Friday, October 18, 2013

Escape from Eden by Elisa Nader

Publication: August 18, 2013
Publisher: Merit Press
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?

“But the Reverend didn’t want control of just our hearts. He wanted our minds as well.”
-Elisa Nader, Escape from Eden

I’m sitting here and I am not even sure what I want to say about this book…other than it left me with such feelings!

I have always had this mild curiosity when it came to cults. It’s...for lack of a better word, fascinating how someone can manipulate a group of people into believing something; even things that do not make much sense.

“How could anyone in Edenton believe anything the Reverend told them? You believe the people you love and trust-blind love is still love.”
-Elisa Nader, Escape from Eden

Mia lives in Edenton with her mother and younger brother. They have been living there for the past six years. And even though her mom seems content to abide by the rules and live out the rest of her life there, Mia is feeling restless. She wants more from her life. She still remembers her past life before she came to Edenton, and she isn’t satisfied with how things are run at the compound.  I loved Mia. I thought she was strong and fearless. She took some chances, and even though she may have been scared, she knew she had to do whatever it took to help save her family.

There is a little bit of romance that happens between Mia and Gabriel, the seventeen year old who recently moved into the compound with his parents. Hoping that it would supposedly help heal them from past family trauma/issues.  Gabriel had such a sad backstory. I felt so bad for him. Despite all that he has gone through, he was incredibly sarcastic and sweet.

The Reverend Elias Eden and Thaddeus are a pair of sick and twisted SOB’s. I was expected something nefarious, but I was still surprised by what went on in that compound and the true extent of it. I wanted to hurt them badly and make them suffer before I was even halfway through the book!

The first chapter got me hooked and I couldn’t stop reading till it was over. This is definitely one story that stayed with me long after I read the last page. Escaping Eden was a fascinating and enjoyable story filled with enough action and suspense to keep me entertained throughout the whole book.

RATING: 4 out of 5.

** I received this book on behalf of the Publisher in exchange for nothing, but my honest opinion. Thank you. **




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