Growing up on an island paradise isn’t as easy as one might think. Sugar is infatuated with the boy next door, worried she won’t make the cheerleading squad, and even more worried that she will. She is paranoid that because of the horrendous scar on her face, no one really expects her to succeed at anything. Her sister is smart, her mother is a legendary model, and her father is a famous artist. Her family’s success sets a high bar for her to live up to.
Everything changes for Sugar when a plastic surgeon removes her scar. The surgery makes her beautiful, but she makes the shocking discovery that being beautiful can be awful. When she finally discovers who she is, and what she wants from life, it nearly destroys her tightly knit family. She must confront abuse, an elopement, loss, and a secret her father has kept from her all her life. Sugar is struggling to pull everything together and find her own version of ‘Happily Ever After’.
Wonderful island life! ~ by R. de Regnauld
“Couldn’t put it down! Loved the simple pleasures of island life and the colorful characters! It was a great escape! I’m sad it’s over.”
An intriguing YA read you won’t want to miss. ~ by heath1005
“Wow. I don’t know where to start when it comes to Welcome to Paradise. First off, I will say that this book is unlike any other I’ve ever read. For the first two pages, I’ll be honest. I struggled a bit trying to get a sense as to where the story line was going. Reading more like a memoir at first, I didn’t know what i was getting into. But due to the fact that Ms. Macaire has a flair and magnetism with her teenage voice, I was so far pulled into the words that it didn’t matter anymore.
This is Sugar’s story. She lives on the exotic island of St. Thomas. (A plus off the bat for me for the diversity in the characters) After a freak accident as a child, Sugar is scarred on one half of her face. She’s not ugly, just damaged on the outside. Inside, she’s a sweet young girl who is struggling to find her way more so than most kids her age. Her family is fairly wealthy, but she never exhibited annoying qualities from that. In fact, Sugar looked at everyone in a positive light, regardless of being closed off to a lot of people. But when the one boy she’s always been head over heels for starts paying attention to her, then things change.
Eventually her scar is removed, but with one bit of her recovered physically, she loses something emotionally at the same time. And oh my was that a sucker punch to my heart. No spoilers here though, just know that the one thing she does lose makes way to a future that’s completely unexpected.
Welcome to Paradise was a journey to me, not necessarily just a story. A lost girl growing up, discovery love and heartache in a way that was just unfair, but needed at the same time. I enjoyed this heroine. I really did. She was real to me, a girl who you want to root for no matter what. She’s not the popular girl, nor is she the nerd. She’s simple, flawed, and someone young girls everywhere–including teenage me from the past–will probably be able to relate to.
Welcome to Paradise is a brilliant example of how a young adult book should be written…at least to this very picky reviewer. It doesn’t stray from reality, it doesn’t shy away from sex and some language either, and I appreciate that because, lets face it, young adults out there do those things, therefore making this book something more realistic. I’d probably say Welcome to Paradise is more so a book for ages sixteen and up…but every parent is different, so take my advice as literally as you’d like. Overall, I highly recommend readers of every age take a chance on this book. It’s heartbreaking, it’s beautiful, it’s a story that will stick with you for days. Not a lot of books make feel this way either. 🙂 Well done Ms. Macaire, you’ve earned a fan in me.”