Customer Reviews for

Leaving Paradise

Average Rating 4.5
( 418 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(284)

4 Star

(94)

3 Star

(24)

2 Star

(10)

1 Star

(6)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

A Night That Changed Everything

Leaving Paradise is a touching story about a girl and boy brought together by a terrible accident that changed each others lives forever. It is a book that teens and even young adults can relate to. It shows forgiveness, relationships, stereotypes and how teens are hara...
Leaving Paradise is a touching story about a girl and boy brought together by a terrible accident that changed each others lives forever. It is a book that teens and even young adults can relate to. It shows forgiveness, relationships, stereotypes and how teens are harassed by their peers. It is not like your typical fairy tale story, where there is a happy ending or where you know what's going to happen next. There's a surprising twist that pulls you in until you're on the last page. Leaving paradise is an exceptionally easy read, alternating between the two characters, telling their sides of the story. It goes into depth about how their feeling and how there reacting to coming back from the accident that happened a year ago. Throughout the book it shows their weaknesses but how they eventually over come it together. The major message was saying how even though a situation may seem hard to cope with, it will get better throughout time, especially with people to support you in your worse moments and not to let anyone make you think nothing is not worth trying for. I like the ending and how it wasn't expected throughout the book, yet it was a bit dramatic. I think it could've been ended better since that was the only unreal part that wasn't likely to happen, but it was still a great book. I also liked how the author included every day situations throughout the whole story. It showed how the author knew what teenagers go through in life and how hard it can be to cope with, but he made this a very easy book to connect with, knowing that he knew what teens go through and not everything is a picture perfect moment. The girl, Maggie was a character any girl can relate with as she goes through the same problems of divorce and relationships as a teenage girl would in reality. I think it teens who like a good story that connects with the reader would really enjoy this book for its setting and plot and the depth the author gives the characters.

posted by 2264293 on November 23, 2009

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

well if u want a nonhorrible ending read simone ekles perfect chemestry then rules of atraction. alex is so sexy i could die!

you need to find these books

posted by Anonymous on March 31, 2011

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 94 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 5
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2009

    A Night That Changed Everything

    Leaving Paradise is a touching story about a girl and boy brought together by a terrible accident that changed each others lives forever. It is a book that teens and even young adults can relate to. It shows forgiveness, relationships, stereotypes and how teens are harassed by their peers. It is not like your typical fairy tale story, where there is a happy ending or where you know what's going to happen next. There's a surprising twist that pulls you in until you're on the last page. Leaving paradise is an exceptionally easy read, alternating between the two characters, telling their sides of the story. It goes into depth about how their feeling and how there reacting to coming back from the accident that happened a year ago. Throughout the book it shows their weaknesses but how they eventually over come it together. The major message was saying how even though a situation may seem hard to cope with, it will get better throughout time, especially with people to support you in your worse moments and not to let anyone make you think nothing is not worth trying for. I like the ending and how it wasn't expected throughout the book, yet it was a bit dramatic. I think it could've been ended better since that was the only unreal part that wasn't likely to happen, but it was still a great book. I also liked how the author included every day situations throughout the whole story. It showed how the author knew what teenagers go through in life and how hard it can be to cope with, but he made this a very easy book to connect with, knowing that he knew what teens go through and not everything is a picture perfect moment. The girl, Maggie was a character any girl can relate with as she goes through the same problems of divorce and relationships as a teenage girl would in reality. I think it teens who like a good story that connects with the reader would really enjoy this book for its setting and plot and the depth the author gives the characters.

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2013

    Book

    It was okay. Good charachters, good plot, well thought out. I enjoyed it **********SPOILER********** i cant believe Caleb just..... left. Just like that. What? And they will never see each other again. What? ******
    Overall, a good book

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2013

    Impusively readable

    Impulsively readable, but the ending was kind of disappointing. I will definitely be reading the next book though because I want to find out what happens next for Caleb and Maggie.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    When I picked up Leaving Paradise, it was only because I wanted

    When I picked up Leaving Paradise, it was only because I wanted to start working on one of the giant segments of my TBR pile. I didn't really care what I was reading, as long as I was reading something.

    What I didn't expect was to start reading a book that I would be unable to put down for the next two hours, even if it meant sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor and reading because actually walking over to feed the guinea pig took too much time away from the book.

    Leaving Paradise was absolutely fantastic. Normally I'm not a fan of stories told from more than one point of view, but reading from both Caleb's point of view and Maggie's point of view was perfect. Both characters were amazingly well developed and I adored their story. There were moments that I sat there giggling because they were adorable and moments that I pounded a pillow because I was annoyed at what they did.

