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Escape from Eden

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  619 ratings  ·  187 reviews
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 fro ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published August 18th 2013 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published July 18th 2013)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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Tanja (Tanychy)
Dec 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Review also posted at Ja čitam, a ti?

Recently while reviewing The Almost Girl I talked about dystopian books becoming realistic and how that scares me. Well, let me tell you this one was truly easy to believe in. You might not think the same but who knows what's happening in those wild parts of the world.

Anyhow back to start. So this book is about Edanton, a place in South American jungle where people are supposed to experience "Garden of Eden" and by that they are given set of strict rules wh
Margo Kelly
Aug 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Well, I read five books last week, and I was hesitant to read this one (because I wasn't sure what direction it would take and if it would go too far) ... but guess what? It ended up being my favorite book of the lot!

The writing sucked me in from the beginning. I predicted that it would be a bit creepy with the whole cult thing going on and when it got to the creepiest scene (I'm not giving it away here), I had to take a deep breath and read carefully. I was so worried Nader would take it too fa
♥♡¢σσкιє♥♡ (Krystle)
You can read this review and more on my blog:

I received a free copy of this book from the author via Xpresso Book Tours.

When I read the synopsis for this book, I had no idea what to expect, I've never read a book about a cult so I was apprehensive when I started this one. would it be too dark for me, and filled with perversion and sick twisted violence or would it be boring? If you're wondering some of the same things, I can sum this book up for you with two words:

While I was r
May 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Cult Books/"Bad Boy" MCs
Recommended to Thalia by: Publisher
Read the review on my blog:
Nicole M. Hewitt
Sep 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
4.5/5 Stars

This review and many others can be found on my blog - Feed Your Fiction Addiction

I really LOVED this book! It started out with an intriguing concept and then kept me guessing throughout the entire story. I really never knew where this book was going to go next - something that I loved!

The summary describes the book pretty well, so I'll get right to my review.

The negatives:
Slightly unbelievable.
I occasionally had a hard time believing that all of the cult members were going along with
La Coccinelle
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
The synopsis makes this one sound like a great read, right? The forty-four bookmarks' worth of "wish-I-had-a-red-pen" snarky editor comments in my e-reading app make it pretty clear that this book did not live up to my expectations. I rolled my eyes so many times while reading this, my eyeballs still hurt.

What's the problem? First of all, the Reverend, his dastardly master plan, and his absolute control over the community are too far-fetched to be believed. Edenton has supposedly been around for
Chocolit Chick
Jan 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
A really sharp chick named Judith Viorst once said, “Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands—and then eat just one of the pieces.” Yeah, that’s pretty much how I felt after reading Elisa Nader’s novel, Escape From Eden because after I finished the final page, I went to reach for the next piece…and there was none to be had. Nooooooooooooooooooooo!

Nader’s novel starts in the thick of things, like a dense South American jungle, as our unwitting protag
Sep 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Elisa Nader’s YA suspense adventure novel, Escape from Eden, grabs the reader right from the start with first person narration and a pleasantly snarky teen narrator. Transported to the middle of the jungle, living in a religious cult, waiting on the cusp of adulthood, Mia sets up breakfast for the commune before bed, bakes cookies to order, lives in the girl’s dorm, and wonders if her friend will get to wear pink when she goes to Prayer Circle. When a new family joins the cult, Gabriel’s honest ...more
Zoe and the Edge
Jan 24, 2014 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars
I actually found this book quite hard to stomach. I think it was all a bit too much for me.

Mia doesn't believe in this religious dystopia that the Reverend has made. She remembers the pleasures of life before she was forced to come live in Eden. All her little friends are innocent and happy to be religious zombies but Mia longs for escape.

I liked the romantic banter. Mia and Gabriel are really two peas in a pod.
Mia - “When was the last time you punched someone?”
Gabriel - “About ten
Sep 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Mia, her mother, and little brother did not always live in Edenton. There was a time when Mia can remember life before Eden when her father was alive. Now Mia and her family live in Eden. They are not alone. Eden is a compound for cult followers. In Eden, Reverend Elias is in charge.

