Review & Giveaway – Escape From Eden by Elisa Nader

September 25, 2013 Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 1 ★★★★½

Author: Elisa Nader
Release Date: August 18, 2013
Pages: 271, Hardcover
Goodreads Rating: 4.14 stars
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars
My Content Rating: PG-16+? (Some sex and sexual situations – some serious issues addressed, and some relatively strong violence)

Summary from 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?

 

I really LOVED this book!  It started out with an intriguing concept and then kept me guessing throughout the entire story.  I really never knew where this book was going to go next – something that I loved!

The summary describes the book pretty well, so I’ll get right to my review.
The negatives:
  • Slightly unbelievable.  I occasionally had a hard time believing that all of the cult members were going along with everything that the Reverend was doing.  I mean, I know they’re supposed to be brainwashed and all, but it was obvious that some of them at least had figured out that the Reverend and especially his “prayer circle” weren’t all they were cracked up to be.  So, I was especially confused when they all went along with everything the Reverend told them – particularly at the end of the book when he tells them all to do something particularly atrocious.  I guess that was the point of the book, though – he had them SO brainwashed and beaten down that they would do anything he said.  I still had a little bit of a hard time buying it at times, but it didn’t really cut down on my enjoyment of the book much.
What I LOVED:
  • The cult.  I know I said that I sometimes found some of what happened in the cult unbelievable, but overall I was fascinated by it.  I found the whole concept of a cult intriguing and I was not disappointed when crazy things started happening pretty early on.  It was really interesting to think about what it would have been like to live in those circumstances and how people could go along with it all and think it was okay!
  • Mia and Gabriel.  I was really happy with the progression of the romance in this book.  While, Mia was pretty instantly attracted to Gabriel, this didn’t feel like insta-love to me.  The attraction was minor at first and then built throughout the book.  It isn’t until they are in some truly crazy and terrifying circumstances together and they share a bit more of themselves that their attraction turns to anything more and it felt very believable to me that they would connect under those circumstances.  There was some see-sawing of emotions but, again, those emotions rang true to me because of what the characters were going through and what they had been through in their pasts.  I was very vested in Mia and Gabriel and was definitely rooting for them to end up together!
  • The twists and turns.  There were quite a few times in this book when I wondered where it was going to head next – sometimes I thought I might have an idea about what would happen, but most of the time I was surprised (and even when I guessed some details, the way that it all played out was definitely unique and not what I was expecting!).  I love it when a book keeps me guessing!
I highly recommend Escape From Eden to just about anyone – anyone who would appreciate a fast-paced, exciting YA romance novel with an intriguing concept!  4.5/5 stars.

 

***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own***
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AUTHOR BIO

Hi. I’m Elisa. I like cheese and reading and TV show marathons. Writing is scary, but not as scary as, say, Civil War amputations. I’m an Aquarius. Uh… let’s see… I’m not very good at writing my own biography. Or autobiography. I guess this is reading more like a slightly incoherent personal ad.

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