    And I adored the plot, because it wasn't just about Maggie and Caleb getting together or not - it was about what happened that night and about whether Caleb could stay out of jail and so many other things and it came together wonderfully with a plot twist I wasn't exactly expecting because I was so drawn into the story I wasn't trying to figure it out.

    Simone, you're doing it right.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I need the sequel!

    Welcome to Paradise, home to two of the most justifiably miserable teens in existence. Caleb has just spent a year in juvenile detention, and Maggie's spent a year in surgeries and painful physical therapy for her legs. And these separate tragedies are actually just offshoots of the same horrible accident: A year ago, Caleb Becker was convicted of a hit-and-run, where he was driving under the influence and ran into his sister's best friend, Maggie Armstrong. Now Maggie can walk again, Caleb's returning to high school, and they both have to deal with the fallout from the accident.


    This book really engaged my emotions. When the protagonists were hurt, I was hurt, when they had triumphs, I was grinning like crazy. My heart goes out to poor sweet Maggie! After a year spent away from school and friends, her former buddies have all gotten distant and obsessed with physical appearances, and a freshly unpopular girl with scarred legs and impaired mobility doesn't rank high on their priority lists. I just want to give them all a big-sister slap on Maggie's behalf. This is not how we behave, ladies! We're supposed to reach out and love people who are hurting and left out! Her former buddies only form a small part of the story, but somehow their casual indifference to her pain made me as angry as if they had been straight-up mean girls out to wreck her life. And, as with most physical impairments, Maggie's messed-up legs cause more problems for her than just the obvious. She used to be a tennis star, and and now she's left without the ability to do the one thing that made her feel strong and valuable and worthy of the attentions of her absentee jerk father (who left their family, remarried, and has visited Maggie once since the accident that maimed her! Grr).


    I can't even get into half of Caleb's issues and challenges without spoilering, but I will say that he's as endearing and complex an MC as Maggie is. He's stigmatized by his stint in kiddie-prison (people frequently refer to him as an "ex-con"), and he's forced to act happy and functional around his mom's social circle, all while his family is going nuts around him: his dad's a pushover, his mom is obsessed with public opinion and impressing her country-club friends, and his twin sister has transformed from a sunshiny flirt into a goth loner. Caleb is by far the most stable, sensible member of his family, and not even his time in prison has managed to turn him into a monster. Now, all he has to do is convince Maggie and everybody else of that fact. And he's clever and even funny on occasion. When he and Maggie finally run into each other for the first time since his release, he actually says, "This is awkward," and I love him for it.


    Can I just say how much I love Simone Elkeles' way of writing characters with real problems? These two have enough problems to depress Hamlet himself, but they're both fighters. And for people who would make natural enemies, their budding romance is sure compelling, in part because Elkeles can write the "bad boy with a heart of gold" character better than almost any YA author on the market today. My one beef with the book was the ending, which made me go, "What do you mean, that's the end?" But I gritted my teeth and accepted the cliffhanger, on the knowledge that the sequel to Leaving Paradise is coming out in September, 2010. Guess who'll be buying it the second it hits shelves? Moi.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    gut-wrenching and unforgettable

    Small town life can be peaceful, even idyllic but for Maggie Armstrong or Caleb Becker, their quaint hometown of Paradise, Illinois has come to mean nothing of the sort. Their lives were forever changed the night Caleb, drunk, got behind the wheel of a car and hit his twin sisters' best friend, Maggie, and then fled the scene of the crime. For the past year, he's grimly paid for his mistake in juvenile prison but to Maggie, Caleb's debt to her is far from paid. In the past year, she's had surgery after surgery to reconstruct her leg, leaving her with some nasty scars and an awkward limp. Once popular and athletic, Maggie is now a freak, a loner and bitter. Hoping to return to his former life after being released from jail, Caleb returns to find his family a hollow shell and his once easy friendships, forced. Neither are ready to face the reality or the consequences of that awful night one year ago but it's not easy to hide in a small town like Paradise. The past, even one as painful as Caleb and Maggie's, has a way of catching up with you.

    Wow. I am fast becoming enamored with everything Simone Elkeles. From page one, Ms. Elkeles had me captured with descriptions of Caleb's anxiety over leaving juvie and Maggie's desperation to get out of Paradise. "Leaving Paradise" was again told from alternating POV chapters between Maggie and Caleb, like her "Perfect Chemistry" novels, which might have sealed the deal for me. This is actually one feature that I am coming to desperately love about Ms. Elkeles' books. She shifts so flawlessly back and forth between her male and female characters that it makes the novel simply fly by. Both voices fairly explode off the page in honesty and vibrancy. I'm beginning to think this technique is becoming a favorite of mine because it can subtly underscore the differences between such disparate characters like Maggie and Caleb without ever making direct comparisons. I'm all about a little subtly going a long way.

