Thursday, October 17, 2013

Review: After Eden (After Eden #1)

Title: After Eden
Author: Helen Douglas
Format: E-Arc Provided by Netgalley
Publication: November 5, 2013

 Eden Anfield loves puzzles, so when mysterious new boy Ryan Westland shows up at her school she's hooked. On the face of it, he's a typical American teenager. So why doesn't he recognise pizza? And how come he hasn't heard of Hitler? What puzzles Eden the most, however, is the interest he's taking in her. 

As Eden starts to fall in love with Ryan, she begins to unravel his secret. Her breakthrough comes one rainy afternoon when she stumbles across a book in Ryan's bedroom - a biography of her best friend - written over fifty years in the future. Confronting Ryan, she discovers that he is there with one unbelievably important purpose ... and she might just have destroyed his only chance of success.

Review:  So I've heard mixed reviews of this book. Quite a few people just didn't like it and lots of people did like it. I went into reading this novel pretty cautiously, knowing there was a chance that I wasn't going to like it. As often happens, I was drawn to this novel by it's cover and also the thought of time travel which I really haven't read any books about. A great cover does not always make a great book so I was still unsure. I requested this book from netgalley and was VERY excited when I was approved for it. I think that sometimes low expectations when reading a novel are a good thing. If you aren't expecting a book to be amazing, then you can really appreciate it even if it is just a good novel. Because, obviously, not every novel can be amazing.

Once I started reading After Eden I really didn't want to stop. It wasn't that the book was absolutely amazing just-can't-put-it-down, but it was interesting and it kept my attention. My favorite parts of this book were when Ryan was telling Eden about the future, which sadly he was not able to do much of. I also liked how we were able to compare our modern day to what we were told about the future. This book really really made me want to read more time travel novels. 

The romance of this book was very understated. There was a lot of focus on it but it wasn't really able to develop fully in this book. It was nice though to not have romance and kissing shoved down your throat even though it was a big part of the book. 

I also liked how the novel focused on the idea of fate and how even if you know the future and take steps to change it, that it is hard to change something that was meant to happen. I would love to see in the next novel in the series how changes made to the past can change the future.

After Eden wasn't the most well written novel I've ever read but it was very good  and I really, really enjoyed reading it. Anyone interested in Young Adult novels about time travel or space should definitely pick up After Eden when it is released next month. I am definitely excited for the sequel, Chasing Stars, which is already set to be released in June 2014. 


  1. I'm unfortunately on the didn't like it side, and I hated to be since I generally like British books, but with this years releases in it's genre, it lacked the sci-fi aspect for me. I think if the story was from Ryans' perspective, it would have held a lot more, but as I said, for me. Though the sequel looks like it'll have just that. Glad you enjoyed it though. Great review! :)

    Kirsty @ StudioReads

    1. Ya I do think that the sequel seems like we will get more sci-fi and maybe even more of Ryans pov. When I read the synopsis I actually thought it sounded better than After Eden so I'm pretty excited for it.

      I'm not really a HUGE Sci-fi fan so I'm pretty sure that that is why I enjoyed this. If it had been too much I probably wouldn't have liked it as much.

  2. I love time travel books so I'm definitely going to be reading this one. Glad you enjoyed it and I do like that the novel focused on fate and and it being hard to change something that's meant to happen. If you're looking for more time travel books, I would recommend All Our Yesterdays, Ruby Red trilogy, Time Between Us, and 15 Minutes. Loved all of those. Great review! ~Pam

    1. Thanks for all of the suggestions! I definitely do need to read more time travel so I will check these out!

  3. i was interested in this book when if first heard of it (the cover was different then and i was drawn to the old cover) but because of the mix reviews i just kind of didn't think much about it again. re-reading the synopsis now and your review... hmmm... i might just pick it up if i run across it in the library. thanks for putting this book back under my radar :)

    1. I agree I liked the old cover better. It was just so beautiful! You should definitely give it a try! I did and I liked it!

  4. A future without pizza?!?! What in the world...

    I'm a little confused as to how the future wouldn't know Hitler? I'm glad you enjoyed the book though, it has an interesting premise. Great review :)