Tuesday, October 29, 2013

After Eden by Helen Douglas

If love is in the stars, then it will find you, when you least expect it... 
 The mysterious Ryan appears in Eden's life suddenly - as if from nowhere. He's gorgeous, irresistible, but of all of the girls vying for his attention, it's only Eden he seems interested in. Where has this beautiful boy come from, and why has he chosen her? But each time she discovers something new about Ryan, Eden edges closer to danger. What will happen when she works out the whole truth?
A truth which will make her fall for him even harder...

I received this book from Bloomsbury for an open and honest review. 

Star Rating

This sci-fi romance novel for young adults gripped me from the very start and was a real page turner. The plot idea was new and exciting and was very well written. Helen Douglas has that extraordinary talent of making the reader care about the characters from very early on and Eden, Ryan and their friend Connor were all characters that I can see teen readers connecting with on a personal level. 

After Eden is ultimately a love story between Eden, a normal girl from Cornwall whose parents died in a car crash when she was just six years old, and Ryan, a handsome, muscular boy with an air of mystery surrounding him. Early on in the novel, Ryan joins Eden's high school and quickly becomes the subject of many young girl's affections, including Eden's. This is much to the displeasure of Connor, Eden's sidekick and best friend. During a revision session at Ryan's home, Eden accidentally scoops up one of Ryan's books in her haste to leave and it is this small but significant action that sets up the storyline for the rest of the book.

The book, Eden notices, has been written by her best friend Connor 69 years in the future. The impossibility that this book brings results in a whirlwind of revelations - both for Eden and the reader. How is this possible? Who is the real Ryan and where has he come from? Eden soon realises that Ryan is not all he seems. He has been sent to complete a mission that may affect everything that happens in the future. As a result of this knowledge, Eden edges closer to danger as Ryan explains " time travel is the ultimate weapon of mass destruction." 

With 'The Time Traveller's Wife' being one of my all time favourite books, I have always found the idea of time travel fascinating. It is strange to think what the world would be like if we could travel through time changing and directing the course of life's events. Towards the end of this novel, Eden reflects on her own notions of time travel.

 "I tensed at the thought that my future was out there somewhere, lying ahead of me, unloved, unknown, unimagined."

There are many references in this novel to space and astronomy and Helen Douglas left the reader with some profound thoughts and ideas. One of these being that "when stars explode, they release their debris into the universe and this stardust forms new stars and planets and all the life forms on those planets. Everything on Earth, even you and me, is made from atoms that were once inside a star. We're made of stardust."

Unfortunately, I didn't love the ending to this story but I completely understand why Helen Douglas chose to run with it. The ending is set up superbly for a sequel and I for one will definitely be reading it. A highly recommend YA romance. 

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