Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot: Review

Even in ParadiseTitle: Even in Paradise 
Author: Chelsey Philpot
Publisher: Harper Collins 
Buy this book: Amazon 
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.
Before I got to Even in Paradise, I'd been really unlucky with my recent reads. It had felt like everything I'd been reading had either turned out to be a huge disappointment or just infuriatingly bad. Even in Paradise felt like a breath of fresh air compared to them. It was a book that was easy to get into, quick to get through and enjoyable. But it also has me torn about my feelings for it because I enjoyed the majority of it, but wasn't completely happy with the end.


leonardo dicaprio animated GIF After Charlotte helps a drunk Julia Buchanan one night, she finds herself being invited into the Buchanan's crazy world. She falls in love with the Buchanan family and gets swept up in their life of parties and summer homes. This book has a definite Great Gatsby vibe to it, if that wasn't obvious enough with the use of the name Buchanan. But when reading it that definitely is the first thing that comes to mind, and I'm almost certain that's where the author got her inspiration from. It also reminded me of We Were Liars, with the summer home and the family hiding things. It's interesting to see Charlotte get accepted so readily into their world and how much they want and need her there. There's a romance in this between Julia's brother Sebastian and Charlotte, it's quite cute and well done but never takes over the story.

This is an easy read, a perfect beach read in fact, the kind of book you can easily get through in one sitting. It's very character driven, so don't be expecting huge amounts to happen plot wise. It's more about Charlotte getting to know the Buchanan's and what they're dealing with. The more she gets to know them the more she sees they are suffering. I really liked getting to know the Buchanan family, they all had such big personalities. It's easy to see why Charlotte comes to love them all and why she gets so easily swept up into their world. Her romance with Sebastian was handled very well and I don't think the story ever became solely about that. I liked that there was so much more going on than just the romance.

deja vu animated GIF My negatives with the story were mostly to do with the end. I know a lot of people loved the ending, but it didn't completely work for me. I felt like the drama got to be too much at the end, it started to feel a bit like a soap opera to me. It's also a story that you have seen before, so it doesn't feel too original when you read it. But that's probably going to be the case with a book that feels like it takes a lot of inspiration from The Great Gatsby. My other negative was the fact that I felt we barely scratched the surface with the characters. I did enjoy the characters, but I felt like we could have gone a lot deeper with all of them. I wanted more development when it came to the Buchanan's, but then this book would have been a whole lot longer.


3/5 Butterflies

I hate 3/5 reads, there is just something about them that leaves me with very little to say. It seems like the most I can come up with is eh, it was good but it wasn't amazing. This was an enjoyable and quick read, I thought it was really well done. I liked the inspiration it took from The Great Gatsby and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the Buchanan family. My only problem with the book is that it's a story that's been done before, so it doesn't make it very memorable. If you're looking for a more character driven book then I would highly recommend it. 



*I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review and received no monetary compensation for this review.

16 comments:

  1. I so thought of the Great Gatsby while reading this as well! It was hard not too, especially since I had just (finally) saw the movie!

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    1. I know, especially with certain aspects of the story and the reveal. So Gatsby like, but I loved that about it. I imagined their parties like the Gatsby style parties you see in the film.

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  2. Worth a try then, I'm impressed. It definitely just looks like a fluff kind of read, so this is a nice surprise. Might have to give it a look at and check Amazon and things. Really nice to find you liked this in a dull moment though hunny, nice review too :)

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    1. No, definitely not the fluff read I was expecting. It handles some very serious issues. Lots of people even cried at the end, but it didn't get me in the same way.

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  3. WHAT IS THIS SORCERY. I mean, I was legitimately just looking at this book a couple of days ago, tempted to break my book ban. SO TEMPTED. But I thought I'd better not because I'd been on it for less than a week and it'd make me look like an incredibly weak soul lol

    And then yesterday I read one review and now this review and I just want to chuck everything out the door and buy this. WHYYYY??? How do you do this to me, Charnell? A character driven story though? Hmm...definitely interesting and good to know! I'm truly interested in this one mostly because of The Great Gatsby parallels! And the romance that isn't overwhelming.

    Thanks for the fantastic review! I've got a lot to think about now ;) <33

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    1. I'm glad I ran out of words then, because then it might have been really tempting. It does offer a lot, so much more than I was expecting. And I really enjoyed the Gatsby parallels. Haha, you sound like me whenever I have tried to put myself on a buying ban. Good luck deciding what to do. ;)

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  4. I am someone who is really all for the character driven kind of novels. But this aside I am not sure if I will like it because even though there is nothing much happening, I am not all into the partying side of things. I like that it is a good read and that there were elements you liked :)

    http://olivia-savannah.blogspot.nl/2014/12/the-admirers-secret-review-giveaway.html

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  5. I really did enjoy it, it just wasn't a read I am going to remember.

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  6. I hadn't even heard of this one until recently where it started popping up everywhere. It has been getting such great praise. Than I found out it's kind of a Great Gatsby re-telling. So onto to my TBR it goes. Actually I moved it up in my books to purchase. Anyhow, I agree, 3* books are the hardest to review. There is never much to say about them. I, like everyone, want a well rounded book, but strong character development is definitely a must for me. So hopefully this one sits a little better for me than you. Even being a 3*, your review is great! Gave me some more insight as everything else I've read has been praise. :)
    Happy reading!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

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    1. I've been struggling with writing reviews and it's these 3/5 ones that are the hardest to write. I really did enjoy it, I was just hoping for a little bit more. I hope you enjoy it a little more than I did, but I still think it's a great book.

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  7. Hmmm…not sure about this one. Sounds so familiar and then if you didn't like the end…probably going to pass. Thanks for the review! ~Pam

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  8. I was hesitant adding this to my TBR as it's a Great Gatsby modernisation. However, I've heard some really positive things about this one! I'm glad you enjoyed this one overall, Charnell - it definitely seems as though it's worth a go. Thank you for a wonderful review! :)

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    1. It's worth a go, it's quick and easy to get through and it wasn't disappointing. I was happy I read it, I just wouldn't read it again.

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  9. I love stories revolving around families and secrets, especially wealthy ones. I was attracted to The Great Gatsby vibe it has in it that I've read about in a few reviews. I love that the romance doesn't take over the story and that it's character driven. I have this one checked out from the library at home so I really can't wait to read it.

    --Amber

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    1. I hope you love it when you do. I was excited about The Great Gatsby vibe, and I thought it worked well in this.

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