Saturday, April 25, 2015
Escape from Eden by Elisa Nader
Author: Elisa Nader
Publisher: Merit Press
Published Date: December 5th 2014
Genre: Realistic fiction, YA
Page Count: 272
My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Mia has spent half her life rebelling against the iron-fisted fundamentalist preacher who brainwashed her mom into joining a compound of fanatics deep in the South American jungle. When Gabriel, a new boy, turns up, Mia sees the chance to run. But then Mia and Gabriel discover how the paranoid reverend is using faithful church members for his own gain, and how he has big plans to free his whole flock from this evil world while keeping their money to fund his way to a new "paradise" for himself. Love must take a back seat as Mia and Gabriel fight back against a criminal mastermind, because if they can't get the truth in time and live to tell it, hundreds of innocent people, including their own families, face certain death.
"I resisted the urge to roll my eyes. I had endured six years of sermons and preaching. Six years of being told what was right and what was wrong, and the Reverend was never in the wrong."
I was slightly apprehensive going into this book. We've all see these cult type society's on TV shows, but I've never read a book about one and I am so glad I did.
Mia wants to leave Eden, but she has no idea how to do that, nor can she convince her mother that they should. Her chances of getting out change for the better when Gabriel and his family join the group.
Gabriel is there against his will. His parents think it will be good for him and bring their family close together and save them. From the moment he gets there he wants to leave and after making an unsuccessful attempt he learns more about what Eden really is.
While Mia does have a slight insta-love for Gabriel it never felt like it nor did it take away from Mia as a person. She was a very strong female character and did what she had to do to try to protect her brother even though it could have gotten her killed.
Gabriel on the other hand had way too many problems to count on one hand and because of that was very distant when things started to get to intense between them, which made the relationship progress at a more normal rate. Plus they both needed each other so they could save their families.
I really enjoyed most of the background characters and how they all had back stories and were never forgotten. The Reverend and Thaddeus even had interesting background stories and showed how things ended up being like they were.
While this is a slightly dark story due to a lot of the secrets kept from the people of Eden. It never went to far or took it beyond me feeling very un-easy. Nader handled the descriptions of murder, human trafficking and slave labor very well and made it so the characters in the story were experiencing the things at the same time, so it was never too much. I loved how there was so much humor and sarcasm mixed in to make it lighter at just the right times. It really made me fall in love with Mia and Gabriel as characters.