There's bound to be trouble in Paradise . . .
When her parents decide a change will be good for her, seventeen-year-old Lexie Atkinson never expected they'd send her all the way to Paradise City. Coming from a predictable life of home schooling on a rural Australian property, she's sure that Paradise will be amazing. But when she's thrust into a public school without a friendly face in sight, and forced to share a room with her insipid, hateful cousin Amanda, Lexie's not so sure.
Hanging out with the self-proclaimed beach bums of the city, sneaking out, late night parties and parking with boys are all things Lexie's never experienced, but all that's about to change. It's new, terrifying . . . and exciting. But when she meets Luke Ballantine, exciting doesn't even come close to describing her new life. Trouble with a capital T, Luke is impulsive, charming and answers to no one. The resident bad-boy leader of the group, he's sexier than any boy Lexie has ever known.
Amidst the stolen moments of knowing looks and heated touches, Lexie can't help but wonder if Luke is going to be good for her . . . or very, very bad?
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Paradise City is set in Australia, and follows Lexie, a 17 year old girl, who moves from the country to live in the city with her Aunt, Uncle and Cousin for the final term of the school year where she will complete Year 11. I felt this was a good representation of life in Australia and dealt with normal teenage issues that affect girls not only in Australia, but everywhere… BOYS!!
Lexie was a girl that I connected to easily. She is a quiet kind of girl, who does well at school and has limited experience with boys. She expected to easily click with her extended family that she hasn’t seen since her childhood, but quickly realised that wasn’t going to happen. But she was willing to get on with her new life regardless. What she didn’t expect was to develop feelings for the school bad boy, Luke Ballintine.
Lexie was pretty amusing to read about, because she has lived a pretty sheltered life in the country, she did things spontaneously, without thinking things through. She got herself in trouble because she was trying to impress people and that landed her into detention, or getting the attention of people when she didn’t want it. Although she was embarrassed, she would straighten her spin and move on, which I thought was great.
The sexual tension between Lexie and Ballantine grew slowly throughout the story. It starts with quick comebacks and eye contact, but soon turns into something more for both of them. There are a few interesting twists thrown in, but they seemed to be intent on exploring these feelings for one another. The moments of passion were sweet and definitely showed a girl exploring something new.
I think this was a good start to the Paradise series. C.J. Duggan built realistic characters and put them in a world that is familiar to me. There was typical teenage drama and interesting side characters that I am keen to see more of. I want to read the next book now, to see what Lexie will do next – September will be here before I know it! If you like a good mature young adult read, you will like this one for sure!
Complimentary copy provided by the Publisher, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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