The Shadows of Paradise City follows fifteen-year-old Benjamin as his post-high-school-dropout world unfurls, chronicling his time as a graveyard dishwasher at the campy International Café, his time at the library where he pursues an education and prepares for the high school proficiency exam with eighteen-year-old college dropout Bayer Eitenne’s help, and his time as an unwitting drug runner for a shady cafe patron. Things go bad the night before the exam when Benjamin is robbed of a drug delivery he has stuffed into his pants. Johnson, Benjamin’s drug dealing boss, pursues the thieves on a maniacal quest to get the drugs back, dragging Benjamin along with him. As his world closes in around him and the stakes increase, Benjamin must come up with a plan to escape this mess, which threatens not only his future but his life as well. The Shadows of Paradise City humorously explores the nature of education and friendship, but more importantly, chronicles the significant and often ironic events and people who shape our lives.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite The Shadows of Paradise City by Brad Allen Hoover has an engaging plot that revolves around Benjamin, school and friendship. Fifteen-year-old Benjamin is a school drop-out and he is preparing for his high school proficiency exam with the help of another eighteen-year-old college dropout, Bayer Etienne. Benjamin also works as a drug runner for Johnson. Things go wrong on the night before his exam when Benjamin is robbed of the drugs which are meant to be delivered. Now it is up to him to escape from all the mess and dangers that are closing in on him. Will he succeed in getting those drugs back from the thieves? The story progresses naturally and we can see the characters evolve gradually and grow with the plot. The theme is dark and it has many dimensions to it, making it a compelling read. The characters are strongly portrayed and the story has an open ending which will make readers wonder if there are chances of a sequel being written. Apart from showing the prevailing educational system, the author also exposes the society that we live in. It is interesting to note how Benjamin leaves his traditional classroom learning and goes in search of original ways of learning. I like the way the author portrays Benjamin's character. The many shades and nuances in his character make the theme more exciting. From a high school drop-out to a drug runner, Benjamin will remain in the hearts of readers for a long time.