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Wednesday, 9 December 2015

PARADISE CITY by CJ Duggan


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When her parents decide a change will be good for her, seventeen-year-old Lexie Atkinson never expected they'd send her all the way to Paradise City. Coming from a predictable life of home schooling on a rural Australian property, she's sure that Paradise will be amazing. But when she's thrust into a public school without a friendly face in sight, and forced to share a room with her insipid, hateful cousin Amanda, Lexie's not so sure.

Hanging out with the self-proclaimed beach bums of the city, sneaking out, late night parties and parking with boys are all things Lexie's never experienced, but all that's about to change. It's new, terrifying, and exciting.
 
But when she meets Luke Ballantine, the sexy bad-boy leader of the group, Lexie can't help but wonder if Luke is going to be good for her . . . or very, very bad?


I received an email announcing the release of the second book in this series and wondered why I hadn't noticed it before. I mean, as soon as I read the blurb I knew this was a story I definitely wanted to read this summer. And I wasn't wrong.

Lexie Atkinson lives with her parents in small town rural Australia. She's home schooled and is on the verge of ending her education when her parents decide it might be a good idea for her to attend a real school. After all, she's a bright girl and gets great grades. 
 
So to try it out, they send her to stay with her aunt, uncle and cousin in Paradise City. She can't believe her luck and is really excited about meeting up with her cousin Amanda. Lexie has fond memories of spending a lot of her childhood with Amanda. They got along really well and she loved hanging out with her, so she can't wait to reconnect.
 
However, when she gets to Paradise City and Amanda totally ignores her, she gets a bitter taste of reality. Amanda goes out of her way to be mean to her, even though they share a room, and has no intention of being her friend--let alone make her feel welcome. But Lexie tries her best to fit into high school life and is still excited about living in the big city. 
 
She refuses to let her cousin get her down and instead goes about making her own friends. While also concentrating as much attention as she can on getting to know the hottest guy in school. Luke Ballantine is supposed to be a bad boy, one who keeps staring at her and likes to send mixed messages.
 
Nothing will stop Lexie from pursuing what she wants. Now that she's got the chance, she's determined to get the full Paradise City experience. Even if it involves attracting more trouble and attention than one person should...
 
You know what? I really enjoyed this story! It turned out to be SO good.
 
When I started reading it I wondered why it wasn't classified as YA when we were dealing with seventeen/eighteen year olds, but I soon realised exactly why it fits more in the NA category. This story is an honest portrayal of what older teenagers go through while they're coming to the end of their high school years and all the turmoil that getting involved with someone brings. It's also a tumultuous time because although you're kinda old enough to make your own decisions, you still have to listen to your parents.
 
I loved the way all of the above--and a whole lot more--was portrayed in the story of a country girl who ventures into the big city hoping to find everything shiny and an instant best friend in her cousin, but instead finds out that everyone changes. That life takes a toll on people and sometimes, they grow apart. But one thing will never change: the pull of attraction.
 
Paradise City is such a fun book! Lexie's voice will hook you in as soon as you get started. While the story and the cast of cool characters will keep you interested. Oh, plus the sexy will also be appealing. ;) I couldn't put this book down because I wanted to know what other terrible trouble awaited our sometimes na├»ve, always hilarious, and passionate heroine. But that ending... :(

Also, it's absolutely perfect for this time of the year.
 
I can't wait to see what happens in the next book...

Paradise City, May 2015, ISBN 9780733633867, Hachette Australia

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