Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Loved it, it was written beautifully and exceeded my expectations.
Caleb and Maggie are two people connected by an unfortunate incident - a car accident, where Caleb was driving and Maggie was hit. A year later they meet again after Caleb gets out of juvenile jail, and during that year Maggie has lost her social life, her scholarship to study abroad - her chance to escape.
They're both still dealing with what's happened because of that night and feel like outsiders - "freak", "criminal". And it just so happens that they seem to find comfort and overcome their troubles -- with each other.
The book is told by both Caleb and Maggie's POV. They both wish for things to have happened differently on the night of the party, they want things to go back as they were.
While Caleb and Maggie were both far from perfect, I'd like to think they were perfectly flawed. They accepted each other as they were. The story is told very realistically, Caleb and Maggie jump to life in it, and you root for them all the way.
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