Author: Helen Douglas
Publication: November 7, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury Plc
Source: e-ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley (Thank you, Bloomsbury!)
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.
*Image and synopsis from Goodreads
Time travel is one of my favorite concepts to read about when it comes to science fiction. I find it fascinating how a person can travel through time. I always wonder what it’s like to do that. Time travel is truly the closest thing to magic that the world of science fiction can offer.
After Eden is a unique and captivating debut novel. The lovely writing style and fresh voice that made the book a good read amazed me. Although the story is fast-paced, it didn’t feel rushed at all. The storytelling remained as engaging as it is since the first chapter. I found the time travel process in this book a little complicated and confusing at first; however, as the story went on the details were carefully laid out and explained well.
I also liked how After Eden is situated in the 21st century, which added a contemporary feel to the story. The book may be science fiction yet it very much captured real life. And it is through the setting and characters that I felt the story’s authenticity. It is evident that Helen Douglas understands teenage life today with the way she wrote the dialogues and descriptions.
Eden, the main character, has an appealing voice and I enjoyed reading her thoughts. She’s just a typical teenager until one day a mysterious and undeniably good-looking boy named Ryan enters her school. And her life changes extraordinarily. As Eden got to know him, she found him peculiar. Ryan has no idea what pizza is or who Hitler was, which are essential and prevailing facts that every person in the 21st century knows. Eventually Eden unravels Ryan’s biggest secret that explains why he acts strangely: he’s from the future! He traveled back in time to fulfill a mission that will help change the horrible future of planet Earth.
Eden and Ryan became close and developed feelings for each other. Everything happened so fast but I’m okay with it because both characters are great together. Their romance is effortless and very charming. It’s the kind of romance that starts with being friends until the relationship transcends into something more. Ryan is such a sweet guy. I love his character. So adorable and one of a kind! His swoon-worthy lines made me smile a lot and he’s definitely included in my list of favorite book boyfriends. He has eyes only for Eden and is not shy to show how much he likes her. But what I liked the most about Ryan is how he’s willing to give up his life in the future to be with Eden in the present. MY HEART MELTED. ❤
After Eden is a delightful YA sci-fi novel perfect for time travel fans. I look forward to reading the sequel!