Review of After Eden by Helen Douglas

After EdenAfter Eden
By: Helen Douglas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: November 5, 2013
Barnes and Noble

Thank you Krys for giving me my print arc.
I read After Eden with my reading group (Scott Reads It and On Starships and Dragonwings)

My Rating:

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.

The Story:
After Eden started out okay for me. I knew going in from the size of the book (very short) and the premise that it would be more of a light hearted and fast paced read.

I was excited to be reading another book featuring time travel since I’ve read some really great ones this year. But, as I read further into the book aspects began to annoy me. A lot of my frustration was due to the characters (see below) and transparent plot. I found it very easy to predict the outcome and was able to pick out early on the ‘villian’ though he/she isn’t much of one.

The Characters:
Things really went astray for me concerning the characters, their motivations and actions. I felt that they were all fairly one dimensional and did not have realistic interactions. The friendships rang false and I could never grasp why this group of teenagers even interacted with one another. There was a lot of telling and not so much showing. I read over and over that Eden was best friends with Connor though neither of them treated the other like a best friend. All that I was presented with was jealousy, infatuation and some strange loyalty because they knew each other as children.

The romantic aspect seemed very insta-attraction/love but sort of grew on me as I read. Ryan’s character on a whole was poorly crafted and the mistakes he made with cultural knowledge (like not knowing who Hitler or pizza is) didn’t seem realistic and I thought could have been presented in a much better and believable way. I understand these things were supposed to tip off our main character at Ryan’s strangeness but any number of topics could have been used fulfilling the same result.

Now, on to our main character Eden. She frustrated me the most due to her lack of common sense. This is really nit-picking on my part, but so often she was walking out in the cold or rain having forgotten her jacket or dressed wrong for the season. It could be that I was hyper sensitive because it was yet another example of her inability to use common sense. I felt that as the reader we could see very clearly where the story was headed and I had trouble believing that Eden wouldn’t pick up on things a bit faster.

Final Thoughts:
Even with all the issues I had with After Eden I read through the entirety of the book and found entertainment in a good portion of it. I would say it was a very easy read and might appeal to a younger audience.

Top Ten Tuesday #1: Books On My Fall 2013 TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a different question is posed and gives us bloggers an opportunity to share our top tens on all different types of bookish topics. This is my first Top Ten Tuesday and the question is

Top Ten Books On My Fall 2013 TBR List

I’ve read a lot of books that were on my fall TBR list like: Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis, The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas, The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater, More Than This by Patrick Ness, Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson, Antigoddess by Kendare Blake and Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano (review coming). You can see if they lived up to my expectations by clicking on the title to see my review.

These are the books that I’m most excited about (October and early November releases):

AllegiantWorld After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2)
Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1)

  1. Vicious by Victoria Schwab Release Date: September 24th
  2. Entangled by Amy Rose Capetta Release Date: October 1st
  3. The Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal Release Date: October 8th
  4. Tandem by Anna Jarzab Release Date: October 8th
  5. Across a Star Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund Release Date: October 15th
  6. Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken Release Date: October 15th
  7. Allegiant by Veronica Roth Release Date: October 22nd
  8. After Eden by Helen Douglas Release Date: November 7th
  9. World After by Susan Ee Release Date: November 19th
  10. Pawn by Aimee Carter Release Date: November 26th (thank you Book Addict’s Guide for reminding me of this one!)

Showcase Sunday #23

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea where you show what books you’ve purchased, gotten from the library, received from giveaway, as gifts or for review.

For Review (via Edelweiss):
Let the Storm Break by Shannon Messenger and Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

For Review (via Publisher):
Hideous Love by Stephanie Hemphill, 3:59 by Gretchen McNeil, Deception by C.J. Redwine, Twinmaker by Sean Williams , How to Love by Katie Cotugno and No Angel by Helen Keeble

Thanks HarperCollins!

The Winner’s Curse by and Marie Rutkoski and After Eden by Helen Douglas

Thank you! Sheedy Lit and Krys (Bibliopunkk)

Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

Be sure to check out my GIVEAWAYS

What did you get this week?