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Eleven Trilogy #1

Escaping Eleven

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In Compound Eleven, the hierarchy of the floors is everything.

My name is Eve Hamilton, and on my floor, we fight.

Which at least is better than the bottom floor, where they toil away in misery. Only the top floor has any ease in this harsh world; they rule from their gilded offices.

Because four generations ago, Earth was rendered uninhabitable—the sun too hot, the land too barren. Those who remained were forced underground. While not a perfect life down here, I’ve learned to survive as a fighter.

Except my latest match is different. Instead of someone from the circuit, my opponent is a mysterious boy from the top floor. And the look in his eyes tells me he’s different… maybe even kind.

Right before he kicks my ass.

Still, there’s something about him—something that says he could be my salvation... or my undoing. Because I’m no longer content to just survive in Eleven. Today, I'm ready to fight for more than my next meal: I'm fighting for my freedom. And this boy may just be the edge I've been waiting on.

400 pages, Hardcover

First published December 8, 2020

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About the author

Jerri Chisholm

4 books57 followers
Jerri Chisholm is a YA author, a distance runner, and a chocolate addict. Her childhood was spent largely in solitude with only her imagination and a pet parrot for company. Following that she completed a master's degree in public policy and then became a lawyer, but ultimately decided to leave the profession to focus exclusively on the more imaginative and avian-friendly pursuit of writing. She lives with her husband and three children, but, alas, no parrot.

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5 stars
183 (32%)
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238 (41%)
3 stars
110 (19%)
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32 (5%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 183 reviews
Profile Image for jessica.
2,478 reviews29.7k followers
March 24, 2021
heres a book no one is talking about and we need to change that.

this will immediately transport you back to 2010, when YA dystopian novels were the only stories worth reading. this is ‘silo’ meets ‘under the never sky’ with a little bit of ‘divergent’ vibes thrown in there for good measure.

and even though this reminded me of some great books, it has its own unique style to it. its a bit on the slower side of things plot-wise, but i was really fascinated by the day to day life in compound eleven. the characters are also very interesting to read about and i found myself caring more about them and their interactions than the actually plot anyways.

this is a really easy book to recommend for readers wanting to feel some YA dystopia nostalgia.

4.5 stars
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,038 reviews1,499 followers
May 13, 2021
Escaping Eleven by Jerri Chisholm is the first book in the new young adult science fiction fantasy, Eleven Trilogy, set in a dystopian world. The world building in this new series is built like others out there such as The Hunger Games in which the wealthy are controlling those not as well off as them. The people are sorted in underground facilities in which the poorer you are the lower the level you live.

Eve Hamilton lives in compound eleven in one of the lower floors where she fights for survival. Walking into the ring one day she finds that her opponent is a boy from one of the upper levels with whom she can’t quite forget about after the match. After the match Wren begins showing up in Eve’s life and she wonders if he could be her ticket to a way out of the compound.

While I really enjoyed reading Escaping Eleven it was one of those that reminded me a bit of other young adult series out there such as the earlier mentioned Hunger Games and the book jumps right into the main character going into a fight which also gave Divergent vibes. However, as much as it fits the molds of previous popular series the characters, world building and story did pull me in so I did enjoy reading this one. This first book of the series left the story at a cliffhanger moment so I’ll definitely be interested in seeing what happens next with the characters.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
Profile Image for Rachel Kathryn Wright.
408 reviews16 followers
December 7, 2020
I received this ARC by Netgalley for an honest review.

This book has me feeling a lot of mixed emotions because this was easy and fun to read because I haven’t read books like this in a while. But there were a few things that I didn’t like about it. One of the problems I had was the characters, most of them were not likable and the only character that I loved was the love interest, Wren. But his characterization was a bit to perfect, and the main character, Eve, I don’t think had a lot of moments where she was likable. I found that with her relationship progression she was very hot and cold about everything. And the side characters I don’t think they were developed enough and I wished we saw more of them. I was also a bit confused with the fighting rings as well, if the fighting is important than I feel that it should have been shown more. Also, the plot was not very strong because not a lot happens until the very end. What this book showed was the progression of the relationship, corrupt government, and explains why Eve has a hard time being open with people. The major reason I still enjoyed this is because Wren and it reminded me a lot of the books that really made me a reader and that was dystopian books like this. I am also very curious about what is to happen in the next book, and I hope that the author makes the following books veer away from similarities to Divergent. It is very different from that trilogy but I’m hoping that this series will end a lot differently because I didn’t like the ending of the Divergent trilogy.
Profile Image for Sheena.
560 reviews250 followers
December 23, 2020
Escaping Eleven was full of Divergent and THG vibes which I liked but at the same time made it feel slightly unoriginal. The book was a bit too long for when nothing much happens half the time. There’s a lot of internal monologue which made it drag on and took me a little longer to read this book.

