Title: After Eden.
Series: After Eden, #1.
Author: Helen Douglas.
Publication Date: November 7th, 2013.
Format: Paperback, 288 pages.
Source: ARC Provided By Publisher.
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.
I have to say that I’ve never read anything like After Eden before, it has such a unique and interesting plot and characters that I’m sure nearly everyone will love! Although it was a little predictable at times, and the writing a little amateurish, I really enjoyed it and sped through it – staying up until 2 o’clock in the morning to finish it! I kept saying to myself; ‘just a few more pages’, ‘I’ll just finish this chapter’ and ‘just one more chapter’. Before I knew it I only had 30 pages left and I just had to finish it and see what would happen at the end of the book.
Eden is our main protagonist and I thought she was a really interesting character to read about. I love the fact that she wasn’t the best at everything, as a lot of main characters seem to be now days. Eden has her flaws, but doesn’t complain about them all the time – or go looking for attention. Eden is funny, kind, interesting and a really good friend. She was always looking out for people and putting their needs above her own – and that’s what I loved most about her character.
Ryan is the love interest in After Eden, and I really liked his character. I wouldn’t say he was someone I would personally be attracted too, but I’d definitely love to be his friend! Ryan was a fun, kind and incredibly smart and interesting character to read about. I was rooting for his and Eden’s relationship from the start, and I’m so glad that it took a little time to develop. Their relationship was bordering on the line of insta-love, but it didn’t make me want to pull out my hair like most insta-love does!
Connor is Eden’s best friend, and to be perfectly honest – I didn’t like him that much at all. He seemed way too immature and rude and let his jealously get the best of him a lot of the time. I hated the way he treated Ryan, and he was usually quite rude to Eden as well! I get that Eden and Ryan had been best friends since they were little kids, but you just don’t treat people you care about that way – no matter how jealous you are!
Overall, I thought After Eden was a really funny, wonderful book and it went above and beyond my expectations. Even though Helen Douglas’ writing was a little rough around the edges, and could do with some improvements, it was a real pleasure to read. I’m sure over time Helen’s writing will continue to improve and she’ll turn into a really fantastic author. I believe After Eden well and truly deserves the 4/5 star rating I gave it and I really can’t wait to continue on with this series and find out what happens next. I’m also really looking forward to reading more by Helen Douglas in the future; she’s definitely an author to keep an eye on!
The door swung open and Ryan came in with two mugs of hot chocolate. He put them on the coffee table and sat next to me on the couch. I’d imagined Ryan as a strong-black-coffee kind of boy, not someone who would make hot chocolate with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles. - Page 87.
‘Ah, the romantic train journey to Plymouth where I pulled you into the loos and showed you my credit cards.’ - Page 182.
Although the classrooms and corridors away from the drama studio were in darkness, the stairwell was brightly lit. Probably some health and safety thing. Keeping close to the wall, I crept up the stairs behind them, praying that they wouldn’t look down and see me creeping up behind them like some perverted stalker. - Page 221.