Leaving Paradise By Simone Elkeles
Age Group: YA
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
Publication Date: 4/1/2007
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.
The best I can say is I love Simone Elkeles writing. The moment I got this book I couldn’t put this book down, or pick up another book (which is surprising for me since I read about four books at a time). This book was touching, sad, and funny. The characters were so realistic, and switching the point of view throughout the story just made the book. I felt so sorry for Maggie and what happened for her she didn’t deserve the things that she was put through. I also felt sorry for Caleb, especially as I got into the book and saw his home life and learned more about the accident. I am not usually into romantic gushy books, but this one was amazing. It not only had romance, it had twists and turns no one could see coming. I would recommend this book to anyone.