Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Review: Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot

Title: Even in Paradise
Author: Chelsey Philpot
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Harper Teen (October 14, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Contemporary
My Rating: 3 Stars

Book Description:
When Julia Buchanan enrolls at St. Anne’s at the beginning of junior year, Charlotte Ryder already knows all about the former senator’s daughter. Most people do... or think they do.

Charlotte certainly never expects she’ll be Julia’s friend. But almost immediately, she is drawn into the larger than-life-new girl’s world—a world of midnight rendezvous, dazzling parties, palatial vacation homes, and fizzy champagne cocktails. And then Charlotte meets, and begins falling for, Julia’s handsome older brother, Sebastian.

But behind her self-assured smiles and toasts to the future, Charlotte soon realizes that Julia is still suffering from a tragedy. A tragedy that the Buchanan family has kept hidden … until now.







I didn't go into this expecting a light read but nor did I go into it expecting something profound either. Something that would work it's way into your mind in the middle of the day when you weren't even reading, let alone near the book. A book who's words captivated as much as they made you ponder.

I have seen others relate this to The Great Gatsby and I can see that I really can. The strange fascinating life of the Buchanan's and their draw on others around them. That certain charisma that they all seemed to posses as those that wanted to posses them. Those that wanted to emulate them and those that just wanted to be near them and those that were just lucky they knew them. 

Secrets that aren't really secrets and hearts that are every bit as broken as they are hopeful. 

Honestly this is one of those rare books that is really hard to describe. Really hard to put into feelings and even more into words. 

I didn't love this nor did I hate it. Instead I silently read on catching myself thinking about whenever I would put it down and still not fully understanding those feelings that I knew were there lurking in the shadows. Feelings never quite expressed fully formed in thought but yet I know the feelings were there, I mean, I was thinking about it right? That says something about the story, about the author's ability to make you think if not feel. 

This book could be profound in it's quiet sneaky way and then shallow and confusing in others.  Descriptive and imaginative and something completely unexpected.

I liked it. I thought about it and it left me feeling even if I didn't exactly have names for all those feelings. And the ending, the ending was something else. Something sad, something perfect for the whole of the story. Something well written and well done and something that will make me come back for more from this author whenever she comes out with something new. 






*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.






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34 comments:

  1. I'm a little underwhelmed, to be honest. I've seen a lot of buzz for this book but have yet to see anyone whole-heartedly sing its praises.

    Future read, perhaps.

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    1. Same here Joy which is sad because I really really wanted to love it but it was a good read.

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  2. Love this, Ali "This book could be profound in it's quiet sneaky way and then shallow and confusing in others." I've recently had a similar read and know exactly what you mean. Even if not as perfect as you hoped, a book that can give you feels and has you thinking randomly about it, says something about the writing :)

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  3. I'm not sure what to think about this one Ali! One the one hand I like that you caught yourself thinking about it at odd times and well after you finished it, but I'm not one for sad stories, I have to admit. Or I should say I'm not good with sad endings. Give me a brutal story all the way through as long as it ends well! It doesn't sound like this one ends overly well, I might need to pick your brain a bit before I give it a try!

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  4. hummm... interesting, at least it wasn't a complete disappointment.

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  5. I didn't download this one because there was something about it that didn't appeal to me. I have to say though, your review is making me curious. I want to experience those indescribable feelings too!

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    1. You know, I bet you would like this Nick. ;)

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  6. Hmmm... this sounds different than it looks. I was drawn to it before but now I'm really curious!

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    1. It does Candace and it was different than I thought it would be.

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  7. Interesting review, Ali. Normally I would pass on this type of book, but something about your review has caught my attention. I like that it made you think. I might just have to read it.

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    1. LOL that is kind of funny Heidi, usually you run from these type of reads. ;)

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  8. Great Post Kindlemom. The worse kind of read there is for a reviewer is one that's not easy to describe. :) Oh wow I remember the last time that happened I mean it took me maybe 5 hours to read the stupid book and 8 hours to review it :)
    Thanks

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    1. Yes! Reviewing them can b a challenge and sometimes take longer than reading them in the first place did.

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  9. I know how you feel, when you can't quite put into words how you feel about a book. But your review has me super intrigued now!

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    1. Glad I could pique your curiosity about it!

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  10. I guess it's more provoking than impacting?

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  11. Wow--compared to The Great Gatsby! That's high praise. Sounds like one of those reads that really hits you hard. Some of the best stories I've ever read were ones you couldn't quite put into words.

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  12. Your reaction to it has me curious. I doubt I'd love it, but that's okay.

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    1. At least you know up front it might not be for you though, that could be an advantage. ;)

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  13. yeah I can understand your feeling, it happens with some books like that and we don't know what to do with them. I didn't know about it but I think I'll pass.

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  14. Hmm you have me curious, especially mention the Great Gatsby. I do like how this made you think about it when you weren't reading.

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    1. I really liked that about it as well Kim. :)

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  15. Hmm, I have to admit that this sounds interesting. Something you neither loved nor hated, but that made you think when you were least expecting it. Hmmm, I think that sounds different enough, I should probably at least give it a chance.

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  16. Those books you don't love or hate can often be the hardest ones to review. You made it sound interesting to me, I'm definitely curious to check it out, even if it's not a slam dunk. Great review!

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  17. The cover appeals to me, but after reading your review, I don't think this is something I will be in a hurry to check out with some many other books out there I need to read. Thanks for the review.

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