The characters aren’t necessarily likable but they are easily forgettable. I did like that our main character Eve was strong and stubborn but I also felt that she was a bit selfish - which isn’t always a bad thing but I didn’t like how she came off. She did have some development and goals so I did like that.

I’m not certain if I want to continue this series because it took too long to progress and I felt myself losing interest. I did think it was a bit predictable as well. I did want more information on the hierarchy of power and some more background on how things became the way it did but I’m assuming that might be a part of the next book. I did think the way each floor represented a different social class was interesting but again, I wanted more on it.

Another thing is that I thought the love interest Wren was a bit too perfect for someone who went from enemy to lover. I didn’t mind that so much because I still liked him but his whole anger issue didn’t sit with me because it was never discussed. I also thought it was odd he beats her up and then they fall in love. I mean, I know that was the point because they are forced to fight in this society but at the same time something about him was too violent and off putting. I don’t know if I could fall in love with someone after that, especially when they still showed so much anger and violence but then acted like that part of him doesn’t exist at all. It was out of character in my opinion. Maybe something for the next book?

Thank you to Entangled Publishing and Netgalley for the advanced copy of this book!
Profile Image for Seda.
534 reviews72 followers
November 22, 2022
Tam bir giriş kitabıydı. Distopya olarak yer altındaki dünyayı, alt üst sınıf farklılıklarını; bu farklılıkların yemeden içmeye, barınmadan çalıştıkları işe kadar nasıl yansıdığını çok iyi anlatmıştı. Özellikle üst kattakilerin acımasızlığı, öldürmekten, dayaktan, tecavüzden sadist bir zevk almaları, alt katları canlı yerine koymamaları çok güzel vurgulanmıştı. Distopya işleyişi açısından yazarın kalemini sevdim.

Ama yarattığı distopik dünyayı anlatmakta sergilediği başarıyı, karakterleri işleme açısından pek gösterememişti. Eve’in içinde yaşadıklarını anladım -ki anlamamak imkansızdı, iç sesler biraz fazla tekrara düşmüştü- ama karakteri hakkında özgürlüğü arzulaması veya kardeşinin olayına takıntılı olması dışında çok fazla bilgi vermemişti. Aynı şekilde Wren için de karakteri çok iyi tanıttığını söyleyemeyeceğim. Buna rağmen Wren’i sevdim, Eve’e pek ısınamadım diyebilirim. Eve, aslında yaşının yakışanı olmasına rağmen, çoğunlukla beni rahatsız eden, sevmeyi zorlaştıran bir ergen tavrı içindeydi.

Güzel işlenmiş distopik dünyası benim için daha ağır bastı. Özellikle acımasızlığı vurgulayan 2 olayı ve sonrasını okurken çok keyif aldım. (Olaylar pek keyifli olmasa da hareket açısından çok güzeldi.) 300’den sonrası çok akıcıydı ve merakla okuduğum bölümlerdi. Bunun yanında karakteri biraz daha olgun, biraz daha sevilesi yazsaydı çok daha keyifle okunacak bir kitap olurdu. Biraz da benim geç kaldığım bir kitap olabilir diye düşünüyorum. Daha önce okusam, daha çok severim dediğim kitaplardandı.

Serinin devamında nasıl bir yol izleyecek, ilk kitaptaki tahminlerim tutacak mı, devamı geldiğinde göreceğiz bakalım.
Profile Image for Booktastically Amazing.
436 reviews371 followers
December 11, 2022
This series is so underrated it HURTS.

If you need more convincing apart from the SHOW STOPPING SYNOPSIS, LIKE BRO- JUST READ THE BOOK, I shall list some special items for your future inventory of 'Why the heck did Booksy recommend this-'

1.) The MC is a streetfighter basically, that actually gets pummeled once in a while and is not invincible but pretty darn strong.

2.) Steam and swoon with tension is this book's middle name.

3.) The love interest is as deliciously gray charactered as they come. Likeeeeeee, need i same moreeeeee

4.) The friendships are so. freaking. GOOD.

5.) And finally, it's such an easy book to read! Not the topics mind you, but because the storyline is simple enough, yet filled with betrayal and intrigue, it keeps you HOOKED.

