Thursday, September 4, 2014

Mini-Review: EVEN IN PARADISE by Chelsey Philpot

Title: Even In Paradise
Author: Chelsey Philpot (@ChelseyPhilpot)
Published: October 14th, 2014
Series: N/A
Genre: Contemporary
POV: 1st
Pages: 368
Publisher: HarperCollins
Format: electronic ARC
Source: Edelweiss
Rating: The Royal Library, Bottom Shelf

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.

Even In Paradise tiptoes quietly into the life of luxury, giving readers a glimpse into a magnetic friendship and a family hiding a secret. Despite how absurdly easy it was to guess the big secret, Even In Paradise managed to give me something more fascinating to focus on: Charlie and Julia's friendship, and Charlie's growth as a character from beginning to end. Being taken in under Julia's wing gives Charlie the chance to glimpse a different life from her own, and it's a life that is as dark as it is vibrant. Even In Paradise is a story where you know things cannot possibly work out perfectly or end in the way you hope, and Philpot executes this story in a perfect, bittersweet fashion. A story about falling in love (both romantically and in the friendship sense), Even In Paradise is a charming debut that will capture your heart. 

Highlights: I'm not sure if it's intentional, but this story is reminiscent of The Great Gatsby – from the names to the glimpses of the upper class, and it's a very nice vibe. There are some moments between chapters where Philpot includes short snippets and scenes, and they feel like glimpses into something that you're not quite sure of at the moment – kind of like overhearing a conversation. Both girls are wonderfully realistic and complicated as they stumble through life and make mistakes. Also, descriptions are quite lovely at times. 

Lowlights: I dislike (but understand) how Charlotte could pull away and ignore her old friends, and her dependence on Julia grew tiresome. Yet, those actions made her realistic. The secret was also incredibly obvious from the very beginning, so that was hardly a mystery. 

Rating: The Royal Library, Bottom Shelf (low 4 out of 5). I quite enjoyed Even In Paradiseenough to want a copy somewhere in the royal library. It had a few issues, but kept my attention easily. I'd recommend checking this one out!


  1. interesting hope youngsters who interested in love stories and relationships. They surely want to read this book.

    1. It's a great book about friendship and finding yourself!

  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one and I love that you say it has a Gatsby vibe to it. This is one of my most anticipated reads for the fall…can't wait to check it out! Great review, Lea!

    1. It was a great story! There's definitely a Gatsby vibe, and it works so well. I hope you like it once you get a chance to read it!

  3. Thanks for the review! Sounds like a great contemporary read that I'll be looking forward to!

    1. It's a great book - if you check it out, I hope you like it!

  4. I don't think this would be a book for me, but I'm glad you enjoyed it so much :D Great review sweetie. <3 I do like that cover. It seems cute :) Thank you for sharing your awesome review. <3

  5. I wasn't a huge fan of Gatsby but glad to hear there were elements that you enjoyed

  6. I always like reading historical fiction about the wealthy (stuff that reminds me of Downton Abbey) but for some reason when it comes to contemporary fiction I always struggle with liking the characters. Perhaps it is my strong dislike of the rich and entitled young "celebrities" of modern times...

    However I do like books about friendship and maybe I'd like this one. I am glad you liked it and I am curious about the similarity to The Great Gatsby, a book I still haven't read but am familiar with the plot.