Tuesday, December 16, 2014

December 16, 2014: 'Even in Paradise'

Welcome to Book City
Date: December 16, 2014

Spoilers Ahead

Even in Paradise
Chelsey Philpot

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.

City Calendar:
This is what happened during the week.
Charlotte saves Julia from being caught by the Headmistress. She meets Julia's friends and hears of Julia's dead sister Gus. She is invited to Julia's hiding place the chapel on school campus. They listen to prayers from fellow classmates and teachers. She slowly enters Julia's world. Parents' weekend comes. Charlotte's father and step-mother can't come. Charlotte meets Julia's brother Sebastien and sister Cordelia. Julia and Charlotte sneak through the office, looking for Gus's file. They get in trouble. 
Summer comes. Charlotte goes home but is summoned to Julia's family's house on Arcadia quickly. She goes on a bus and meets Sebastien who drives them to a ferry. They get to the island, and Sebastien drives off. Julia talks about her family. Charlotte, when Julia isn't near, goes into Gus's room. Charlotte and Julia skinny dip on the water. Julia's family the Buchanans come. Charlotte meets the family. 
A party happens. Charlotte falls in love with the family. School starts. Rosalie starts to avoid Charlotte, feeling like her friend abandoned her. The regatta comes. Julia participates, and Sebastien and Charlotte watch. They kiss in the dock house. Charlotte doesn't want to go to Thanksgiving because she thinks she'll be embarrass by the kiss. Charlotte goes to the family for New Years. She goes to a club with Sebastien and Julia. She gets drunk. She kissed Sebastien again. They go back to school. Headmistress Day comes. The two friends go sledding on trays. Charlotte's birthday comes. She hangs out with her friends and Sebastien at the library when no one is there. Sebastien and Charlotte fight. Charlotte runs out. Rosalie and Charlotte have a heart-to-heart where they become friends again. She has her official birthday with her family, Julia, Sebastien, and Vinay. She is accepted into her dream school RISD. She asks Sebastien to have Arcadia for just him and her. They have sex. She finds out that Gus did the best prank of all time. She tells Julia. She learns the truth about the accident that killed Gus.
Charlotte goes to prom. Julia pulls an impromptu dance as her prank. The party for Bradley Julia's older brother happens. Julia tries to have fireworks but burns herself and the dock down. Charlotte leaves the house after Mrs. Buchanan yells at her. She doesn't go back to school. Graduation happens. Mrs. Buchanan visits Charlotte at her work place and tells her to find a runaway Julia. Charlotte does and tells Julia to go home. Julia complies. Boom dies when he tried to go home to see Julia. Charlotte attends Boom's funeral, saying it wasn't what he would want at all. She becomes famous as time wears on. She makes a piece for the Buchanans and leaves it at their doorstep. She sees Sebastien and makes up with him. 
And that's what happened this week.

Personal Ads:
Normal girl. Likes Sebastien. Friend to Julia. Lives at St. Anne. Nice. Caring. Can let loose. Artist. Has father, step-mother, and two step-brothers. Is nanny to Julia sometimes. 

Julia Buchanan.
Part of the Buchanans. Oldest sister alive. In rowing. Crazy. Wild. Misses Gus. Knows the truth about Gus and David's death. (David being Gus's boyfriend.) Sister to Cordelia, Sebastien, and Bradley. Daddy's girl. Drinks. Knows French.

This book wasn't something I intended to read. I saw it. Wondered if I should read it. And decided 'why not'. I was surprised. It seemed like 'We Were Liars' all over again. (That was a fiasco. Trust me. I didn't like it.) But I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this one.
I liked Julia. Definitely. Not in the 'lesbian' way, guys. I pitied her. I saw that Julia was like a lost of people who go through traumatic experiences. She had to drown her sorrows. She drank. Tried to be like Gus. I have a feeling she didn't want people to miss Gus, so she acted like Gus. For her family. Julia is broken. Beautiful. I thought she deserved to be top dog, main character supreme. She was well-written. Emotionless. Reckless. A teenage girl but not. Rich girl but still homey. She was that girl I would befriend. In another life. 
The backstory was interesting. It wasn't really touched on, but it was still interesting. Gus's fault? David's? In the end (spoiler), it's neither. It's the other girl in the car. (Highlight if you want the answer)  Julia.To me, Julia was the best. She was my favorite character in this book.
I also like the lavish lifestyle. While that turned me off for 'We Were Liars', the Buchanans are different. They don't express it as much. Except in schools. Colleges. St. Anne. They really are more down-to-earth. Rich but not spoiled. Kind. Funny. Owning a large piece of land but not letting it go to waste. (I mean...they sold it. To a museum. That's kind. Very kind.) The Buchanans were some of the nicest rich book characters. Ever. Most of them are snotty and stuck-up. Not this family.
I like the loyalty and friendship. Julia  and Charlotte. Contra mundum. They had a great friendship. I wish for that. Being together. Getting crazy together. Act now talk later. I like that. It was nice to see that friendship. Family too. Sadly, there wasn't enough family for me. I wish there was more. It would be nice to know the Buchanans better. Why did Charlotte love the family? They're kind, I know. But why? There are many whys. 
Sadly, the romance turned me off. I didn't like it. It was instant love. The spark wasn't there. I feel like it was physical attraction. Where did they fall in love? Over bottle caps? Quirks? I see why there is appeal in Sebastien. Kind. Funny. A reliable guy. But Charlotte? Boring. Annoying. Dull. Not someone I would ever date. But that's me. 
The ending drove me crazy. How could Charlotte do that? She left Julia. The star. And Charlotte got famous? How? Why? The ending was rushed. I felt annoyed. And getting together with Sebastien? Why not Julia? Where is Julia? The conflict between Julia and Charlotte is not resolved. Why? Is Sebastien more important? Where's the friendship? The family? 
And talking about Charlotte... I didn't like her. She took for granted what she was given. Plus, as a narrator, I didn't like her. She was plain. Dull. Boring. I preferred Julia. Charlotte is that boring narrator I didn't like. She was interesting. Enough. It was her loyalty that I admired the most. But that romantic drama? Pah. The girl was too touchy. They're rich. You're not. Deal. It's not Sebastien's fault if he teases you. Don't be so touchy. 
I also like  

Sunny with 50% chance of rain

No comments:

Post a Comment