LEAVING PARADISE (Leaving Paradise, #1) by Simone Elkeles
First review since the Goodreads censoralpacalypse. How's here? How's there?
Anyway, I don't know what I expected from this book. Nothing, I suppose, and that made it slightly better. Truth be told, I didn't particularly like Perfect Chemistry. The overdone stereotypes made me want to [censored verb] the author. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood, but it felt basic and unoriginal.Leaving Paradise was better. A little. There were some issues both books shared, which are probably just part of Elkeles' style, but not MY style. In a very Black Dagger Brotherhoodfashion, you feel me?
As always, I'll start with the bad. The characters. The relationships. The continuity in both. The only person I truly connected with was Mrs. Reynolds. If I'm being completely honest, Drew, Leah, Kendra and her were the only characters that made real sense to me. Drew was an asshole, but the only one who wasn't afraid of the shit hitting the fan. Leah was the most selfish and hypocrite character, which is saying something because almost all of them were both things. Kendra is your typical A-class B-I-T-C-H. And Mrs. Reynolds was the only one I actually really liked, the one that took shit from nobody and lived like there was no tomorrow(view spoiler). The rest either I couldn't figure out or had a syndrome of bipolarity. I'm saying this a lot, but it's true. Caleb is an excellent example. When the book starts, he says he could still kiss Kendra forever. Exactly at the sixty six percent of the book, because it was one of my updates, he decides Kendra is an undeserving bitch and he's totally into Maggie, so he kisses her. It's COMPLETELY OUT OF NOWHERE. Their relationship in general was rushed, then slow, then rushed and overall weird, but this is what made me snap. And then he says he feels the need to protect her at all times, implies he loves her, yet I don't buy it. By the end of the book, Maggie thinks:
“Love is honesty. Love is a mutual respect for one another.”
Caleb doesn't love Maggie. He doesn't respect her enough to tell her a truth she deserves. And what Maggie feels for him seems to me more like a crush than actual love. I'm not saying they don't care about each other, that there's no affection, butthat isn't love. Perhaps it will become it in the sequel.
Relationship aside, I just didn't like Maggie and Caleb. I didn't hate them, they were just kind of meh to me. Maggie was weak and selfish. She does have a bit of a change by the end of the book, and I like that. Still, I a have a feeling that she will take herself too seriously in the future, believing she's the shit or something, and I can already foresee it won't work. Then there was Caleb, who wanted everything to go back to normal. This just pissed me off because everything and everyone had changed, including him. Everytime he wanted to go back I wanted to shake him and show him what reality was.
The problem with this book in a nutshell: It didn't feel real, everything was superficial. Not one interaction, reaction, anything stepped out of the page. And yet I'm giving ittwo and a half stars stars because it didn't really bore me. It was a quick, one-night read. Not only I don't regret it, I'm also reading the next book since it ended in a cliffhanger. (view spoiler)
“It's hard keeping everything the same when the same things look and feel so different.”
- Alive or Undead ~ 2013 -