Paradise City by CJ Duggan
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?
I loved CJ Duggan's Summer series and I was super excited to hear about Paradise City at SAE in November. I really enjoy how she sets her books in the late 90's in Aus and her writing style.
Meet Lexie, from outback Victoria in a town with 3 pubs but no high school. Lexie has always wanted to go to high school with her cousin Amanda in Paradise City but never actually thought her parent's would send her. A surfer town (kind of like my hometown actually) to finish her final year of high school. However, when she gets there she isn't warmly welcome by her cousin Amanda. Amanda thinks that with Lexie around she won't be able to sneak out and meet the guys after curfew.
First night staying with her cousin Amanda and Lexie runs into Ballantine, whom she wakes up to find him and Boon staring at her while Amanda was sneaking out with. Ballantine and Boon surfer and Kirkland guys who are seemingly who every girl wants. After becoming friends with Laura, Boon's sister, Lexie soon learns everything she needs to know about the Kirkland boys. However, getting detention on the second day of school really wasn't the best thing for Lexie even though she spent detention with Ballantine and Boon.
The sneaking out, late night beach walks and swims, late night make out sessions and secret telling is what the nights hold for Lexie after Amanda leaves her with Ballantine while she sneaks off to make out with Boon. They were doing the sort of things that teenagers did when they had their drivers license (I will admit to some of these). Dean however is a complication. Dean who is Ballentine's older brother whom Ballentine thinks is with or was with Lexie.
I really loved all the characters and how they were written and developed. I could really connect with Lexie surprisingly, while I didn't come from a country town I do come from a surfer/coastal town and now I am a country university, living in a country town for the past three years. The new experiences that come with being in a new place is what I could really connect with. Amanda once she got over the fact that Lexie wasn't going to stop her from sneaking out was actually a really good character and had Lexie's back when she needed it. Laura was a great best friend who knows how to get the guys to think what she wants them to think. The boys are well surfers, good looking and have a bit of a jealous streak with them.
If you loved Duggan's Summer series I am sure that you will enjoy Paradise City. With tales of sneaking out, night swimming, romance and Australian NA this is a book for you!
Thankyou to Hachette Australia for the review copy!
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