Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot

Title: Even in Paradise
Author: Chelsey Philpot
Publisher: Harper
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Source: ARC, Borrowed

Summary from Goodreads:
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.


On the surface, Even in Paradise is a story many of us contemporary fans have read before. Charlie is your average, grounded girl, until she meets the very rich, very unusual, and very troubled Julia Buchanan, from which she becomes inseparable. Charlie, in awe of the Buchanans, becomes entangled in their very delicate, and very transitory web. She falls for one of the older Buchanan children and the story is all very wistful and surreal until things happen and it isn’t anymore.

But although Even in Paradise read familiarly, that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it. It was an easy read, with pretty words, a ‘carpe diem’ feel to it and entertaining moments that kept my attention. And the story moved quickly, taking place over a span of about two years. And it wasn’t all “been-there-done-that”. The death of one of the Buchanans added a bit of mystery and solemnity to the story until the truth is revealed in the end. As for the ending itself, it was rather grave and dramatic (maybe unnecessarily so, in some cases) I am still a little up in the air on how I feel about it, but I can almost say that everything came full circle.

The Buchanan family isn’t my favorite rich family that I’ve met over the years but I did really like them. Despite their flaws, they were all extremely likable people. And I like to think that they had good intentions, but circumstances got the better of them. Charlie was a little bland, but that could just be in comparison to the enigmatic Buchanans. Nevertheless, she was a commendable human being.

I can’t say that you should go read this book right this instant because it wasn’t that kind of book to me. But I can say that if you read it, I don’t think you will be disappointed, especially if you are a fan of contemporary.
Copyright © 2014 The Quiet Concert
Template and Design by New Chapter Designs