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RETURN TO PARADISE
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Young Adult
At once laugh-out-loud funny and tearjerkingly sad, this heartrending novel is impossible to put down. Elkeles’ style here is very different from her How to Ruin … series, and this reviewer is loving the change-up. The emotion behind her characters’ dilemma leaps off the page, keeping you desperate to know if they can ever work things out.
Maggie and Caleb have a long, complicated history. When Caleb left town without a backward glance, Maggie was determined to get over him. Caleb couldn’t stand being the town screwup anymore, and he hated watching his family fall apart. Months later coincidence places them both at a retreat for teens whose lives were affected by reckless driving. Emotions and desire run high as Maggie and Caleb face their problems. Maggie has already forgiven Caleb for the accident, but not for leaving. Caleb can’t seem to move past his mistakes. Eventually all roads lead home to Paradise, but neither expects what they will find when they return. (FLUX, Sep., 312 pp., $9.95, ISBN: 9780738718682, PB, 12 & Up)
Reviewed By: Raven Haller
Published: September 2010