Sunday, October 2, 2011

Review: Return to Paradise by Simone Elkeles

Publisher: Flux

Goodreads Synopsis:

Caleb Becker left Paradise eight months ago, taking with him the secret he promised to take to his grave. If the truth got out, it would ruin everything.

Maggie Armstrong tried to be strong after Caleb broke her heart and disappeared. Somehow, she managed to move on. She's dermined to make a new life for herself.

But then Caleb and Maggie are forced together on a summer trip. They try ignoring their passion for each other, but buried feelings resurface. Caleb must face the truth about the night of Maggie's accident, or the secret that destroyed their relationship will forever stand between them.


I liked this one better than the first.
First of all, I liked all of the new characters. I liked Trish and Erin, and wanted to see more of what was going on with them. Matt was a good character. At first I thought Lenny was kind of annoying but okay, later on, though, after the group thing and when he was just with Caleb, I found myself liking him even more. As well as Caleb's friend from juvie. I liked the relationships that were formed between all of them and wanted to see more of it. There's no doubt in my mind that if she were to write stories based on them, that I would get it.
I'm glad that she added them. I enjoyed reading about them, and Maggie definitely needed some friends, although I don't think she got as close to them as she could have gotten. And Caleb needed some good friends as well, so I'm glad that he got them.
I liked where the story went after the first book. The group thing that they did was good, but I think I enjoyed the bit after it more. Because the trip forced them together, which was good and made them face the problems, but when that ended, they had to choose where they were going, what they were doing. Maggie already knew what she was doing, because she'd progressed from the first book and even more throughout the trip, but Caleb had regressed throughout the first book, from deciding that he was going to do good, to deciding to run away from it all, which is all that he tried doing throughout the trip. After the trip though, Lenny decided to follow him, as he had nowhere to go. Seeing Lenny like that made him realize how pathetic it was, because he was doing the same thing as him, and so he finally chose to go face his problems. Doing that, and later making Leah face what she'd done, helped them all move forward.
I liked this one more, for several reasons, but it seemed more grown up, at least near the end. Because they weren't such immature teenagers as in the first one, although I think the biggest improvement was in Caleb.
Sidenote: The cover on this one, I did not like, at all. I think the faces were put on a little weird and made them look a little like not actual people. Although that might be because the picture behind them looked very fake. I think they could have done much better, especially when compared to the first one.

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