4 stars · fiction

Escape from Eden by Elisa Nader

Escape from Eden

author : elisa nader

pages : [hardcover] 271

memorable quote : Do you think you can walk and dissect my psyche at the same time? I’d prefer not to die today.

favorite characters : mia & gabriel

summary :

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?

review :

Wow. That’s the first word that popped into my mind when I tried to think about how I was going to start reviewing this book. It was everything I expected, sure, but there was so much more to it than that. Elisa Nader really takes the reader on a crazy ride in this one; I had no idea where the action was taking me and what twist could happen next! Nader’s writing style was great and this book really makes me want to see and read more from her in the future!

Okay, I have to admit the whole idea of being trapped somewhere by a fundamentalist cult freaks me out. Maybe that’s a little weird because I know it’ll never happen but I ended up spending half of the book stressed out about the things Mia had no choice in. Their leader picks who they’ll marry, and other people decide how she’s going to help out the compound. They all have “gender appropriate” duties (I think it was the preacher who called it that) and, sure, it’s great that it seems like Mia enjoys her time cooking, but I’d go crazy.

There are so many aspects of this book that I loved but can’t mention without spoiling anything so you’ll just need to pick this book up for yourself and see where it’ll go. When I thought I knew what was going to happen, most of the time I was wrong.

The only thing that bothered me slightly was Gabriel’s generic bad boy identity, which was nothing compared to how strong and complex Mia was. She didn’t really need him because she’d already planned on making her escape, eventually, though I could see some times when she really needed some other perspective to all of the crazy things that were going on.

This book is a great, quick read that has plenty of action, suspense, and plot twists!

4/5 stars

If you like this book, you might also like Held or I am Not Esther.

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