Donna {Book Passion for Life}'s Reviews > Leaving Paradise

Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles
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's review
Jun 09, 11

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites-ya, ya-contemporary-romance
Read from June 07 to 08, 2011

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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 driving. While leaving Maggie for dead and with a permanent limp for life, Caleb has spent the last year in a juvenile jail. When Caleb is finally released, he and Maggie both try to move on with their lives but it’s hard when fate seems to have other plans for them……leaving them to both fighting their attraction for one another.

When I started reading this book, admittedly I thought it was a little slow to start off with….but….don’t let that put you off from reading it. While reading it, I realised that we were slowly starting to find out how both, Caleb and Maggie felt about that fateful night. Not only did we find out what they felt but also that they both have different views of it too. With the story alternating from different point of views, you really get inside these characters head and really see them for who they really are. I honestly love two different views and I wish all books would do it.

Caleb and Maggie were both great characters. Yes, they have a lot baggage but it’s nothing they can’t work through. While the chemistry between them is so undeniable, I honestly sat on the edge of my seat while reading it. The suspense, the heat and attraction is just skimming on top of the surface and you’re just waiting for it to burst out. Simone Elkeles has done a fantastic job while she tells a hard story bringing together the two people that it has affected the most. She also writes raw, passionate and intense scenes that leave the readers wanting more and more. Oh…..and when you think you know the full story.....wham! A massive shocker is thrown into the story.....that I for one, WAS NOT expecting! Wow! Just wow!

Overall….Leaving Paradise left me needing to find out more about our characters that I’m headed for book two straight away. Read this book guys…I promise you won’t be disappointed.
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Quotes Donna {Book Passion for Life} Liked

Simone Elkeles
“Are you following me?" she asks, but doesn't meet my gaze.
"Yeah," I say.
I give her the only honest and true answer I have. "You're where I want to be.”
Simone Elkeles, Leaving Paradise

Simone Elkeles
“I look down at our knees, slightly touching. Jeans against jeans. Does she notice the heat transferring from her body to mine? Does she even realize what she's doing to me? I know, I know. I'm not a virgin and the slightest touch of a girl's knee is driving me insane. I don't even know what I'm feeling for Maggie, I just know that I'm feeling. It's something I've tried to avoid and deny until yesterday, when I held her in my arms while her tears spilled onto my shirt.

God, our knees touching isn't enough. I need more.

She's knotting her fingers together on her lap as if she doesn't know what to do with them. I want to touch her, but what if she pulls away like before? I've never been such a wuss with a girl in my life.

I bite my bottom lip as I slide my hand about millionth of a millimeter closer to her hand.

She doesn't seem fazed so I move closer. And closer.

When the tips of my fingers touch her wrist, she freezes. But she doesn't jerk her hand away. God, her skin is so soft, I think as my fingers trail a path from her wrist to her knuckles to her smooth, manicured nails.

I swear touching her like this is driving me nuts. It's more erotic, more intense than any other time with Kendra. I feel awkward and inexperienced as a freshman again. I look up. Everyone else is oblivious to the intensity of emotions running rampant in the back of the public bus.

When I look back down at my hand covering hers, I'm grateful she hasn't come to her senses and pulled away. As if she knows my thoughts, we both turn our hands at the same time so our hands are palm against palm...finger against finger. Her hand is dwarfed against mine. It makes her seem more delicate and petite than I'd realize. I feel a need to protect her and be her champion should she ever need one.

With a slight shift of my hand, I lace my fingers through hers.

I'm holding hands. With Maggie Armstrong.

I'm not even going to think about how wrong it is because it feels so right. She's avoided looking right at me, but now she turns her head and our eyes lock. God, how come I never noticed before how long her lashes were and how her brown eyes have specks of gold that sparkle when the sun shine on them?

The bus stops suddenly and I look out the window. It's our stop. She must have realized this because she pulls her hand away from mine and stands. I follow behind, still reeling.”
Simone Elkeles, Leaving Paradise

Simone Elkeles
“I wasn't going to kiss you."'
'You weren't?' I look up look up at him.
'Nope, the next time I kiss you it'll last a long, long time. And when we're done you're going to realize being turned on is not about experience.”
Simone Elkeles, Leaving Paradise

Reading Progress

06/07 page 47
06/08 page 170
56.0% 4 comments
01/30 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-23 of 23) (23 new)

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Haley ~ YA-Aholic OMG didn't you just LOVE this book?!?!?!?!? I loved it so much (:

Donna {Book Passion for Life} YES!!!! Caleb *SIGH* I think we need to make one big list of boys!!! Lol

Haley ~ YA-Aholic AHH I love Caleb...and yes we do! He is deff on my list to do for the Book Boyfriend (:

Donna {Book Passion for Life} Oohh I can't wait to see that! We did Ren this week and I think were doing Ash next week, IF we can find a photo. Lol

Haley ~ YA-Aholic hahah Ash is such a hard one! I feel like there are alot of guys that ALMOST look like him, but there has never been a guy that I've seen and been like "WOW that guy looks like Ash perfectly!" lol

Donna {Book Passion for Life} Yep! That's how I feel. I've had Jess looking for photo's for the past few days but still nothing :(

Shawna I'm so glad you liked it :-)

Donna {Book Passion for Life} I did Shawna! :) So good, I have to have the second one is so much better! Lol

message 9: by Tammara (new)

Tammara This is one of my favorite books. I think I've read it a dozen times! :)

Donna {Book Passion for Life} HI Tammara...I loved it. I just finished book 2 and that was even better. Glad you enjoyed it too, I've only been recently introduced to these books but I love them. :)

message 11: by Tammara (new)

Tammara I had a hard time with the second one! I had to wait quite a while for the second one for come out, and I think I expected too much (probably had the story all written out in my head, lol). I should probably reread it! :)

message 12: by Donna {Book Passion for Life} (last edited Jun 09, 2011 05:09AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Donna {Book Passion for Life} You should re-read it. :) I don't know what I would of done if I had to wait for Book 2. It was great to read it straight after. Lol, the only hard part now is writing the reviews for the blog. One to go. Lol

message 13: by Tammara (new)

Tammara When I read Leaving Paradise, there WAS no sequel in the works, so I think you can imagine the angst I felt at the end! The ending rang true, and yet AAAUUUUGH! When she announced that she was working on a sequel, I was on pins and needles.

Donna {Book Passion for Life} OMG! Really? I would not of been happy with that ending at all. Lol. Thank god for the sequel....I have to have happy ending....sucker for a good old romance. Lol

message 15: by Tammara (new)

Tammara I hear you! I wanted to scream NOOOOOOOO! (Actually I may have done that, lol.)

Donna {Book Passion for Life} Lol I would of too. It doesn't even leave you with a hint of a cliffhanger though....Its just the end! No way! I would of hated it. Lol

NightlyReading Heather I loved this book...wait until you read book will love it more:)

Donna {Book Passion for Life} I finished it this morning Heather! I just need to review it....but yes! It was fantastic! I loved it! :)

NightlyReading Heather It was great right? But did n't you just want to slap Caleb sometimes?

Donna {Book Passion for Life} It was amazing...I'm trying to figure out what to write for the review. YES!! He was a tad annoying but I'm so glad it worked out in the end...I only wish there was more to read. Lol

message 22: by June (new) - rated it 4 stars

June Luu I have a recommendation for everyone that hasn't read this book yet. Read "Beautiful disaster"...BEST ROMANCE BOOK EVER!!! Also read "Going too far"...

Donna {Book Passion for Life} Totally agree with you there June. Loved both of them books!

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