Mia has dreamed of leaving Eden. She finds that her dream might become a reality when she meets the new boy, Gabriel. Together they learn things about the Reverend. The biggest surprise is that there really is life
Aj Sterkel
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
If you’ve paid creepily close attention to my reviews, you probably know that I have a thing for cult books. I’ve read a lot of them. Like, a lot of them. Unfortunately, Escape from Eden wasn’t one of my favorites.

Sixteen-year-old Mia lives in a Jonestown-like community deep in the South American rainforest. She dreams of escaping from her life of constant backbreaking labor, but she has no idea how to go about doing it. Then she meets the rebellious (and unbearably sexy) Gabriel. Together, they
Traci Bee
Aug 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing


Deep in the South American jungle, Reverend Elias Eden and his flock of worshipers build a self sustaining little compound to worship freely, kindly, and peacefully their God. Mia Eden (for all the flock are given the surname Eden as they are all family in this new paradise) has lived in Edenton since she was ten. Now sixteen, she is struggling with the gray uniforms, unending hard work, fitness regimens, and harsh punishments. So long has Mia lived in this utilitarian ''utopia'' that s
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I won this novel for free from the Goodreads Giveaway Program. I am happy to provide my review here and hope you find time to read this novel as well.

I really liked this novel! Even while I tried to figure things out, the solution or what unfolded next, it continued to surprise me.

Nader was creative too. For example: I like how when they stole the car to escape, Gabriel had to explain the technology of the car from the GPS to voice prompts. It just showed how sheltered the girls were in Eden Vil
Jun 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Cults are fascinating material and this one was enjoyable for that reason, though the nefarious cult business seemed rather over the top.

That said, it was far too "young adult" for me - the budding teen romance was too "Twilight-ish" for my tastes - however, to a young reader full of raging hormones - this would likely be very appealing.

Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I normally don’t read YA books other than the big ones...twilight, giver etc....however I was more than happy when I finished this one. I could care less about the YA love in this but this has a great scary and dramatic story to tell. A compound of people who choose to live life in seclusion for the lord.... are they doing it by choice or force?
Sep 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, dystopia
* See more at:
** I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest opinion.
*** Recensione in Italiano più sotto


Mia spent six years listening to the sermons of the Reverend, six years in which she has been told what is right and what is wrong. During the sermon that day, Aliyah, her friend, claims to have received the call and receive a call means being invited by the Reverend in the “Prayer Circle”. The initiation into Circle
Sep 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book for free from Book Nerd Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

My Initial Reaction...

Escape from Eden immediately sucked me in and held my attention until the very end. The characters were very well written and believable. The plot moved the story forward well, and although there were a few moments I felt were a little less than believable or explainable, overall it kept me anxiously awaiting the ne
Jess Reidt
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
And she lived. I'd like to see another book about the girl and boy and there life like 10 years later. All in all it was great ending. ...more
Jul 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: review-copy
3.5 stars review to come on blog tour

--- [Updated 25.09.2013]

“Idioms are idioms for a reason”

In a year of post-apocalyptic Dystopians, science-fiction and new-adult debuts, Escape from Eden was a really refreshing and different read – it touched on a subject I don’t think I’ve ever read before and I really enjoyed it.

Set in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, the cult following of Eden is led to believe that their way of life is perfect and their town of Edenton is a utopia. Except for our prot
My original review for this title can be found HERE on The Book Hookup.

**Special Note:** An e-ARC of this title was provided by the publishers via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review an any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this galley and not from the published version.

The Lowdown: Welcome to Edenton, a “Utopian” community set in the South American jungle, where the faithful are kept in and the outside world is never in c
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
(Formatting may be lost; originally posted at

**Actual Rating**: 4.5 stars
**Book Format**: eBook

First, I want to exclaim at how overjoyed I am that my request for the ARC of Escape from Eden was accepted. I've been ignoring my accepted titles for a while now - because of all the well-known books coming out - and for that, I am deeply sorry. If only I had read this sooner, I wouldn't feel so bad now. This is truly one of the best books I've read in a while, and
Aug 10, 2013 rated it liked it
The original review for this title can be found HERE on The Book Hookup.

