Why it took me so long to read this book I have no idea. I remember when it came out I was dying to get my hands on it. I even went to Borders(may they rest in peace) to buy a copy and they didn't have it. Between then and now more books just got in the way so it took way too long for me to actually get to this. With that said I'm so happy I finally made the time and read it. Paradise was just a great book with a strong story. It was straightforward and honest and had a twist that really shook me for a loop.
Paradise was the story of Paisley(love the name by the way) a small town Texas girl with big dreams. All Paisley wants is to be a drummer. She eats, breathes, sleeps drumming. Her dream is to get out of Prosper County and make something of herself and the Texapalooza is her ticket to that dream. There is only two problems; Paradise, the new lead singer of her band The Waylon Sliders and her overbearing mother who refuses to accept drumming as a future. With her dreams on the line Paisley has to decide just how important lying to her family is over telling her mother what she really wants and how Paradise can fit into her dreams.
First I have to say that I hated the mother. She was a little over the top and just too much all around. I didn't find her believable at any part of the book. She was way too controlling to be likable and for her beliefs to be swayed the way they were so easily. That's way this book is a 4 starer and not 5. Because honestly other then her I lived everything else Paradise had to offer. I loved that Cal was a man of so few words but we got to know him and his feelings by his lyrics. I loved that Waylon acted all tough and strong but was deep down terrified of ruining his family's reputation. I loved Levi and the way he looked out for Paisley and her sister and how he finally got tired of hiding and admitted what he wanted. I loved Paradise and his unwavering confidence and how he managed to bring the bet out in everyone, but especially in Waylon and Paisley. And I just flat out loved Paisley. I wasn't always crazy about her methods and not telling her parents what she wanted, but I could understand her motivations behind it. It was better to keep it hidden then to lose it. I loved watching her grow as a character and her relationship with Paradise blossom.
There was one part that was so unexpected. I should ave seen it coming but it devastated me when it did. But I think that is what made this book so great, the unexpected. Because Paradise was about living your life and that is exactly what life is, unexpected and devastating at times. Brava to Alexander for showing that and for doing a remarkable job at the same time. Definitely a keeper.