Even In Paradise
By: Chelsey Philpot
Available Oct 2014
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.
This Blonde’s Review:
Late one night Charlotte helps a girl she hears getting sick in the bushes and can’t help herself from going out to help her. When she meets Julia Buchanan Charlotte soon finds herself being called Charlie and dragged into Julia’s life. A girl no one knows soon finds herself as part of the infamous circus that is the Buchanan lifestyle.
As glamorous as their life might seem, being a part of Julia’s life is more complicated than Charlie expected. As dazzling and high as Julia’s life seems to be, there are lows to go with every high. The Buchanans have experienced tragedy but don’t know how to handle it. When they meet Charlie she seems like a breathe of fresh air to them, her practicality and her ability to see things is refreshing and new to them. She is soon treated like one of the family, with them expecting her presence at various events.
As happy and carefree as Julia can be, there is a dark and destructive side to her. Charlie knows it has something to do with the death of Julia’s sister but she doesn’t know what happened. Even though Charlie is often put in the role of caretaker for Julia the family still keeps secrets from her. She isn’t allowed into the inner circle. Anytime she steps past the line of what Julia or the rest of the Buchanans will allow her to know or do she can feel the ice. But somehow Charlie loves them anyway. Julia is her best friend, and Sebastian is her crush, but Charlie loves the rest of the Buchanan family as though they’re her own. And the more I read the more I cared about them too.
The family asks for a lot from Charlie, at first it seemed that she accepted and was okay with that and it was frustrating to me, that they’d put so much on her. The part that made me still care for the Buchanans was that they do care for her in their way and want to offer her opportunities that she wouldn’t have had otherwise. Charlie’s whole life was changed when she became part of the Buchanan clan. She was distanced from her friends and started to see the Buchanan lifestyle as normal.
I was surprised by the decisions that were made at the end of this book. I was sad for them, but also happy. Charlie’s life had been changed so much. It opened her eyes to things she wouldn’t have otherwise seen, and it gave her the strength to walk into the future that was best for her without fear.