Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Leaving Paradise (Leaving Paradise, #1)” as Want to Read:
Leaving Paradise (Leaving Paradise, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Leaving Paradise

(Leaving Paradise #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  41,418 ratings  ·  2,482 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 abroadher chance to escape everyone and their pitying stareshas been canceled.

After a year in juvenile jail, Calebs free . . . if freedom
Paperback, 303 pages
Published April 8th 2007 by Flux (first published April 1st 2007)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Leaving Paradise, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Jen Lynn o..0? This is a place to find books! If there was an actor to play Caleb I would try to find a cute tough 'wrestle player' looking- overprotective…moreo..0? This is a place to find books! If there was an actor to play Caleb I would try to find a cute tough 'wrestle player' looking- overprotective brother dude that wants to do good but bad things seem to find him no matter what everywhere he goes type of dude. Very sweet and overprotective for those of who he cares about. Sometimes taking the blame and guilt on himself just to make sure the ones he loves are okay. And yet at the end of the day he's heartbroken and sad and frustrated. Good luck! I'd love a short story if your talking about making one about Caleb? o.0 If so that'd be great! (less)
Davina This is not a reading app. It is an app that shows you books and recommendations. You have to find the book for yourself.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  41,418 ratings  ·  2,482 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Leaving Paradise (Leaving Paradise, #1)
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 -
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
Aug 11, 2019 marked it as lost-interested
DNF @ 33%

Its been a while since Ive read this authors books and let me tell you I loved them but this one didnt work out for me or maybe its just my taste that has changed. This one is so slow and so far the MCs didnt really interact with each other, actually, so far they spoke with each other just one sentence. Well, Im not that patient, Im out Hope you enjoy it!
 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~*
Apr 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 review...

(4.5 Stars)

Im 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
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
Dec 08, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: g-ya-realistic
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.

elias veturius lovebot
3/5 Stars

Two teenagers lives are drastically changed after one fateful night when Caleb hits Maggie while drink driving, leaving her for dead. A year later, after being released from a juvenile jail, Caleb is back in Paradise. Maggie and Caleb want nothing to do with each other but fate has other ideas.

I had high expectations when it came to this book based on all the reviews I read and was only left disappointed. The book had a great plot but I didn't like the way it was written, felt very
Adita ✨The Slumbering Insomniac✨
Jun 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone who has nothing else to do than read this!

Dear Caleb Becker,

⏩While reading:

⏩At the end:


Phew, kids! Sequel? No thanks!!
Nov 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars, 2015-reads
Definitely one of the best YA love stories that I have ever read XD
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was ok

My first issue with this book was Caleb . He was so annoying and I loathed every aspect of him. He just let everyone tell him what to do, it's like he couldn't think for himself. Even if he disagreed with someone or didn't want to do something, he'd just accept it and do whatever it is they told him to do, because he feels it's just easier to do that than to argue - or as we normal people say - give your opinion and stand up for yourself.

Sep 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Opening Line: "I'd been waiting a year for this moment"

4.5~ I dont generally read much YA stuff but Caleb and Maggies 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 reasonings as to why they get together it felt realistic. I mean theyve both been away
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. Wellthat 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

I loved every second of Leaving Paradise. WELL, except for the cliffhanger you call an ending because I can't accept that! I need and want more!! I need to find the second book as soon as possible because I NEED and WANT more!

Now I'm not going to indulge in spoilers or any of that crap because you all need to drop whatever you are doing and go read this book. Unless you are in the middle of REALLY good book then proceed with reading and get this book after
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
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
Aug 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
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 ...more
Annie Brewer
Jan 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles is such a great read! Its the kind of book you pick up, keep turning the pages, and before you know it; youre 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 Maggies character that you immediately come to care for both of them regardless of their opposing circumstance. Its a unique storyline with a sad ending that will have most
Beatrice Masaluñga
Apr 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Sep 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 14, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
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..
Carla *Jen7waters*
I didn't hate this book, and the 1 star rating seems a bit harsh even for me, but so many things about this story bothered the hell out of me that I honestly cannot make myself click on that second star.

So the story is about this boy, Caleb, who hit his next door neighbor, Maggie, with a car while drunk driving, fled the scene, and went to jail for a year for it. Maggie survived but ended up with a permanently injured, scarred leg and a severe limp. The book starts when Caleb gets out of jail
Initial reaction: I feel like I'm of two minds with this book. One part of me really liked some of the emotional roughness and exploration of difficult situations this story offered, both for Maggie and Caleb's experiences. At the same time, I feel like this book had a cumbersome way of showing these details, so much at times that my suspension of disbelief couldn't overlook points of dramatic convenience for the sequence of events. I know this story has a follow up but did it have to end with ...more
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.
Mar 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Simone Elkeles knocked this book out of the park. Leaving Paradise is wonderful, the second half particularly stood out to me. 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. Their relationship morphs from them individually having broken spirits to developing this strong attraction to facing ...more
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone in need of a beautiful love story!
This was a beautiful book! I literally read it in just a few hours because I could not put it down, then went immediately to my kindle to read Return to Paradise because I just had to hear more of their love story. This book has been out for awhile and has a ton of reviews already, so I'm not going to write much for that reason alone. I can not say enough how much I recommend it, though, because the message it sends and the heartwarming love story we get to experience are both unbelievably ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
amazingness:) 8 129 May 23, 2018 12:55PM  
Book Lovers UnInt...: Leaving Paradise Series by Simone Elkeles 3 23 Mar 02, 2012 06:55AM  
Romance Readers R...: Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles [Buddy Read] 13 19 Aug 22, 2011 06:26PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)
  • Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)
  • Going Too Far
  • Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)
  • On the Edge
  • Forget You
  • Haven's Knight
  • The Vincent Boys (The Vincent Boys, #1)
  • Take Me There
  • Take Me On (Pushing the Limits, #4)
  • Breathe (Sea Breeze, #1)
  • Two-Way Street
  • Impostor (Variants, #1)
  • Chasing Impossible (Pushing the Limits, #5)
  • Crash (Crash, #1)
  • Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road, #1)
  • Until Friday Night (The Field Party, #1)
  • The Boy Who Sneaks in My Bedroom Window (The Boy Who Sneaks in My Bedroom Window, #1)
See similar books…
Simone Elkeles is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of novels for teens. Simones 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

Other books in the series

Leaving Paradise (2 books)
  • Return to Paradise (Leaving Paradise, #2)

Related Articles

As an administrator in Student Affairs at Iowa State University, Denise Williams’ life on campus has not only distracted her from the "abnormal...
6 likes · 1 comments
“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.”
“Love is honesty. Love is a mutual respect for one another.” 433 likes
More quotes…