Thursday, 26 February 2015

Review: Even in Paradise

Even in Paradise 
Publication Date: October 14th 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins

~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~

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 wasn't expecting Even in Paradise to be one of those books. You know, the ones that creep in by charming you, lulling you into a fun sense of security and happy and then laughs in your face for falling for it. I also wasn't expecting it to be what it was, this is a story that's already happened. The beginning, a message from after, reminiscing before the Beginning. The Middle. The End. And now. Ones like these you're either going to love or hate, I guess you've got to get the writing style to enjoy it, but it was done beautifully and had a melancholy feel to it- in a good way. It fitted it entirely, because even though you know on some level how it's going to end, it still draws you in and pulls you along to see how we get there.

It gave me the same vibe as We Were Liars did, not in character or storyline but in the way that the family was perfectly portrayed dysfunctional in a way that wasn't dysfunctional. It doesn't make a lot of sense, but let's put it this way. There's secrets, there's something that doesn't add up and  Charlotte knows that, that behind all of their glitz and glam and perfectness there's something there, chipping it away at it all as they try and cling on. And yet, she's still gets caught up in everything Buchanan and gets charmed by them. It's perfectly portrayed in a way that even though you know there's something not quite right, you get all caught up in everything  Buchanan and get charmed by it, too/ 

"Gatsby tries so hard for his dream. That he wants to be part of Daisy's world so badly that he'll do anything. He believes in her long after he shouldn't. His hope is beautiful. It's what ends up killing him, but it's still beautiful.

While I breathe, I hope."

Both Charlotte and Julia  are characters I'd hate if it wasn't in this story. As soon as Julia's in Charlotte's life, she ditches her friends. As soon as Julia eases her way into Charlotte's life, she ditches her friends. While there's a reason for the latter the formers blamed on Charlotte being swept up into the new world she was exploring. Which I get, but is still a crappy thing to do, which she knows what she's doing and how she's acting.

Even in Paradise is more about friendship and family dynamics than anything else, and it was nice to read about a rich family that are nice. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying rich people are, well, not nice, but it's mostly the way it goes  in YA, with the rich bitchy mean girl, etc, it was a nice surprise, as was the romance, which was sweet but bitter-sweet.

Rating: 4/5