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Even in Paradise

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  4,411 ratings  ·  588 reviews
When Julia Buchanan enrolls at St. Anne’s at the beginning of junior year, Charlotte Ryder already knows all about the former senator’s daughter. Most people do... or think they do.

Charlotte certainly never expects she’ll be Julia’s friend. But almost immediately, she is drawn into the larger than-life-new girl’s world—a world of midnight rendezvous, dazzling parties, pala
Hardcover, 360 pages
Published October 14th 2014 by HarperCollins
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Marie The ending is pretty sad but I still love the book so much despite that and I think it's a really good book! …moreThe ending is pretty sad but I still love the book so much despite that and I think it's a really good book! (less)

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Average rating 3.70  · 
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 ·  4,411 ratings  ·  588 reviews

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Emily May
Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
It's only in hindsight that we can point, as easily as finding a town on a map, to the moments that shaped us - the moments when choices between yeses and nos determined the people we became.

I have no illusions. Even knowing everything, I would have chosen the same.

This is very Gatsby-ish. I think this is also exactly what I wanted from Breakfast Served Anytime - a book that recently disappointed me. Because this book is all wistfulness and nostalgia. It's about growing up and changing, and
Aug 07, 2014 rated it did not like it
Ugh, this is one of the worst books I've read, this year if not my whole life. And I had such high hopes for it.

The main character (I barely even remember her name) talks in a deadpan voice All. The. Time. Everything she says is choppy. Dry. And I guess this is supposed to be dramatic or make her appear wise...? I don't even know. She says things like "as if" way too often and uses almost as much similes as Cassandra Clare.

She also has a voice fetish, because she describes voices along the lines
Aj the Ravenous Reader
This was honestly just pretty okay. It was readable-Ms. Philpot does write smoothly and it had a very interesting beginning. The first few chapters kind of reminded me a little of the book The Disreputable History of Frankie-Landau Banks but it’s just probably because of the boarding school setting.

But as the story moves forward (quite slowly), it got a little bit boring and quite predictable.
I kept waiting for something really important to happen but apart from that supposedly shocking reveal
Sue (Hollywood News Source)

Listen to my Even in Paradise fanmix on 8tracks.
Review also posted at Young Adult Hollywood.

Charlotte Ryder is your average scholar student while Julia is the daughter of a former powerful senator, rich and privileged. Charlotte is everything Julia Buchanan is not. She never ever thought she would be friends with the untouchable Julia but all of a sudden Charlotte was drawn into the luxurious, lavish world filled with parties and Buchanan’s.

Even In Paradise offers an intricate and well-construct
Anatea Oroz
What a beautifully written book about friendship, family, love and growing up. I have been in a kind of a reading slump. I have read quite a few books I didn't like, one after another. I'm so glad I decided to pick this one up. Finally, a book that I really liked! You know what they say... you can never go wrong with a contemporary. But even though I did expect to like this book, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. I definitely didn't expect that much deepness and feelings, I thou ...more
Rachel  (APCB Reviews)
Initial Reaction: I... I... I don't know. I. The feels. I need to think about this. Review to come.

I'll admit, I'm not much of a contemporary fan. I found this book on Edelweiss, and it sounded intriguing so I read it, and boy am I glad I did! This book was fantastic and opened my eyes to the potential that all books have if I'd simply give them a chance. Even in Paradise was stunning.

“Even knowing, as I do now, that grace, power, and, yes, love can hide the darkest elements of the human hea
"If you asked me now who I am, the only answer I could give with any certainty would be my name. For the rest: my loves, my hates, down to even my deepest desires, I can no longer say whether these emotions are my own, or stolen from those I once so desperately wished to be."

If we’re reviewing this from a philosophical, serious point of view, this book is a lyrical, haunting homage (honestly, more of a retelling), to The Great Gatsby and Brideshed Revisited,unmasking the dark underbelly of b
You can find a more organized and spoiler free review here @ My Little Corner For Books

Hmm... Hm, Hm, hm, hm hm... I have so many mixed feelings about this one, I'm still trying to sort it out. Pretty much everything (characters, plot) I like one second but the next I was scrunching my nose at... So, I don't really, truly know how I feel about this one just yet. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it all.

I won't do a summary cuz you can read it up there and I don't know what to leave out a
Jun 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book. This book is so complicated. There is so much emotional baggage that I couldn’t help but been drawn to it. Even In Paradise has so much grief, its crazy. And sooner than later, I found myself nearing the end of the book. It was so easy to get caught up in everything this book had to offer.

