Paradise City - C.J. Duggan

I read this book in 24 hours.  Paradise City hooked me, and I had to find out what was going to happen.

I adored Lexie.  She has a lot of enthusiasm for trying everything.  She gets to have so many first experiences that she didn’t have when she lived in Red Hill.  The biggest experience is school.  I love that she thought it was going to be this glamorous thing and then realized that it’s actually pretty mundane, and there are some decent, and not so decent, people in schools.  She manages to find herself in the midst of the school’s bad boys, and is instantly drawn to Luke Ballantine.  He’s swoon-worthy, and broody, and everything you want in a book boyfriend.  He isn’t a nonstop jerk, although sometimes he acts like he’s some gift to women.

I think my favorite thing is that Duggan portrayed what some girls in high school actually feel.  Whether that is being the new girl, finding friends, family strain, and sex.  It’s something most teenagers experience.  I was happy that Lexi was exploring what she wanted, but was still being mindful about it.  She definitely struggles with if she should, or shouldn’t, go all the way with Ballantine, and that made her character more real.  The relationship Lexi has with her cousin is a rollercoaster, and changes with Amanda’s mood.  There were times I wished Lexi would set her cousin straight but never did.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book.  I need the next book NOW!!!!  I want to see what’s going to happen next with Lexi and Ballantine because that end tore me apart.

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