 08, 2010

liked it
Read on June 27, 2010

It took me a while to get into this story, I think partly because the language lacked emotion, even though this gave Caleb an authentic voice. I wasn't expecting the alternate points of view but it worked.
Initially of course all my sympathy lay with Maggie, I can understand her sense of alienation and fear based on her fathers abandoment and the accident , though I am so glad she finally shook of her self pity because it was a bit wearing.
Caleb was more interesting, even though I was determined not to give him an inch, I felt for him with the treatment from his parents and once I quickly figured out the truth I liked and even admired him as well.
I'm in two minds about the role played by Mrs Reynolds, I liked her as a character but the situation was just too convenient as a means of bringing Caleb and Maggie together. In fact, ss an adult reader, the majority of the plot was just too contrived and there were some plot holes that drove me crazy.
However what Elkeles does do right in this novel is capture the emotion of her characters and explores teen issues well.
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