After Eden by Helen Douglas

Posted on February 3, 2014 by Regina | 6 Comments

After Eden by Helen DouglasAfter Eden by Helen Douglas
Published by Bloomsbury on November 7, 2013
Pages: 288
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
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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.






I have reddish-brown hair and the palest skin that blushes fiercely, all the way from my chest to my forehead.

Eden is our main chick and she shares her name with a couple of other things besides the title in this tale of time travel and romance.  I found her to be a sensible and likable character; a fair skinned beauty who makes the same mistake most  high school girls make by underestimating herself. She’s observant and thoughtful, and these qualities resonated with me.

The Eden Project
The Eden Project


I looked at his eyes: brown. Not muddy brown or coffee brown or dirty brown. His eyes were all-the-colors-of-autumn-leaves brown. They were the most beautiful eyes I had ever looked at, and they were looking at me with amusement.

Ryan, the male MC, is our boy from the future and I’m not gonna lie; I have a crush on him. Helen Douglas describes his breezy good looks and charm in a way that evoked memories of my high school crush (one of the many). I enjoyed Ry’s interactions with Eden and was frustrated that this first book (in what I’m assuming is a trilogy/series from its Goodreads page) didn’t contain more one-on-one action between these high school hotties.

Bella and Edward

Do me. “How old are you?”

I have a problem with comparing things to Twilight. This is no exception.

Eden pieces together clues about Ryan in Twilight-esque fashion until she figures him out.  Eden confronts Ryan like Bella confronts Edward, but instead of asking How old are you?, she asks When are you from?

Eden: You’ve already left school. No wonder you keep getting top marks in all of your English assignments.

Ryan: Brilliant. I tell you I’m from the future and you’re annoyed that I’m better than you at English.

This story has elements that reminded me of All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill, but it’s written like one of those long short stories you find in Vogue or Cosmo. After Eden left me wanting more, so that’s a compliment to the author. It was a fun and interesting idea that would have been served well by a hundred extra pages. To make a long story short,  Helen Douglas impressed me with what she presented .  Her writing style is clear and concise without any flowery words or cluttered sentences. There were some thoughts and emotions conveyed by Ryan and Eden in this story that struck a chord with me despite their simplicity:

Falling in love had changed everything. […] My old life seemed like a whisper in the face of a roar. I couldn’t live my old life anymore. I picked up the pieces and shoved them back in the box.

This story has great fan fiction possibilities and I’m tempted to write some. Helen Douglas did her characters justice within the 279 pages of this novel. I got a strong sense of their personalities and backgrounds and what each character’s motivations were. The true antagonist cleverly remains elusive until near the end of this book and adds an exciting twist to the plot. I would rec’ this book to any Sci-Fi lover that needs a mental vacay. I’m eager to see how Helen will continue Eden and Ryan’s story.

I like this cover better.
I like this cover better.


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