Today is my stop on the Paradise City blog tour. Lots of thanks to Hachette for organising the tour and to CJ Duggan for answering my questions!
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?
Why I picked it up:
This book was sent to me from Hachette in exchange for an honest review.
I have to admit, I love a “trashy-high-school-summer-romance”. I mean, how could you not love the “new-girl-in-town-meets-hot-bad-boy” cliché. It’s incredibly overdone, but man… as far as I’m concerned, you can’t go wrong with that premise!
Probably one of the strengths of this novel was the characters. Lexi, Amanda, Balantine, Boon… they were a great cast of unique and fun characters. I also loved the romance between Lexi and Bellantine – it developed at the perfect rate.
Ballantine and Boon made their way into the class.
“How about we sit apart, boys, wouldn’t want you to be distracted now.”
The boys stilled, looking at each other with guarded amusement.
Boon broke off down the middle aisle, throwing his books onto the desk and taking his seat.
“Yeah, Ballantine, stop distracting me.”
I also really enjoyed the writing, it was light and well written.
I had one of two choices. Move and live to fight another day. Or two, hold my ground, stamp my authority and run the risk of being flushed at recess. For some inexplicable reason, for which I will never, ever truly understand for the life of me, I chose the latter.
I simply broke from his heated eyes, and shifted my body to sit forward clasping my hands innocently together over my books, like a choir girl with a halo above her head.
I heard titters and a catcall instantly, Ballentine’s friend wailing, ‘Oh no, she d’int!’, as if he was some kind of guest on the Ricki Lake show or something.
But mainly I enjoyed all the Australian’isms – this was one seriously Aussie novel and I loved that.
Overall, I loved everything about this book. It was light and cute with plenty of laugh out loud and giggly moments. In a way, it sort of reminded me of Anna and the French Kiss. It had a similar tone and voice and a romance that made me sigh happily.
I’m looking forward to the next in the series!
My Verdict – 4.5 stars
1. Tell us a little about Paradise City – where did the idea for the story come from?
I really enjoy writing books about wallflowers and underdogs. Paradise City is heavily based on a journey of self-discovery and the fear of the unknown. I wanted to set it in a rich, vibrant city setting after having holidayed in LA and the Gold Coast; I just loved the vibe of these places. And although Paradise City is set in a mythical location in Australia my experiences from my travels drew heavily on the inspiration behind Lexie’s story.
2. The Boys of Summer series was self-published, how did you make the transition from self-publishing to Hachette?
It was very much a surreal, exciting, scary-crazy-cool experience that I don’t think I could sum up any better than in my actual announcement on my blog. My Very Big Announcement
3. Who is your favourite character in Paradise City?
Lexie is the closest to my heart, but am I Team Ballantine or Team Dean? Hmm?
4. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Own what you do, write what you love.
5. What other books do you love that you would recommend to readers who enjoyed Paradise City?
Anything by Simone Elkeles, Jenifer Echols, Kody Kleppinger, Stephanie Perkins – to name a few heroes.