Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Leaving Paradise & Return to Paradise

Leaving Paradise
written by Simone Elkeles

Easily one of the best books I've read this year, this original story is an instant YA classic about the transcending power of forgiveness.  It is the ultimate exercise in imagining complexly, but also so much just an amazing story.  Good writing is important, and Elkeles is capable of it, but having that unique, compelling concept to propel the storytelling is critical, and at that, Elkeles' book is perfection.  What a powerful book.  I feel that the main story was slightly cheapened by the last minute plot-twist, which is never explored as much as it could have been, but the underlying message of our shared humanity is still an important one.

Return to Paradise
written by Simone Elkeles

What a shame that a great book like Leaving Paradise got such a lackluster sequel.  If a follow-up story had to happen, which I don't feel it did, it should have at least focused on Leah's role in everything.  It is one of the most contrived, pointless books I've read in a while, which is a shame considering how powerful its predecessor is.  Forgiveness is a powerful central theme, and without Leah around to propel that same original story forward, this book falls flat on its face, and I almost wish it had been Caleb, so the story contained genuinely deep discussions on redemption.  I have trouble believing it's even the same author writing these two books, this was just so bad compared to Leaving Paradise.  I came for the deep, original, beautiful story, and ended up leaving with a pathetic romance novel.  I'm not impressed.  I'd like to pretend a sequel never happened.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have something to say? A comment, question, or even a lively debate is always welcome :)