Thursday, September 24, 2009

Leaving Paradise, Simone Elkeles

Continuing my theme of suffering through the back to school season I was in Barnes & Noble allowing myself to buy whatever I want (very liberating, what can I say). I loaded up on Georgette Heyer reissues with pretty covers, a bunch of young adult titles (including this one), and (because deep down I do care about my class-o-babies) some books to read for Johnny Appleseed Day.

The bottom cover is the version I have of Leaving Paradise and I can honestly say that is the reason I bought it. I would never have picked up the original cover. I read Simone Elkeles' Perfect Chemistry earlier this year and was mildly entertained even though I thought it was an unrealistic story (but it is the kind of fluff I like, a huge step above Mediterrean Holiday). So I saw the shiny cover with the troubled teens reaching out to each other and went with it.

Initially I felt like this book was a huge improvement from Perfect Chemistry. Its still a melodrama but I felt it was more realistic even with all the major coincidences (next door neighbors, twin sister's best friend, same old lady to work for, etc). I was happily enjoying the fluffy angst until the last 5 or 6 pages.

That is when I had the unfortunate realization that there was no way this book was going to have a complete ending with closure and happiness all around (a requirement for fluff in my opinion). I absolutely loathe books that have endings like this. I am a lover of happily ever after but I can handle it if the unhappy ending is at least a complete and well written. I will deal with it as long as it is done well.

This was like the book just dropped off after all these heavy emotional break throughs and tense moments. All of a sudden it was ok to wave goodbye and get pie at the diner with your girlfriends. No big deal.

I know there is a sequel coming and who am I kidding, of course I will read it, but it makes me mad. I feel like I shouldn't have to pay for another book just to read the ending that was left out of this one. That is why I now have a new blog category: grrr

I agree with both Reviewer X and The YA YA YA's, who are both way more articulate than I am, about this book.

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