Escape from Eden was a very different young adult dystopian novel. It pushed some boundaries, I thought, and did it quite well. I loved the whole cult/Jim Jones angle. I haven’t seen that topic tackled yet (doesn’t mean it hasn’t been, but I haven’t seen it) and I loved how Ms. Nadar handled it. The religious aspects of the story were done well, keeping in line with the need to align the story with certain religious aspects, but without sounding preachy, which would definitely be a turn-off for a lot of readers.
I enjoyed “Edenton” and thought the author thought out the whole dystopian world very well. She used good imagery and I was able to visualize most areas of the camp without too much difficulty while reading. This includes the few areas we were introduced to around Edenton, although there weren’t many.
Mia and Gabriel are two wonderful characters. Mia is sheltered and naïve, having lived in Edenton since she was ten, but she is strong, both physically and mentally. She questions everything instead of following the rules of Edenton with blind faith. She needs to know why things are the way they are, what purpose they serve, what’s beyond Edenton. What she doesn’t know is that asking these questions puts her live in jeopardy.
Gabriel is the streetwise bad boy that appears in most young adult novels. He fills somewhat of a stereotype: Good girl/bad boy type thing, but he isn’t a cardboard cut-out character by any means. He comes with his own set of problems, his own history to deal with and his own reasons for being at, and wanting out of, Edenton.
Together Mia and Gabriel make a great pair. He’s snarky and witty. For a bad boy, and he even considers himself one, he’s intelligent, which makes reading his parts fun and humorous. I loved how Gabriel egged Mia on. But she was no slouch. Despite her lack of street smarts, and understanding of sexual innuendo, which Gabriel tended to use frequently, she still gave him a run for his money in their verbal sparring. It provided a lot of sexual tension throughout the book and made a nice backdrop for their growing relationship.
Well, as most people know, I don’t give lengthy outlines of what happens in books I review. You don’t want to read my watered down version on the book—reading the book will be much more worth your time. And in this case, Escape from Eden is well worth your time. The writing is superb, the characters are flawed and believable, the story is fresh and new, and the topic is one that hasn’t been touched on. There are enough twists and turns throughout to keep you on your toes and turning pages long past your bedtime. In my opinion it’s a great read and shouldn’t be missed.
Bottom line: More than worth your time.
*in the interest of full disclosure, I was given an ARC of this book in return for my honest review. This did not affect my opinion, nor did any monetary reward change hands.