Sunday, August 1, 2010

Leaving Paradise



My Review:
If you haven’t heard of Simone Elkeles, there’s only one thing I can ask you: What rock have you been living under?

  Leaving Paradise is a creative, original novel that stands out among its competitors. The story line is gripping, and the secrets are definitely all over this book. You’ll fall in love with Maggie and Caleb from the first page.
  When Caleb gets behind the wheel drink and ends up hitting his next-door neighbor, Maggie, he’s thrown into juvie with the guilt of his hit-and-run. Worse, he’s keeping a secret from everyone—especially the ones who matter. After a year, he’s released, much to the dismay of Maggie…
  Maggie has spent the last year in physical therapy and hospitals for the injuries that Caleb caused on that night. She’s walking with a limp, and dealing with returning to school where everyone seems to think calling her a ‘retard’ is the right thing to do.
  Caleb and Maggie have to face each other: and not just in school. They’re next door neighbors, so there is no way to escape one another. What’s remarkable about this tale, is that Maggie and Caleb end up finding themselves in the most unlikely place—each other.
  Fans of honorable love stories should check this one out! I loved how the author used both Maggie and Caleb's voices in the novel, makes it more real in my opinion!
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 freedom means endless nagging from a transition coach and the prying eyes of the entire town. Coming home should feel good, but his family and ex-girlfriend seem like strangers.
Caleb and Maggie are outsiders, pigeon-holed as "criminal" and "freak." Then the truth emerges about what really happened the night of the accident and, once again, everything changes. It’s a bleak and tortuous journey for Caleb and Maggie, yet they end up finding comfort and strength from a surprising source: each other.



Five teenagers from different parts of the country. Three girls. Two guys. Four straight. One gay. Some rich. Some poor. Some from great families. Some with no one at all. All living their lives as best they can, but all searching...for freedom, safety, community, family, love. What they don't expect, though, is all that can happen when those powerful little words "I love you" are said for all the wrong reasons.

Five moving stories remain separate at first, then interweave to tell a larger, powerful story -- a story about making choices, taking leaps of faith, falling down, and growing up. A story about kids figuring out what sex and love are all about, at all costs, while asking themselves, "Can I ever feel okay about myself?"

 My Review:
Tricks, like all other Ellen Hopkins' books is a tormenting tale of love, loss and the act of loosing oneself in order to be found again.

  Tricks had me smiling and cursing all on the same page. Parts are full of love and life, while others are full of loss and darkness: Four things that Hopkins definitely knows how to write about. Each rhythmical page sucks you in and threatens not to let go until you’ve consumed each and every last heartbreaking and mesmeric word.
  This book makes you suffer along with each of the five characters; there isn’t one that doesn’t make you think of how good you have it. It’s an honest, true tale that is not to be passed up by any fans of Hopkins.
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