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Trouble in Paradise: A Review of CJ Duggan’s “Paradise City” Description: “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 received an ecopy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

WARNING: Sexual content, Mature Readers (17+)

My Thoughts: 

CJ Duggan’s “Paradise City” was a fun read! It made me think back to high school and ask the question, “Were we really that silly?” Of course, the answer is an emphatic “yes”.

What teenage girl doesn’t think about what her fellow classmates think about her? What teenage girl doesn’t think about making a major splash impression as a newcomer? And, what teenage girl doesn’t imagine dating the hot guy in school? That’s the whole premise of “Paradise City”. But, Duggan delivers it with a bit of Australian humor. Parts of the book had me dying laughing. Other parts had me seeking out Google to find out what a Holden Ute and a HJ Sandman looked like. I also needed to look up Dolly and Cleo (magazines similar to our Seventeen and Teen mags), biro (a refillable pen) and chemist (it’s a drugstore).

I enjoyed the character of Lexie–the country bumpkin dying for big city thrills. My least favorite was her cousin, Amanda. But, I pegged her problem from the first introduction. What teenager wants to share her room, let alone her life, with a country cousin she hasn’t seen in years? My favorite character had to be Laura. She had to be the smartest teen out of the bunch. I just liked the way her brain worked.

It wasn’t obvious that “Paradise City” was a New Adult book. I was half way through the story before I got to content that screamed New Adult. But, Duggan handled it in a tasteful manner that shouldn’t turn off anyone not looking for a little ‘thrill’ in their read.

This was the first time I read anything my Duggan, and I enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to the next book in this tale. I’ve already pre-ordered “Paradise Road”.


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