ARC Review – After Eden, by Helen Douglas

18517826 Title:  After Eden
Author:  Helen Douglas
Rating: ★★★

Synopsis: 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.

River’s Review:

I received a review copy from the publisher via Netgalley and I’m writing this review to say thank you.

After Eden wasn’t amazing, but it wasn’t awful either. I enjoyed it, and was even wow-ed by some parts, but over all it fell a little flat for me. Some reviews say that it’s insta-love, and while I didn’t really feel that the romance was bad enough to label so… it did fall prey to the usual new guy in town meets girl who doesn’t stand out and falls for her and only her. He breaks a bunch of rules to be with her, and she does really weird things to be with him. idk. Ryan and Eden were okay, but I wasn’t rooting for them or anything.

I actually didn’t really care about any of the characters. A typical group of friends welcomes the strange new boy, they all hang out, go to a school dance together. Very… typical.

And Eden… wow she was dumb sometimes. There was one point where she found out all the secrets and then swore to never tell all the secrets and they were like ‘but you might tell one without thinking about it’ and then she goes home and indirectly tells all the secrets. WHAT. Which of course leads to big trouble later.

The time-travel part of this actually worked for me. I usually hate time-travel and find that a lot of it just doesn’t work well at all and there are too many paradoxes and idek, I’m just no a time-travel fan. But this one worked, and I LOVED the reason why Ryan had to travel back in time. I wish the story would have been a bit more like that, then I might have had stronger feelings for the overall novel.

Anyway… I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it. I enjoyed it and if you’re looking for a light sci-fi/time-travel novel, then this should work well enough for you.

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