Monday, April 20, 2015

Review: Paradise City (Paradise #1) by C.J. Duggan

Paradise City by C.J. Duggan
Paradise City
(Paradise #1)
by C.J. Duggan
April 28, 2015
363 pages

Goodreads Summary:
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 adored C.J. Duggan's Summer series so I was thrilled when I received an eARC of her new book! One night before going to bed, I decided to take a sneak peek at Paradise City. Just a few pages to get a taste and what a bad idea it was. I was immediately hooked. It was goodbye sleep and hello sleep deprivation! But let me tell you, it was worth it.

Lexie's a small town girl who has been home-schooled all her life. When her parents grant her wish to go to school in the big city, she thinks everything she's dreamed of was coming true. Turns out, all's not perfect like she pictured. First, her cousin, Amanda was no longer the nice girl from her childhood. Then, her school life wasn't as glamorous as she envisioned it. Most unexpected was her meeting Luke Ballantine. He gets her flustered. She becomes incapable of logical thoughts and behaves badly whenever he was involved (which was most of the time). I found Lexie to be whiny and needy at times. But I also think that was what shaped her realness. Her self-doubt and insecurity made her an honest narrator.

Dreamy is what I'm going to call Luke Ballantine from now on. He's cocky but very level-headed. I want to praise him for talking to Lexie instead of jumping to conclusions....most of the time. Let's pretend that ending does not exist. Another thing that's appealing about Ballantine is how little is known about him. Much of his background is a mystery and I want to know more. Why does he hate his brother? What happened to make them so hostile towards each other? Ballantine is definitely a puzzle I can't wait to piece together. I only hope he'll amaze me. Not that he hasn't already got me swooning over him ;)

At this point in the story, I have to say I'm a little unconvinced of Lexi and Ballantine's "love". I feel like their attraction comes from mutual curiosity. Lexi is the new girl in town and Ballantine is the resident hottie. That's an exciting and enticing combo. I do love it when they're together so I'm hoping they will convince me of their feelings later on. After all, they did share some super hot and extra sweet moments! I definitely ship them.

Even though I wasn't a fan of the other characters, I agreed with how they were characterized. Your assortment of typical teenager personalities. Amanda was moody, swinging between being BFFs with Lexi and hating her. Boon was sketchy and a player. Lucy, I don't even want to talk about. Laura was the one smart cookie out of the bunch. Her not-so-secret diary was brilliant. Saucy and fun!

Be warned that this book ends in a cliffhanger. It's frustrating but so gripping. Paradise City is going to be on my mind until I can get my greedy eyes on Paradise Road. I need that book yesterday!

*I received an eARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinion are my own and not affected in any way.


  1. We are review twins today! :P
    Glad you loved this so much!

    1. Yay!! I'm on the blog tour too!! I'm so excited for everyone to read this :D

  2. This sounds like such a super cute contemporary! I've been seeing it around and almost everyone has rated it really well! I have it on my TBR already, but I'm adding the Summer series since you mentioned it was good, too! (:

    Pearl @ AsteriskPearl's Book Blog

    1. I've loved all her works!! Hope you will too :D

  3. Yay! I'm at 40% and really liking it so far. I'm a little nervous about the cliffhanger ending though. :-/

    1. It's not super horrible... ok maybe a little bit lol. It just leaves you really wanting more ;)

  4. I really liked this one too. Glad you enjoyed it as well.

    Great Review!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

    1. Are you dying for Paradise Road too haha ;)


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