[Blog Tour] Review: Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Title: Even in Paradise
Author: Chelsey Philpot
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Release Date: October 14th 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: ARC received from publisher for Blog Tour in exchange for an honest review

Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads

If you would like a signed copy you can find them here.

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 want to start off by saying that this book will not be for everyone. This is the kind of book that people will either love or hate, and I think it has everything to do with the attitude you have going in. For me me when I saw that it was described at the Great Gatsby meets Looking for Alaska I knew what kind of book this would be. it would not be your typical contemporary YA novel, and i was right.

What i think I liked the most about this book was the obsession. Not just between characters but between Charlotte, our main character and The Buchanans' home, Arcadia. There was this film over this house, like it was paradise without any proof. Charlotte loved this house for the sole reason that she felt wanted there. But the most disturbing of the obsessions was the fact that the Buchanan's had a unrealistic obsession with Charlotte beings Julia's friend. It was like they needed Charlotte more than Julia herself did. I found the whole idea of obsession in this book quite fascinating. It was probably my favorite part, especially when everything started to unravel, as it always does. The characters started to show their true colors and honestly it felt so real at that point. Even thought these characters were written on a kind of pedestal, when it started to crumble we saw who they really were and that they were just like everyone else.

I did have some issues overall with the book, I wasn't a fan of the love story. I thought that it was a little too much for the story. And honestly at times i felt like there was a love triangle, since Charlotte and Julia had such a strong connection throughout the book. Usually I love a good love story, and at times i really liked it in this book, but overall i just thought it was filler and a way to get Julia to disconnect from Charlotte. It seemed like more of a plot devise than a way to effectively keep the story going. 

Even in Paradise is a book that will divide the YA community, and I think that is the best compliment I can give it. It will inspire discussions and heated arguments over these character and their actions. I loved that this book was so polarizing in its audience, but also its characters. The characters in this book are some of the most complex and unforgettable I ave read in a long time. It is a must read for anyone who loves a good discussion afterward :)

About the Author

Chelsey Philpot grew up on a farm in New Hampshire and now works as an editor and journalist. She's written for the New York Times, Boston Globe, Slate, and numerous other publications. Like her main character, Charlotte, Chelsey attended boarding school in New England. You can visit her online at www.chelseyphilpot.com or on Twitter @ChelseyPhilpot.

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