NOTE: My addiction for Simone Elkeles continues... and SPERLHERS. Epic spoilers.
So this series Leaving Paradise and Return to Paradise is about two people. This girl named Maggie was hit by a car a year ago and now has multiple scars and a major leg injury that prevents her from playing tennis. And Caleb, who was the guy who spent a year for drunk driving, hitting Maggie, and then leaving her there on the side of the road.
And Return to Paradise is what happened after Caleb runs away and is entered this program to inform teens about the dangers of reckless driving. And guess what? Maggie's there too.
The story was told in alternating points of view, one being Maggie's and the other being Caleb's.
At first I didn't want to relate to Caleb. It's one thing to hit someone, but then to just leave them there? And you were drunk. That doesn't bode well in my book.
But guess what?
(And this is where the spoilers from above come to play)
HE DIDN'T ACTUALLY HIT HER!!!
His twin sister did, who used to be Maggie's best friend.
So now he's fine.
But the devastating part for Maggie (back when she thought he hit her) was that she thought it was on purpose because Maggie had just told Caleb that his girlfriend was cheating on him and that Maggie has loved him for a long time. And he called her a liar.
Personally, I think the characters in this story are what made it so amazing.
I love Mrs. Reynolds. She's such an amazing elderly lady. She brought them together with her pushyness and her constant persistence that they needed to forgive each other. She was amazing. And it was heartbreaking when she died.
And the way Caleb was so protective of Maggie was ADORABLE. When people were calling her a cripple, he was always there to tackle them.
And their friends were pretty good too. Like the other re-START kids. Personally I liked Lenny and Matt. But the girls were pretty good too. I felt pretty bad for the girl who's boyfriend left her knocked up and her in prison.
Just yeah. Elkeles' writing style was so great in this one. I didn't feel like the characters were whiny (except for the twin sister, but that's forgivable and intentional). I love alternating POVs so this book was just AMAZING.
Great job, Elkeles! This is your last series I can review. Please write more.