Escape from Eden
by Elisa Nader
YA Contemporary romance/adventure
Summary from Goodreads:
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?
Wow. Just, wow.
This YA romance/Adventure kicked me in the gut.
Sixteen y/o Mia hates the religious compound where her mother brought her six years ago. She wants to leave desperately and clings to her one hope–that she can somehow escape. Seventeen y/o Gabriel arrives with his parents–bearing the emotional scars of a chilling childhood incident. He’s angry and resourceful, and just as desperate as Mia to escape.
After becoming an unwitting accomplice in the deaths of 11 commune members, Mia is shaken. But she soon has a new drama: attending her first prayer circle. These mysterious experiences leave many members changed, and not for the better. When Gabe is brought along, Mia is sure something strange is happening behind the scenes, but she could never imagine the hellscape she’s a part of.
A fire. A jungle escape and an impossible choice keep this story hopping. Will Mia return to Edenton to save her friends and family from Reverend Eden’s torture?
[Spoiler: hey, she’s a heroine, right?]
The climax is brutal, and makes the reader sit up and wonder about the power of religion in human experience. For some of you the word ‘Jonestown’ may conjure the mass killing of a religious cult.
In ESCAPE FROM EDEN, we learn that the Jonestown True Believers really had it easy.
You want ESCAPE FROM EDEN? Get it here….or there…
“The chemistry between Mia and Gabriel is palpable in their teasing dialogue and sizzling moments of physical connection. Its rewards … are many: fast-moving action, a capable heroine and a resolution that leaves plenty of room for a sequel.” – Kirkus Reviews [STARRED REVIEW]
“Debut author Elisa Nader hits a strong note with her ESCAPE FROM EDEN… At-times swoony, at-times extremely dangerous, and at-other times completely shocking.” – Examiner.com
“Nader has done something amazing: written a really original novel, one full of characters you’ll care about; smart, witty dialog; and plenty of shocks and thrills. A wonderful balance of light and dark.” —Michael Grant, New York Times Bestselling Author of the Gone Series
“An exciting, terrifying, page-turning thrill ride you will not be able to put down.” – Gretchen McNeil, Author of POSSESS, TEN and 3:59
About the Author
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.
(2) Sets of Moleskine Sketchbook, set of Le Pen colored fine tip pens, a copy of Otherkin and Othermoon by Elisa’s crit partner Nina Berry, and a personalized copy of Escape from Eden