- Publisher: Llewellyn Publications,U.S.
- Format: Paperback | 312 pages
- Dimensions: 132mm x 201mm x 20mm | 295g
- Publication date: 20 December 2007
- Publication City/Country: Minnesota
- ISBN 10: 0738710180
- ISBN 13: 9780738710181
- Sales rank: 24,780
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 cancelled. 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.
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By Romy 29 Sep 2010
Nearly one year ago Maggie was hit by a car and sustained a major injury to her leg that halted her promising tennis career and leaving her in hospital being home schooled. Caleb, Maggie's neighbour and her best friends brother, was convicted of hitting Maggie while driving drunk and driving off. Maggie had a plan to avoid seeing Caleb before he got released from juvenile detention, go to Spain on exchange, her plan was working fine until Caleb was released early and now with the new school term starting Maggie will have to see Caleb every day at school reminding her of what he did to her. What follows is a beautifully written story about two people who have both been changed by the accident and now must deal with the consequences.
I absolutely loved this book! The book switched between the point of view of the two main characters Maggie and Caleb, which I thought really added to the book as we were able to see Maggie's POV of a situation and then we got Caleb POV of the same situation. It was really interesting to see how differently they saw the same situation, particularly where Maggie felt that Caleb was fitting straight back into his old life both at school and with his friends, but from Caleb POV we saw that he felt he didn't fit in there anymore and no one understood him and what he was going through.
I really felt for Maggie, before the accident she had good friends and loved playing tennis, after she seems to have lost all of her friends, cannot play tennis anymore and is now an outcast at school because of the accident and her limp. My opinion of Caleb changed throughout the book, at the start I wasn't very enamored with him but as the book progressed and he had to deal with his family, friends and the consequences of his actions I did a complete 180 turn and I was cheering for Maggie and Caleb to make it together. Caleb understood that the accident changed him, and I think for the better.
I don't want to give too much away but it is evident early in the book that all is not what it seems, there was more to the accident, but that's all I'll say.
The ending of the book was different, it wasn't all tied up with a nice little bow on top there wasn't real closure for Maggie and Caleb as a couple, so depending on if you like closure or not you may not like the ending. That said Maggie was finally able to accept what happened to her especially with what she discovered she felt she could get on with the rest of her life now without having all this anger. Personally, I liked the ending, especially now that there is a sequel coming out this year, I can't wait to find out what happens to Maggie and Caleb next.
By TeensReadToo 16 Sep 2010
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. But for Caleb, returning to Paradise isn't so easy. His mother is trying to act like nothing has happened, his sister hardly talks to anyone and has went from prep to goth, and his dad is just there.
Maggie Armstrong was that innocent person that Caleb hit, and she's been living in her own prison, the hospital. Trying to get back her life, Maggie has been trying her best to walk right again. But during those times, the people who Maggie thought were her friends began to grow apart from her. It's bad enough that her mother is trying to make ends meet and trying to make Maggie happy, but since Paradise isn't such a big town, there's a greater chance of Maggie running into Caleb.
For Caleb, it's much easier for him to gain his life back, since he was always the popular one -- but for Maggie, she's closer to the outside. But the one thing they both truly needed wasn't their old friends or their old lives, but each other. That one incident, that one thing that affected both of them, each in a different way, has caused a strong connection between them that they would never be able to ignore.
LEAVING PARADISE was honestly an amazing story, and was wonderfully written to where whoever reads it will not be able to get the story out of their head. Simone Elkeles, author of the highly acclaimed HOW TO RUIN A SUMMER VACATION, has switched gears and made an issue that is so common her own and very unique. The relationship between Caleb and Maggie was so real and extremely heartwarming, and the ways that they struggled to continue their lives, both individually and together, makes you wonder if you are able to be as strong as they are.
This is another wonderful novel from Simone Elkeles, and I cannot wait to read her future publications.
"Maggie and Caleb are complex and authentic teens all readers will embrace and care about. Theirs is a delicate, delicious love story--without the happy ending."