Escape from Eden by Elisa Nader
on August 18, 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult
Amazon • Goodreads
Since the age of ten, Mia has lived under the iron fist of the fundamentalist preacher who lured her mother away to join his fanatical family of followers. In Edenton, a supposed “Garden of Eden” deep in the South American jungle, everyone follows the Reverend’s strict but arbitrary rules—even the mandate of whom they can marry. Now sixteen, Mia dreams of slipping away from the armed guards who keep the faithful in, and the curious out. When the rebellious and sexy Gabriel, a new boy, arrives with his family, Mia sees a chance to escape.
But the scandalous secrets the two discover beyond the compound’s façade are more shocking than anything they ever imagined. While Gabriel has his own terrible secrets, he and Mia bond together, more than friends and freedom fighters. But is there time to think of each other as they race to stop the Reverend’s paranoid plan to free his flock from the corrupt world? Can two teenagers crush a criminal mastermind? And who will die in the fight to save the ones they love from a madman who’s only concerned about his own secrets?
If you’re looking for something that’s going to blow your mind and literally make you say “what the heck did I just read because I’m not sure if I’m okay with this but I think I am but I really don’t know,” then Escape from Eden is for you.
“I resisted the urge to roll my eyes. I had endured six years of being told what was right and what was wrong, and the Reverend was never in the wrong.”
I didn’t know what I was expecting when I went in on this book. I actually think the synopsis gave me the perfect idea of what the book was about without telling me any important plot points while leaving the mystery. I love that. The book was so much more than I expected. This is a story about the shameless rebellion of two teenagers, wanting nothing more than to lead a ‘normal’ life they may never get an opportunity to have.
“They are sacrilegious!” Bridgette said to everyone, waving a hand around the room. “Faith is not hiding from the truth. Faith is confidence and trust in Our Maker. Doubt is the temptation of the devil.” She slammed the book closed and pointed it at me. “This whole book is awful! You shouldn’t even have it!”
One of the most important things I look for when reading a book is character development. I feel like everyone in this book had fantastic separate story lines. Doc Gladstone and Bridgette (minor characters) were two who I was glad to see had proper stories in the end.
He folded his arms over his chest, tucking his hands under his arms, as if shielding his heart.
Gabriel…I’m gonna be honest…bugged me a bit. He was a cutie. His personality was that whole mysterious/bad a vibe that you couldn’t quite catch onto. But, he was very indecisive. Now, although I understand in the end where he was coming from, it doesn’t take away from the fact that he was obviously afraid of how much he could trust Mia, plus afraid of hurting her, but he was much more blunt about it than I would have thought. In the end, however, he seemed to find his place which I thought was sweet ((unironically, of course)). He grew up rough and even though there were some things that weren’t cleared up through his back story, I really hope that means there’s room for a sequel ((…please?? I’m down for that.)) maybe even solely around him? 🙂
Mama mumbled what sounded like a prayer with her eyes squeezed shut. Her arms were stretched wide across the children she protected behind her.
Mia’s mother was actually another character I’m interested in hearing more about. She was very…vague. I’m not sure how much I caught about her, but she seemed to be a lot more than stated. She obviously knew what was going on but didn’t say anything about it t0 Mia ((for her safety, i’m assuming)) and I respect that. I never thought she did anything wrong.
“Honestly, Grizz, you hit like a girl.” Gabriel said, rubbing his jaw. He glanced at me. “No offence.”
“Maybe,” I said, “you need to be hit by a real girl.”
Mia…Mia, Mia, Mia. Oh sweetie. I felt for you. Kind of. I’m young so I haven’t really had an undying love for someone like you had for that poor boy. ((who liked you back. weird how that works out.)) ((i’m kidding. maybe.)) But no in all actuality it was nice to have a heroine in a YA book who could actually kick ass. Sort of. Still not too sure how that whole situation works out. ((sequel wink wink)) She was, in an odd way, the rebel of Edenton. Little to no one knew what she had or what she remembered, and she pretty much went against The Reverend and Thaddeus and even when everyone shunned her for talking back she didn’t once think that her actions or thoughts were wrong. That’s will power, man. Not to mention she was a fighter. She sacrificed a lot for what she thought was right and I give her props for that.
“Those of you with God on your side will come with me to the new Eden! The rest of you will die here in Hell.”
THAT TOWN AND IT’S PEOPLE WERE SO SCREWED UP. LIKE. WHY DID WE GO THERE. WHAT.
I don’t know what confused me more, the thought process of the villagers or the thought process of Thaddeus and the Reverend. Both screwed me up big time. That first Bright Night was the point in the book where I was just done in the most positive way I could explain. I didn’t know what was going on, I was very confused as to if I wanted to keep reading ((which I guess I wasn’t too confused)) and overall thought that if there was any way to get a reader hooked in the close-to-beginning of a book, that was it.
Time ticked by. Tears welled in eyes, lips trembled, mouths mumbled in prayer. But no one questioned. No one challenged. All remained paralyzed in compliance, like lambs to the slaughter.
Overall, this is a solid 4-Star YA read. Elisa Nader does a fantastic job in this debut novel. I would recommend this book to anyone over the age of 15, interested in YA Dystopian Thrillers. I look forward to reading more from Ms. Nader.
*A copy of this book was kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*
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