- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up
Caleb and Maggie exhibit enough pain and anger to wreak havoc on their families and community, named, ironically, Paradise. Both missed their junior year of high school; Maggie, recovering from a car accident, and Caleb, jailed for hitting her while driving drunk. Now it's September and the beginning of their senior year. Each teen tries to slip back into old patterns that no longer fit. Classmates mock Maggie's awkward gait while anger and violence swirl around Caleb when he confronts his fellow students. Maggie's fury toward him turns her into a loner. And although Caleb spent a year in prison, he knows he will never be forgiven. Circumstances force them to work together and, under the benevolent eye of an elderly widow, they fall in love. Elkeles writes convincingly about family tensions, retreating from painful reality, and teens outgrowing their old skins. The plot has some twists and reversals that keep the story interesting, but doses of pop psychology are unnecessarily interjected. In keeping the story realistic, Elkeles doesn't tie up loose ends, but permits the characters to work through complicated emotions. Mild cursing and some sexual scenes make this book most suitable for high school readers.
—Lillian HeckerCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.