    "Leaving Paradise" is a distinct departure from Simone Elkeles' fun and flirty "Perfect Chemistry" world. That's not to say that their isn't a hint of very real danger in "Perfect Chemistry" (there is) but "Leaving Paradise" was more of a emotionally taxing read. Maggie and Caleb have been dealt a pretty raw deal, which has left them extremely frustrated with their circumstances and feeling powerless to change them. Understandably, the struggles Maggie and Caleb face are some truly scary hurdles. Forgiveness. Self-acceptance. Trust. All very delicate topics that were handled with such straightforward honesty in this gut-wrenching book. And yet there were moments of humor and joy - just don't expect the entire book to be one big happily ever after. Because truthfully, the ending absolutely tore me up. I'm not kidding when I say it's one that will wring your heart a million times over and then leave you hoping, hoping for a better future for Maggie and Caleb. Because if anyone deserves it, those two do.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Leaving Paradise

    This story is mesmerizing. The minute I picked it up I could not put it down. The emotion you can feel in this story is incredibly real. I have recommended this book to many people and the only complaint they had was that the book had ended in the middle of the story. All of them cannot wait until the sequel comes out. Leaving Paradise was beautifully written, and I cannot find any faults with it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 4, 2014

    One night. One accident. One mistake can change everything. This

    One night. One accident. One mistake can change everything. This is the story of how one night destroyed two families, their friendships, their futures and the vibe of an entire town.
    I really enjoyed the dual POV in this book. It was a great way to see two very different sides of a story.
    Maggie Armstrong was struck by a drunk driver that resulted in her having a permanent limp after multiple surgeries, the loss of her friends, the loss of her parents marriage and the loss of her best friend who just happens live next door and be the sister of the driver who hit her.
    Caleb Becker went to jail for the accident that altered Maggie forever, but we quickly come to realize that Maggie is not the only victim to come out of this accident. Caleb who was once Mr. Popularity and the star of the wrestling team is now in a fight just to graduate without the glares and judgement of everyone around them.
    Caleb makes you believe in second chances and know what it is like to make true sacrifice, now he just needs to make everyone else believe in him again.
    Who knew that the only Paradise they could find would be with each other?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 15, 2014

    I really enjoyed this read. It was complex, but the writing was

    I really enjoyed this read. It was complex, but the writing was simple and flawless, and I couldn't get enough. There was only one part I didn't love and that was the ending. I just didn't understand why it had to end the way that it did, but hopefully things will be resolved in the rest of the books in the series. In the end I stand by my statement that Simone Elkeles is an amazing author and I will continue to read everything she writes.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Loved it

    Some parts seemed rushed to me. But I did love it. Had a twist I wasn't expecting. Bought the second one!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2012

    good story

    Slow start but still a good read

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

    Stone

    I would like to rp a tom.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2012

    Great Series

    Good storyline, couldn't stop reading

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 10, 2011

    GREAT+READ%21%21%21

    This+book+isnreally+intersting.it+will+keep+yu+wanting+more%21%28%3A

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 21, 2011

    fantastic .

    Yes, hello. I notice in other reviews people are saying they disliked the ending, I have to unfortunately agree. It really sucked for me considering I read this book during the summer, and being left with a cliffhanger...nevermind I will never understand why an author would end a book this way, its beyond me. So yes despite the awful annoying ending read this book with some spare time, you will undoubtfully read the sequel, Return to Paradise.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 3, 2011

    Good read

    This is a really good book, i picked it up thinking i would just read it to pass the time and then I couldn't put it down! this book takes you for a ride, and i would definitely recommend it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 22, 2011

    good.

    i didnt like the ending but the book was good.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 23, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Every teen must read this

    i never thought id like thid book because im very picky when i pick up a book but when i read thid series i was blown away! This author is unique with her writting and she knows just how to capture a teens mind.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    You must read this Awesome book!

    My teacher told me to read this book after i was done with perfect chemistry.I loved Perfect Chemistry so she thought i would love this one too since it's by the same author. This book is definitively in my top 5(: I love how he makes them 2 different people && how it is mostly dialogue. I also love that they fell in love with each other by working for the same person and how that one thing connected them. The ending is pretty shocking! && now I can't wait to read the second book is Returning to Paradise. Read this book you won't regret it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 11, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved the story, definitely recommended.

    This is a great story revolving 2 damaged teens finding solace in one another. The story is driven, well written and the characters a lovable. I definitely recommend this for other readers. The ending left me reeling but the sequel satisfied my needs for more.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 94 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 5