Ugh, just go read it already
Profile Image for Celia.
Author 6 books469 followers
January 22, 2021

That is the sound of me finishing this book and screaming into my hands because that ending OMG

I absolutely loved this book. Eve, as a protagonist reminded me so much of the strong, fierce heroines we've come to love. I mean, she's fury incarnate from the get-go. There's no catalyst that wakes her up; she's pissed and she wants you to know it from page one.

I loved the setting. It was like City of Ember mixed with the sort-of plot of Snow Piercer with a heroine like Katniss on drugs. There's all this mystery about what happened to the world and how above ground looks. All we get are glimpses into the light and we see it through Eve's eyes. She wants out. She wants freedom. And she's willing to do anything for it.

Wren was a fantastic love interest. He was kind, compassionate and gentle with Eve even when she didn't deserve it.

It's late so I'm going to make this short. I loved this book. I need book two in my greedy hands now.
Profile Image for Mallory.
980 reviews52 followers
January 3, 2021
This was an interesting book that reminded me a lot of Fallout. I’m not sure it was a unique story but it was interesting and I will be following up to read the second book. The characters weren’t very likeable but they all I’ve in a seriously messed up compound. I’ll say the foreshadowing for the end wa as little too strong and I could see that twist coming long before they got there. The love interest was certainly intriguing but developed a little too quickly to be truly believable. This was a twist on the recent flood of end of the world post-apocolyptic materials that was far too realistic. Station Eleven has existed for 4 generations ever since the sun became too hot and made the surface of the earth inhospitable. The wealthy funded the building of various stations and allowed craftmen and workers to come as long as they understood the wealthy would be in charge.
Profile Image for Katherine Paschal.
2,124 reviews55 followers
December 3, 2020
This was incredibly slow, with a lot of day to day details that I felt bogged the plot down and made my attention wane. The book takes place over roughly 6 weeks and we get to experience every single, occasionally boring, day over that six week period. I think all the details were to show how awful life in Zone Eleven really is- but let me tell you, I got it after the first few chapters, so all the rest was overkill in my view. The story was almost 400 pages and not a lot happened, everything the book strove for occurred at the very end when I wanted more action overall.

I really did not like the main character Eve, she was all hard edges and tough attitude, prickly in every situation when she didn't need to be, closed off so nobody could get to know her- even me as the reader which made it hard to root for her. And there was a love interest, a very Romeo and Juliet forbidden love (that started after he beat the stuffing out of her). And he was great, maybe a little too great- very understanding, very caring, very forgiving, good with kids, loved everything Eve loves, didn't care about status issues, full of self doubt even though he seemed perfect... I felt like he was more an idea than an actual person.

I had no idea that this was a series until I got to the very end, when surprise, this is the first book and there was no real resolution (the ending was super abrupt!). I am not certain I will pick up the next book in this world, but I am not opposed to the idea since I do have questions that were not answered.
Profile Image for Seyma.
593 reviews
November 22, 2022
Eve karakterine pek ısınamadım Wren'i çok sevdim (Eve Wren'i hak etmiyor diyenler kulübü başkanı)
Profile Image for Julie - One Book More.
899 reviews154 followers
December 7, 2020
Escaping Eleven is an immersive, action-packed story about one girl’s fight for freedom. In this dystopian world, the earth was too hot to survive, and people were forced to live in underground compounds. Eve, a sixteen-year-old fighter on the cusp of choosing her career, is stifled by the hierarchal rules and restrictions. Eve desires freedom above all else. Haunted by the loss of her younger brother and the unfair and extreme rules of the compound which forced his banishment, Eve is determined to escape Compound Eleven. However, can Eve leave her family, friends, a new relationship with a boy named Wren, and all she’s ever known behind?

Eve is a well-layered and fascinating protagonist. Strong and vulnerable, certain and unsure, Eve has such depth. Taught from a very young age to be self-reliant, Eve has complicated relationships with her parents. Luckily, she has supportive friends and a new love interest to fill the void of an absentee family. Above all, Eve craves freedom and hopes that is the answer to her unhappiness and discontent. I love that she faces obstacles head-on, and her strength of character is prevalent throughout the story.

Excellent use of imagery and symbolism further stresses the smothered suffocation Eve feels living in the confines of Compound Eleven. It is a brutal and unforgiving caste system, especially for the people of the lower castes where violence, depravity, and suffering are a way of life. The author does a great job of detailing the ugliness of Eve’s life in the lower levels, which stands in stark contrast to Wren’s upper-level world.

