Friday, August 29, 2014

ARC Review: Even In Paradise (Chelsey Philpot)

Even in ParadiseHardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: October 14th 2014 by HarperCollins

ARC Provided by 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. 


Chelsey Philpot
I’m a bibliophile and a library devotee.
I write about books, culture, travel, and the arts for the Boston Globe and teach writing at Boston University. Before moving to New England, I was a book reviews editor at School Library Journal in New York City.
HarperCollins will publish my first young adult novel, Even in Paradise, in fall 2014.

"The Buchanans' pull was as natural and strong as the moon on the tides,
 & when I was with them I was happy in the warmth of their reflected light. "

I have only read a few contemporary novels and enjoyed all of them so when I got the opportunity to review ,"Even In Paradise", I was very excited! I have seen it referred to as a new age The Great Gatsby and I loved that story!!!

This story is told by the main character Charlotte from a past-tense point of view. Charlotte's first encounter with Julia is when she hears Julia outside her dorm room puking in the bushes. Julia was completely drunk and unable to walk so Charlotte helps her into her dorm and takes care of her the rest of the night. This is the beginning of a tumultuous yet unbreakable relationship between Charlotte and Julia. They become the best of friends and inseparable.

Julia is a rich, popular girl who enjoys wild parties, long nights, and lots of alcohol. She brings Charlotte into the inner circle and introduces her to this new life and her family, The Buchanans. Charlotte immerses herself into the Buchanan family and immediately falls in love with them. 

Charlotte finds herself drawn to Julia's older brother, Sebastian. The romance between Charlotte and Sebastian is a beautiful addition to the overall story and I found myself cheering for them from the beginning. 

Everything seems surreal and amazing to Charlotte at first and then she begins to notice that all is not as it seems. She begins to learn things about the Buchanans that make her realize just how tight their family bond is and just how much they have faced and overcome. The secrets and twists in this story took me by complete surprise and I just found myself speechless. 

This debut contemporary novel is full of emotion, love, anxiety, mystery, and questionable choices. It is truly a great story with vivid characters that make you feel as though you are experiencing each moment with them. Chelsey Philpot's writing is just touching and gripping. She weaves an amazing story with phenomenal characters. Fans of contemporary, romance, young adult, and mystery will find themselves unable to put this book down. I absolutely loved it!! 

"Even knowing, as I do now, that grace, power, and yes, love can hide the darkest elements of the human heart, I would do it all again. Beginning with the night I met her, then him, then the rest. I would do it all again just to know that for a moment I was one of the Great Buchanans."

**The quotes from this book have been taken from an Advanced Reading Copy and are subject to change when the final book is printed. Please refer to the final, finished copy for exact quotes!**

**I want to say Thank You to Harper Teen for the opportunity to review this book!!**

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