Christina's Review:

**Special Note:** An e-ARC of this title was provided by the publishers via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review an any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this galley and not from the published version.

The Lowdown: Welcome to Edenton, a “Utopian” community set in the South American jungle, where the faithful are kept in and the out
Sorcha O'Dowd
An absolute masterpiece of a novel. Books like this are the reason for my love of reading! 5 + stars! Full review will be posted on the 22nd January during my stop on the 'Escape from Eden' blog tour. http://www.oldvictorianquill.wordpres...

You know those books that you don’t just read but experience right alongside the main characters? Like the great Harry Potter series, this book is up there with the best. I felt every single emotion that these characters must have felt, felt the hairs on my
Jul 11, 2013 rated it liked it
*I was provided with an electronic copy of this book from the author and Merit Press in return of an honest review. No monetary compensation was provided in this exchange.*

Review originally posted on Moonlight Gleam's Bookshelf.

FINAL RATING: 3/5 stars

When Mia was 10 years old, she lost her father... And her life would never be the same. The loss of her father lead Mia and her family to financial and economic struggles and their eventual introduction to the Reverend. The Reverend is the religious
Amir at NotSoLiterary
Nov 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, 4-5-stars
Rating: ★★★★½ - Amazing

This is one of those books where I desperately wanted, no needed , a happy ending.

I started reading this before bed. The initial plan was to only read a few chapters then continue the next day. I really should stop kidding myself when I say that "I'll only read a couple of chapters". It just doesn't happen because I always end up staying up until the wee hours of the morning. If you read Escape from Eden, you would understand me. I honestly thought I would just get a c
Rachel Patrick
Aug 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone.
This review (and others) can be seen in all its proper formatting glory on my blog

4.5 Stars

Going into Escape from Eden, I think I was expecting a book about a girl who lives in a cult (I'm not sure what else to call it), but because she doesn't like living there, she decides to escape with a boy she likes. (So basically a complete and total love story.) You could say that I got parts of that (I wouldn't call it a love story, though there's romance), but really, I got so much more. And I mean tha
Jul 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
I've always been fascinated with cults. It's that morbid curiosity thing and I just can't help it. So when I heard about this Jonestown-esque story I just had to read it. This book promises suspense, action and shocking secrets and boy does it deliver.

Real Life Dystopia: The setting in this book is masterfully put together. Nader has created a horrible paradise that feels so real I'm not entirely convinced it isn't. Of course the thing is, it is real. No, Edenton isn't a real place, but t
Lelia Taylor
Sep 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: full-reviews
I’m dating myself, I know, but I remember Jonestown very well. For those of us on the outside, it was unbearably sad but also a real shock to our sensibilities because we had never really experienced anything remotely like this. There had been other megalomaniacs before Jim Jones—Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot and Kim Il Sung come to mind—but, so many years later, most of us just didn’t contemplate the possibility of a “civilian” having such total control over the people who believed in him. Those othe ...more
Dec 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Writer Person

At some point, you get in a funk. Where no matter what you read, it's all the same and you trudge slowly through pages of a book.

So. Very. Slowly.

And I've been feeling a lot like that lately. It's like I want to read, but then I think about how much I have to do and somehow I end up doing nothing. At all.

What's my point here? My point here is that sometimes trudging through a book leads to disappointment. And other times you're glad you took the chance.
This is not to say that this b
Kristin (Blood,Sweat and Books)
Escape From Eden is a book that took me completely by surprise. I knew it'd be about a Fundamentalist Cult living in the Jungle and that it'd filled with some sort of romance as most Young Adult books these days do but I never realized how deeply disturbing and twisted the book would actually become and how far and wide the corruption would extend.

What I really liked about Escape From Eden were the characters.When we meet Mia she is already questioning the system. She loves her community but als
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