The writing in this book is really smooth and coordinates really well with the story. Seamlessly Charlie, the MC, has woven her way into the Buchanan families heart. The Buchanan family loves Charlie
Mar 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
I know I know I haven't written a proper review in awhile, but I've been so busy.

Just know this, while I had a couple problems with this, this was a beautiful story about friendship, love, and life. So eloquent and wonderful. I highly highly recommend this if you enjoy coming of age stories with a touch of magic and beauty. I loved the great Buchanan family and Charlie is one of my favorite MCs in a long while! Also one of my favorite endings EVER.
Kate (VerbVixen)
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When I read Even in Paradise, it was my fourth book of the day. I picked it up thinking it would be a novelty, an easy contemporary which I crave in the summer. Don’t let the cover fool you, this book is not easy. It is the kind of book that leaves you permanently altered, the words sinking under your skin like a tattoo. The “secret” was evident to me from the beginning, but it didn’t matter because I was as fascinated with the Great Buchanan’s as Charlie was—pulled into their wondrous web.

The b
Oct 08, 2014 rated it liked it
The Buchanan family have their secrets as well as their fair share of tragedy but they wear their masks and act as if they are okay.

Then comes Charlotte a.k.a. Charlie who befriends the troubled young Julia Buchanan. Charlie is sucked into the family circle where she feels as though she belongs. Soon enough the secrets of the family's past catch up with them and they are faced with another tragic loss.

Hmmmm... So this book was like The Great Gatsby but I am so sorry to say that I was a bit bored
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
Feb 15, 2014 marked it as abandoned
Shelves: arc
DNF at 33%. I love that we have a lesbian major character (Julia Buchanon, the object of Charlotte's apparent obsession after they befriend one another), but she's really just a pixie meant to change Charlotte's life and then waltz out of it. That's pretty obvious early on. This is very The Great Gatsby and fans of that novel might like this, but one thing about the classic novel is that it's short and the length works because 368 pages or so of the world of Gatsby would have been too much. Even ...more
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Beautifully wistful, full of soaring hope, and bittersweet love this book will grip your heart in the palm of its hand and never let it go. It's emotionally compelling in every way and you will find yourself wrapped up in the greatest love story of all, even if it's only for a fleeting moment. Wonderfully human and full of flaws, Even In Paradise, will show you what it's like when you find out that you're only human after all and that sometimes life can be unnaturally cruel. I loved falling in l

Jun 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
You can also find this review on my blog Seamless Reader.

I have read a ton of good books. That said, there have been very few ones that have really captured my full undivided attention to the point where I can genuinely say: "I have fallen in love with this book". Now, I know it might seem like I'm over doing it here, but I honestly don't think there's a better way for me to express how much I loved this book.

Even In Paradise drew me in from the very beginning. I had only read a couple chapters
Sarah Elizabeth
2.5 stars
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)
16-year-old Charlotte becomes friends with Julia Buchanan whilst at her all girls boarding school. Charlotte begins to enjoy the high life with Julia and her family, but Julia is messed up, and Charlotte doesn’t really understand why.
What is wrong with Julia? And what really happened to Julia’s sister Gus?

This was an okay story, but it didn’t get interesting until t
May 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Even in Paradise gave off a vibe of The Great Gatsby meet We Were Liars. Loving both of those things definitely helped me enjoy this too. I felt myself falling in love with the Buchanan's right along with Charlie.

The romance in this book, between Charlie and Julia's brother Sebastian, was done really well. It wasn't overbearing and was more of a side plot that was balanced really well with the rest of the story.

Another thing I really enjoyed was the incorporation of French. I love other langua
Nereyda (Nick & Nereyda's Infinite Booklist)
This book made me feel so many emotions that I'm not entirely sure what to rate it. Did I enjoy it? Yes, very much. The story had a very lyrical quality to it that I really liked. It also had a sort of Gossip Girl vibe that appealed to me. This isn't a love story, at least not the kind you're thinking of. This is the story of Charlotte, a normal girl who falls in love with the Buchanan family and gets sucked into their crazy and fun and dysfunctional life.

When Charlotte takes care of a drunk Jul
This book left me heartbroken. Chelsea Philpot has a beautiful way with words and I feel as if this novel left its mark on me. I look forward to reading more of her work.


Twice - Little Dragon
Maps - Maroon 5
Wonderland - Taylor Swift
New Romantics - Taylor Swift
I Wanna Know You - Hannah Montana and David Archuleta (yes, I still listen to her)
The One That Got Away - Katy Perry

*excuse me while I go through book withdrawal*
Not sure exactly how I feel about this one but I definitely liked it. Review to come.
Jun 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars

I call this review : The time choosing a book by its cover was a fail.

