By Chelsey Philpot
Source Borrowed ARC
Published by Harper Collins
on October 14, 2014
Cover image and summary from Goodreads:
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 don’t know how I managed to put off reading this book for so long, because I really really really wanted to read it when it first came out. Finally I picked it up, thinking it would be a great summer read.
I don’t know if this is a case of me not always being a big contemporary person or what, but I kind of felt like I was missing something when I finished this book. I’ve seen a lot of love for it, but I wasn’t feeling the love myself.
I liked parts of this book, but as a whole, I definitely did not love it. Reading Even in Paradise was an enjoyable way to pass time, but the book didn’t stay with me when I put it down. I found myself more annoyed with the Buchanan family than enchanted by them, and was really frustrated with the way Charlotte dropped her other friends to spend all her time with Julia.
I feel like there were hints of some kind of twist about Julia’s sister’s death, but when the truth came out, I wasn’t remotely surprised.
I feel like I’ve spent enough time talking about what didn’t land for me. What I did like was the setting, the writing, and the way the author captured the feelings that come with a new friendship – even though it aggravated me to see Charlotte ditch her old friends for Julia, I remember that feeling of meeting someone new and being so absorbed by a growing friendship.
So overall, not a winner for me, but if you like contemporary YA – well, you’ve probably already read this! – but if you haven’t, check it out!