Saturday, June 8, 2013

Escape from Eden by Elisa Nader

Escape from EdenSince 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?

Most of the young adult titles that I’ve recently read have pretty much been the same: girl meets boy, girls falls head over heels in love with boy, etc. We all know the formula, and we also know that a lot of the YA fiction out there right now has a very thin plot line surrounding the romance.  Which is why I was so surprised with this book. I can honestly say the plot twists in the novel were some that were completely unexpected.

The main character, Mia, is a nicely developed protagonist who manages to believably mature as the book comes to an end. There is no rushed change of personality like in some other YA books when the author suddenly decides the character needs to become a bit “fiercer”. No, in this one the change is gradual and it keeps pace with the rest of the story.

The plot never dulls, and every chapter moves the story forward. This is the kind of writing that grabs and hold your attention from the beginning. The plot makes sense and there are no major loose ends. I’m sure it is the first book in the series, but it has a pretty substantial conclusion.

This is one I really do recommend for all lovers of the YA genre.

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