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.
'After Eden' is the debut novel of British author Helen Douglas. With a winning combination of time-travel and romance, this book will appeal to fans of Ally Condie and Beth Revis.
The story is set in Cornwall and centres around teenager Eden whose life changes when she meets new boy Ryan. There are strange quirks about him, such as the fact that he has no idea about everyday things like pizza and he becomes a puzzle that she wants to solve. When she discovers his secret, the truth about him is stranger than she could ever have imagined.
This book was a quick read which I finished in one evening and while I enjoyed it, I have to say that I didn't feel like I got deeply involved with the characters and their lives. I personally thought that Eden was very accepting of the things she discovered about Ryan and quick to believe everything he told her. I would have liked to have seen her question things more as I think that would have been more realistic and true to her character.
The ending of the book was thrilling and provided an unexpected twist which I didn't see coming. There is a sequel planned called 'Chasing Stars' which will be published in 2014. I'm intrigued about what is planned next for Eden and Ryan, as I think the next instalment could potentially go in quite a different direction, but at the same time 'After Eden' could equally have worked well as a standalone title because I thought the ending was pretty perfect as it was.
This is a clean and quick read about teen romance against the odds and will appeal hugely to readers who love stories about time-travel and the possibility of what could be out there beyond our home planet.