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Book Review: After Eden by Helen Douglas

Science fiction FTW: After Eden by debut author Helen Douglas is an exciting start to a time-traveling series.

Book Review: Book Review: After Eden by Helen Douglas

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after eden by helen douglas

Title & Author: After Eden by Helen Douglas

Genre: Young Adult – Science Fiction, Time Traveling

Release Date: November 5, 2013

Series: Chasing Stars #1

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

How I Got the Book: ARC from Publisher


“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.

Grounded in a realistic teen world with fascinating sci-fi elements, After Eden is a heart-pounding love triangle that’s perfect for dystopian fans looking for something new to devour.”

Thought Out

I’m loving the surge of YA science fiction being published this year. I’ve really enjoyed all the sci-fi books I’ve read so far too – including After Eden.

Eden is a senior in a England-set high school and along with her best friend Connor and their group of friends. As graduation day looms nearer, a new student joins the ranks and shakes things up. As Eden and the new boy, Ryan, begin to spend more time together, she notices that he seems to be old-fashioned in some ways and totally clueless in others (he doesn’t know who Hitler is…).

Eden puts two and two together and figures out Ryan is from the future…

What I very much appreciated about After Eden was the science-ish basis for Ryan’s reason for visiting Eden’s time and his ability to get there. Other books I won’t name had such shaky time traveling foundations that it became a hang up for me while reading and took away my enjoyment of the story.

Plus, the time traveling aspect wasn’t just a side note. It’s a HUGE part of the book, and a lot hinged on the ability to do so.

The novel was full of classic high school senior moments – getting in trouble with friends, soaking in every last moment. I loved the induced nostalgia.

After Eden offers star-gazing romantic fun (and no love triangles! miracle of miracles). Things turned out predictably, but I didn’t mind the lack of plot twists.

Good Not Great

Although I definitely enjoyed After Eden, I was disappointed with Eden. The story is told from her perspective, but it often read like “this happened. then, this happened.” It lacked emotion and feeling at some points.

Also, there are a few details highlighted in the story about Eden’s family that never become anything. They kind of, sort of affect Eden’s life, but they don’t bring out much feeling from her, nor affect the plot in any way. It was strange to me, as I kept waiting on edge about what would happen with it. Strange.

This is also the first book of the Chasing Stars series but definitely read like a standalone.


I definitely enjoyed this YA romp through time and space. It was fun and light-hearted and romantic. After Eden had a few quirks but is definitely a good science fiction read.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.