So its the age old story of 'normal' girl being taking under the wing of an older/ richer compatriot. Charlotte has had a normal enough upbringing, sans divorced parents, and ends up at St. Anne's boarding school. She starts as a good student, close circle of friends she's made, then one night circumstances put her in the path of the elusive Julia Buchanan and the story of the Great Buchanan's begins.

Charlotte (
Charnell (Reviews from a Bookworm)
Before I got to Even in Paradise, I'd been really unlucky with my recent reads. It had felt like everything I'd been reading had either turned out to be a huge disappointment or just infuriatingly bad. Even in Paradise felt like a breath of fresh air compared to them. It was a book that was easy to get into, quick to get through and enjoyable. But it also has me torn about my feelings for it because I enjoyed the majority of it, but wasn't completely happy with the end.

leonardo dicaprio animated GIF After Charlotte helps
It's too bad I wasn't able to enjoy this book, as the synopsis seemed so interesting to me before. It's true; this book is what the offspring of Looking for Alaska and The Great Gatsby would be. Unfortunately, since I liked neither one of these books, it's really no surprise I didn't like this one.

I'm not quite sure what the obsession with the Buchanans is. They are a messed-up family, each member with his own twisted problem, and come with strings attached. With being associated with the Buchan
Feb 17, 2014 marked it as dnf
Shelves: arc, e-arc
I stopped reading at only 7%. This book wasn't bad, I just quickly realized it wasn't for me.

From the first page we have a teenage girl who's shit faced drunk and puking her guts. Then the next morning she's drinking again.

Based on what I saw, I expect this book to be filled with underage drinking, partying, drama, and mean girls. That might sound like the perfect read to someone else, but it's not something I'm interested in.
EVEN IN PARADISE is definitely a beautiful coming of age novel that doesn't gloss over the heartache of loss and the importance of family.

I loved the strong friendship theme and the realistic portrayal of two people headed in two completely different paths.
Jun 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
Well that’s two disappointments in a row and this one was worse than the last! This book was not at all what was advertised on the back of it, it wasn’t even what the cover was trying to sell. There were so many bad behaviors in this book from all characters and in the end the books message seemed to be, hey, it’s okay, if you’ve gone through trauma and you’re rich you get a free pass on life! I’m glad that I read the whole book to see how it ended but even the reveal I was looking forward to at ...more
May 01, 2014 rated it liked it
I should start off by saying that based on this book, I'd absolutely try another one by this author someday. I have no complaints about the writing style, and read it in two sittings. That said, I think I would've enjoyed this particular work a lot more if I were less of a reader. Because for me, it felt like a watered-down version of the familiar "outsider meets enigmatic friend from enigmatic family who brings her into the fold before spitting her out" trope. (And not simply familiar in the "t ...more
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
I didn't go into this expecting a light read but nor did I go into it expecting something profound either. Something that would work it's way into your mind in the middle of the day when you weren't even reading, let alone near the book. A book who's words captivated as much as they made you ponder.

I have seen others relate this to The Great Gatsby and I can see that I really can. The strange fascinating life of the Buchanan's and their draw on others around them. That certain charisma that they
Jess | A Book to Remember
3.5 stars - I'm really tired right now and still need to gather my thoughts on this but all in all I liked it - the writing and storytelling was beautiful and I loved how it was like a Gatsby retelling and it was fun to keep reading to see what the big deal was but that's the part that brought this down, to me it wasn't a big deal. You go through the book wanting to know why happened but it just didn't live up to all the build up. I didn't feel fully connected with the characters but I thought t ...more
Mar 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned-digital, ya
I think I would've ranked this one higher if I hadn't read We Were Liars first. Two books about rich families hiding secrets is just a little too much. Here there wasn't the emotional attachment to the family -- instead we're expected to care for Charlie, the adopted outsider who comes from a blue collar world. The book followed a lot of stereotypes and as such was pretty predictable. I did like though the on-going theme that anyone who the family actually let get close always ended up getting b ...more
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Chelsey Philpot grew up on a farm in New Hampshire and now works as an editor and journalist. She's written for the New York Times, Boston Globe, Slate, and numerous other publications. Like her main character, Charlotte, Chelsey attended boarding school in New England. You can visit her online at or on Twitter @ChelseyPhilpot. ...more

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It'll be my own paradise.”
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