By Simone Elkeles
Why this book?
First things first, Simone Elkeles is my favorite YA author, and I couldn’t do a list of recs without mentioning one of her books, and my all-time favorite has always been Leaving Paradise. I also recommend LP because it’s close to my own book in that it features a reformed bad boy, Caleb, freshly on probation who’s trying to navigate his way into society and fix his “mistakes.” I so love the sorta forbidden dynamic between him and Maggie, because Caleb is actually on probation for hitting Maggie in a hit-and-run while drinking and driving. So not only is he trying to win over his former friends, parents, and town, he’s gotta make things right with Maggie, who is not giving him any play whatsoever—in the beginning! Love love Caleb’s voice in this novel.
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