Blog Tour & Review: Escape From Eden by Elisa Nader

 Thanks for visiting my stop on the Escape From Eden blog tour hosted by YA Bound. 
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Author: Elisa Nader
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Thriller
Publisher: Merit Press
Publication Date: August 18, 2013

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?
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Escape From Eden is a book that took me completely by surprise. I knew it'd be about a Fundamentalist Cult living in the Jungle and that it'd filled with some sort of romance as most Young Adult books these days do but I never realized how deeply disturbing and twisted the book would actually become and how far and wide the corruption would extend.

What I really liked about Escape From Eden were the characters.When we meet Mia she is already questioning the system. She loves her community but also has decided that maybe Eden isn't the right place for her.  Then we have Gabriel who on the surface is your typical ridiculously good looking bad boy. Yet if you dig a little deeper he's revealed to be far more complicated then first perceived. Lastly, I really liked the fact that the community members were given distinct personalities. Even characters with barely a line were fleshed out nicely and described in detail. I definitely appreciate when an author takes the time to flesh out all the characters not just those that are the main focus.

I also really loved the "twists" in the story. Yes, they were disturbing and I may have even taken a shower after finishing the book but above all they were great and ones I didn't see coming. While Escape From Eden is a fictional work it didn't make it any easier reading what was actually happening to these characters most of which were young girls and boys.

Lastly, I loved the ending. While it infuriated me to see the flock agree so obediently it does sort of drive home the point of why Cults are dangerous. I am thankful that the Author kept the details at the end to a minimum. I'm not sure after all these people had been through that I'd be able to stomach it in all honestly.

Now while I really did love Escape from Eden I do have two very small gripes. The first is that I wanted to know why so much focus was put on Bridgette who is Mia's bunk mate. It seemed like an unnecessary amount of time was spent focused building up her and Mia's hostile relationship but we never really get told why they dislike each other so vehemently in the first place. I kept waiting for a significant twist in her storyline to happen but it never did and this was a letdown. I just feel like she was being built up for something grander than just shacking up with someone she wasn't supposed to. Another small issue I had dealt with the 11 who ate the cookies. With life being so "Valuable" it just felt out of place. I kept hoping the 11 would pop back up on the "other side" but sadly this wasn't the case. Looking back at the event it really didn't make sense to me. Maybe that's the point though.

Overall, Escape From Eden is a book that will stick with me for quite some time. While it did have a few small flaws they weren't enough to ruin the story for me. I highly recommend picking this title up when you get the chance. Elisa Nader is definitely an Author I'll be looking to read from in the future. With that being said, I'll be rating Escape From Eden by Elisa Nader ★★★★★.

 *Copy provided by Author. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any which way for providing them.  

Author Bio & Follow Links
Hi. I’m Elisa. I like cheese and reading and TV show marathons. Writing is scary, but not as scary as, say, Civil War amputations. I’m an Aquarius. Uh… let’s see… I’m not very good at writing my own biography. Or autobiography. I guess this is reading more like a slightly incoherent personal ad.

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