Published by Bloomsbury Australia on November 5, 2013
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
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When mysterious new boy Ryan Westland shows up at her school Eden Anfield is intrigued. On the face of it, he's a typical American teenager. So how come he doesn't recognise pizza and hasn't heard of Hitler? What puzzles Eden most, however, is the interest he's taking in her.As Eden falls in love with Ryan, she stumbles across a book in Ryan's bedroom - a biography of her best friend - written fifty years in the future. Unravelling Ryan's secret, she discovers he has one unbelievably important purpose ... and she might just have destroyed his only chance of success.
When I heard that this book had time travel and sci fi elements in it, I was immediately intrigued, but overall it was a disappointing. Not because it was badly written by any stretch, but because it felt like it was written for a middle grade audience.
Eden is instantly attracted to the new, mysterious boy Ryan who shows up at her school and is intrigued when he seems interested in her. Ryan seems confused as he doesn’t know what pizza and who Hitler is, but he knows everything about astronomy and the environment. She confronts him and discovers the mystery behind Ryan, who is from another time and place.
The time travel was done quite simply; used as an explanation about why Ryan was there from the future and simply that the Law of Temporal Integrity prevents him from telling anyone about time travel and what happens in the future. Of course that doesn’t stop him, because he’s so in love with Eden he tells her absolutely everything, risking her life from the cleaners who are responsible in covering the time traveler’s tracks.
This book contains all your stereotypical YA romance conventions that I can’t seem to avoid, insta-love, a seemingly perfect main character and a love triangle. From the moment they lay eyes on each other, Eden and Ryan are instantly attracted and want to get to know each other. Eden’s best friend Connor seems to get the short end of the stick, as she just “thinks of him as a brother” but it’s so incredibly obvious that he has feelings for her. I disliked how Eden just thought of him as an “underachieving beach bum” which is a mean thing to say about your best friend. This is exasperated by Ryan below:
He’s so ordinary. He’s just Connor. He’s good academically, but he’s not exceptional. I know at least a dozen people in Year Eleven who are cleverer than him. – Eden
…He just bummed around for a few years being spectacularly unexceptional. – Ryan
Aside from that, Eden is actually a decent heroine, she makes sensible and mature decisions within the book and her actions actually made sense. I can’t say the same for Ryan, who decides to spill his life story to Eden and is obsessed by “beautiful women”.
After Eden never really seemed to take off for me. Everything was incredibly predictable, the characters were bland and the ending was tied up nicely with a bow. It would be a good introductory paranormal to get into for the middle grade audience but I need something that packs a bit more punch.
Thank you to Bloomsbury for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. After Eden will be released 5 November 2013.
Rating: 2 out of 5