Tuesday, May 28, 2019

YA Book #Review: Return To Paradise by Simone Elkeles .@SimoneElkeles .@fluxbooks

Book Title: Return To Paradise (Paradise 2)
Author:  Simone Elkeles |WebsiteTwitterFacebookInstagram
Publisher: Flux
Genre: Romance, Young Adult, Social Situations
Series/Standalone: Final Book
Format: ebook, Trade paperback
Cost: $8.99
Pages: 291
How I got it: Borrowed Ebook from Library
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Thriftbooks
Publication Date: Sept 2010
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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 determined 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 read this one right after reading the first of the duet which is Leaving Paradise because that book left so much unanswered. I absolutely loved the conclusion to the story.

We picked back up a few months after the events of Leaving Paradise, seeing how life is going for both our characters and it's not all good. Once again Caleb is caught up when someone he trusts gets busted he makes his one phone call and it's a call that puts him on a different path than he'd seen for himself. As a way to avoid jail time, he must take a road trip and share with teens like himself how drinking had adversely affected his life. We know his secret from the first book as it had been the explosive ending that ripped him and Maggie apart.

Maggie is trying to move on, it's been eight months and no word from Caleb. She's decided to find a way to live with what happened that night and with the knowledge of the secret she holds. She's learning to forgive and decides that if Caleb couldn't trust her then perhaps he didn't love her as much as he claimed.   Then she gets to her summer trip and discovers that Caleb will be there as well. She can't be near him, but she can't be away from him as well.

As they travel and share their stories with the group Caleb is struggling with being there and eventually everything comes to an explosive head.  As the other characters on the trip begin to tell their story and share who they are with Caleb & Maggie we see the many different ways it impacts them. I wanted to cry when we learned why one of the kids ended up in the group and at the same time I wanted to rage, how and why do people never protect their kids??? As the story progresses we return to their home town and they have to learn to live with what happened on the trip and each other. Caleb is back to trying to rebuild his family and this time he's not pulling his punches or keeping what he's feeling inside.

Secrets are revealed, relationships are impacted and finally, the one who should have told the truth from the beginning found a way to share the truth.  I loved how everything unfolded, and how the truth coming out made several people look at themselves and how their actions and beliefs aided in the confusion. I loved how Maggie's mom was with her daughter, how she wanted to protect her and how she wanted to make it all better at the same time wanted her daughter to never fail. I loved the developing relationship her mother had and totally understood her dilemma of trying to decide if rebuilding was better than starting over.

Maggie and Caleb are still awesome characters to read, their journey and growth were beautiful to read and I loved that we didn't get a perfect ending but a more realistic one. I loved the duet and hope Simone checks in on them a few years into the future so we can know just how they are doing.
I will definitely be getting a copy to go on my shelves, I highly recommend you read the books my loves. 
Happy Reading my loves, 

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