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The Hiding Spot

I focus primarily on Young Adult, Middle Grade, and Children's books, but my tastes are eclectic, so I change things up frequently!


Paradise - Jill S. Alexander It isn't easy for me to coherently explain my feelings about Jill S. Alexander's sophomore novel, PARADISE. I really enjoyed Alexander's first novel, THE SWEETHEART OF PROSPER COUNTY, but I wasn't at all prepared for how much I would adore PARADISE. Not only does PARADISE feature a fantastic plot and engaging setting, the characters are phenomenal. The main character, Paisley, caught me off guard... The name Paisley seemed a bit pink to me. I literally pictured a pink paisley pattern when I first saw her name and that didn't seem all that appealing at the time. (Okay, I never find pink paisley appealing... I'll admit it.) Eventually I stopped picturing her as a pink psychedelic pattern and accepted her for the badass she is. I think her parents really wanted her to be a Paisley, she just refused to be one... She's spunky, direct, and a drummer. And the fact that she's a drummer was, in my mind, a key part of her being a legitimate badass. She wasn't up on stage do wear skimpy clothes and dance around, she was behind an entire drum set rocking out and being awesome. Love it!And then there's Paradise. Not only was he an interesting character on his own, he was a great match for Paisley. I liked that they challenged one another and didn't immediately fall madly in love. Paisley may have acknowledged his good looks early on, but she didn't fall for him for shallow, physical reasons, which sometimes happens and leaves the reader perturbed and not at all supportive of the relationship. I appreciated the banter between the two and the small moments that eventually led them to develop feelings for one another.And the ending... oh my goodness. I definitely didn't see it coming at all. Since I read this novel in one sitting, I actually reread the ending a couple times just to make sure I wasn't just getting a bit loopy and imagining things. After becoming so invested in PARADISE's characters, I may have cried a bit to see it end, especially so surprisingly. Okay, I'm lying, I cried a lot. Sobbed really. This isn't a bad thing though: if I hadn't cared about the characters, I wouldn't have been moved to tears... Especially not big, sloppy tears. I won't be forgetting about Paisley and Paradise any time soon.Alexander is one of those authors whose books are, for me, an automatic buy. I highly, highly recommend both her debut and sophomore novels.