Sunday, November 3, 2013

Review: After Eden by Helen Douglas

After Eden by Helen Douglas
Book One of the After Eden series
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
Rating: 3 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

The day Eden met Ryan changed her world forever. Actually, not just her world. Ryan has time traveled from the future to save the world. In a few weeks, Eden’s best friend Connor will discover a new planet—one where human life is possible. The discovery will make him famous. It will also ruin the world as we know it. When Ryan asks Eden for help, she must choose between saving the world and saving her best friend’s greatest achievement. And a crush on Ryan complicates things more than she could have imagined. Because Connor is due to make the discovery after the girl he loves breaks his heart. That girl is Eden. 

What I Liked:

Well, this novel was certainly interesting! You all know how I feel about time-travel books - I'm generally not a fan. I love Kerstin Gier's Ruby Red trilogy, but outside of that series, I generally dislike the time-travel novels I read.

This one wasn't bad! I was not sure what to expect, when I started this novel, but for the most part, I liked what I got. Douglas carves out an interesting story that isn't too heavy on the science fiction and the time-travel, yet everything is about the time-travel. Everything in the story relies on the time-travel aspect of this book.

Eden and Ryan, and everything changes for Eden. Suddenly, things don't add up. Something isn't right about Ryan and his presence, and Eden isn't the only one who notices. Sure, he's beautiful, smart, old-fashioned, and all-around fabulous, but Eden knows better.

It doesn't take Eden very long to get close to Ryan, and to figure out his secret - he's not from the same time period as she is. Things begin to unravel, and Eden finds herself in the middle of everything. Throw in a jealous best friend, a Mean-Girls-esque crazy girl, and an upcoming ball... you've got quite the story.

This book is really short, and really simple. Eden meets Ryan, they grow close, Eden finds out, Eden helps Ryan, climax, ending. The plot is so so so easy to figure out, and you can totally see where the story is heading. The ending is predictable, and I kind of wished this book ended differently, ESPECIALLY since there will be a sequel. 

Nevertheless, the plot was pretty interesting, despite me figuring out everything after reading, like, the synopsis. The novel is set in England, and not the United States, so that was kind of different and cool. There were a lot of differences in dialogue and terminology, which I liked. I mean, I read so many books set in the United States. I liked the change!

The romance is solely between Eden and Ryan, but there are some annoying secondary characters in this book that will probably piss you off. Their roles are understandable, and justifiable, but that doesn't mean I have to like them. 

The ending... cliche. See below.

What I Did Not Like:

I had problems with the romance, plot, and ending. I'll start with the romance.

One word (which isn't even a word): instalove. Eden and Ryan don't gently progress into the relationship. They see each other and BAM! They're in love. At least, in Eden's case, that is true. The same could be said for Ryan, but we never get his point-of-view. But seriously, instalove is almost as bad as love triangles. Almost.

And Ryan just seems TOO perfect. He came across as very one-dimensional, as did Eden. I didn't connect with either of them very well. I understand Eden better when she realized what would happen with Ryan (not telling). That part felt raw and totally real. But Eden in general - and Ryan - not so much connection. They were flat and one-dimensional, in my opinion.

The plot was EXTREMELY predictable. I had no trouble figuring out what would happen, EARLY in the book. Like, reading the synopsis, just think of a bare skeleton for this book. That's your plot! The basics! No subtle foreshadowing, or plot twists, or anything like that. This book is very straightforward, and that made it a tiny bit boring.

Oh, and the ending? Cliche. I wish it had been the other way around, especially since a sequel is in the works. I'm not going to say if the ending was happy or sad, but I thought it was too wrapped up and shiny. There needed to be something different about the ending. 

Would I Recommend It:

Eh. It's sort of up to you. I was actually really excited to read this book, and after reading it, I feel kind of let down. It's not the best science fiction (more specifically, time-travel) novel out there, but it was okay for me. I enjoyed reading it, and I don't regret reading it. It was a short read, so if you have time, read it!

But it's not a must-read.


3 stars. I do plan on reading the sequel!

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!


  1. I'm not a huge fan of instalove either, but if there's a good plot, why not? As for bad endings? Ugh. I don't like bad endings. I'm a fan of explosive endings, or endings without loose ends. Fantastic review!

    1. The plot is pretty good. And I never said the ending was bad (or good), just... too cliche. I used that word a lot, I know.

      Thank you, Dre!

  2. Yep, I agree. It was a fun book but I had some problems--instalove, MC not catching on to really obvious stuff, and it really grated on me--she never had her jacket. I know that's nit-picking but it annoyed me regardless. It was overall a fun and fast read though.

    1. It WAS fun - I did enjoy it! I just wouldn't read it again, probably. And OMG I totally agree - does she not check the weather?! My entire outfit every day is based on the forecast! But yeah, it was okay in general.

      Thank you for commenting!

  3. Awesome review Alyssa I haven't read a time-travel book yet because I m afraid I would not like it but who knows I might give it a try this book looks and sounds like a quick fun read the summary sounds very interesting thanks for sharing Alyssa!

    1. I highly recommend Kerstin Gier's series! This book is very short and sort of cute, so you might like it. You're very welcome!

  4. I felt pretty similar. Great idea for a storyline but Ryan and the romance and the predictability made it fall a bit flat for me.

  5. I'm not a fan or instalove as well. And if the book is predictable or cliche, I'd rather pass on it. I still have a lot of books in my TBR list and I just can't add more. Thanks for the sharing your review. ;)

    1. I know! And me too. There are so many good ones out there, Anne - you should no problem reading something amazing :D

  6. I feel the exact way about time travel books as you do. Other than the Ruby Red trilogy, I am just not a fan. But after loving that series, I vowed to at least give others a chance. It sounds like this might not be a bad one to at least try. Not perfect, and definitely not Ruby Red good, but still.... good!

    1. Right! Someone who understands! This series probably isn't the one to pick up time travel (especially after the Ruby Red series). BUT, if you read it, I hope you enjoy, Jaime!

  7. This book is a little iffy on me.. I came across a book not too long ago that was insta-love and it seriously uurrkked me.. i will probably pass on this book.. great review on it!!!

    1. Aww, I'm sorry to hear that! Yeah, this one wasn't perfect by any means, and the insta-love was a little over the top. It's not a must-read.

      Thank you, Sarah!


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