Wren, Eve’s love interest, is an interesting character as well, and I’m hopeful we’ll learn more about him and his life before meeting Eve. He understands Eve well, and their relationship makes Eve reevaluate her prejudices, beliefs, and feelings about the upper castes. Other characters, Especially Eve’s close friends and enemies are dynamic additions to the story as well.

I enjoyed this engrossing YA dystopia. Issues like abuse, emotional abandonment, and unrequited love are explored throughout the story, as are themes of facing one’s fears, fighting against oppression and for equality, and rejecting corruptive power. Plus, there’s a forbidden romance, a ton of action, a shocking betrayal, compelling characters, and a surprising cliffhanger ending.

I can’t wait to find out what’s in store for Eve in future books in the series! Thanks so much to Netgalley, Entangled Teen, and the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Cassidy.
231 reviews37 followers
January 24, 2021
Read: January 2021
Rating: 3.5 stars

Thank you to Entangled Publishing for a copy of this book!
This is very much a typical YA dystopian novel, which is not a bad thing. I can't say I liked any of the characters that much but the story was compelling enough to hold me. Even though I had my guesses, I needed to see what was outside the compound. I appreciate that Eve is a fighter and everyone has to fight for survival, but the constant in-your-face vibes from her and others got old. I will probably read the second book.

CW: violence, sexual assault, toxic relationship, genocide
Profile Image for Büşra Topcu (thestarkinthenorth).
368 reviews15 followers
November 2, 2022
On Bir Üçlemesi’nin ilk kitabı On Bir’den Kaçış, tam bir kaçış kitabıydı. Çok heyecanlı bir distopyaya giriş yaptık. Yeryüzü yaşanamaz hale gelince insanlar yeraltına yerleşkeler kuruyor. Yerleşke On Bir’de hiyerarşi hüküm sürüyor. Açıkçası hiyerarşinin her zaman adil olmadığını düşündüğümden beni rahatsız eden bir kavram. Kitapta da hiyerarşiden hiç hazzetmedim ve bunu bekliyordum. Üst kattakiler muhteşem bir hayat yaşarken alt kattakiler sefalet içinde ve hayat mücadelesiyle günlerini geçiriyor. Aslında günümüz dünyası da böyle ve aslında biz de bir distopyanın içindeyiz. Sadece bu derece göze batmadığından yokmuş gibi davranıyoruz. Kitap, bence günümüz dünyasına güzel göndermeler yapıyor bu açıdan. Yazar bunu bilinçli mi yapmış yoksa distopya böyle olmalı diyerek mi yazmış bilemiyorum.

Eve, yaşadığı katta çok güçlü bir dövüşçü oluşuyla hayatta kalıyor ama artık bir öğün yemek için mücadele etmekten sıkılmış durumda. Son maçındaki rakibi üst katlardan gizemli biri ve Eve artık özgürlüğü için savaşmak istiyor, belki bu gizemli çocuk ona yardım edebilir.

Eve’in hem karakteristik hem fiziksel açıdan güçlü oluşunu çok sevdim. Wren de kalbimi tüm şüphelerime rağmen çalmayı başardı. İlerleyen kitaplarda karakter gelişimlerini okumak için sabırsızlanıyorum. Umarım diğer karakterleri de devam kitaplarında daha ayrıntılı okuruz.

Distopya okumayı çok seviyorum. İçinde aşk da varsa tadından yenmiyor. Ama giriş kitabından öyle büyük aşklar beklemeyin, bu beklenti olmadan okuyun bence. Ben öyle yaptım. 🤭 Bu kitap biraz da kaçış kitabı olduğundan heyecan seviyesi de yüksekti. Dolayısıyla bana göre seri için güzel bir giriş kitabı olmuş. Yaratılan evreni çok sevdim ve devam kitaplarını aşırı merak ediyorum. 😍
Profile Image for Brinley.
937 reviews67 followers
September 27, 2020
This book was an exciting read, even though I had a few problems with how it was written.

It follows Eve, a resident of Compound Eleven, the haven people fled to when the Earth overheated. Over time, the haven became worse and worse, and now, Eve is confined to a place where she fights to make a living, and lacks freedom. After a particularly vicious fight, she decides that escape is her only option.

My main problem with Escaping Eleven was the speed of the plot. I had such high hopes based off of the beginning, but I was a bit disappointed by where it continued from. As soon as I started the book, I was sucked in, I couldn't wait to read more about Eve and Wren. As the book continued, I lost interest though. Pretty much the entire middle lacked action, and while I still loved the characters, I got a bit bored.

Eve, our main character, was fairly compelling. I appreciated the way she was written, her thoughts on fighting, and relationships felt realistic. I do wish that her relationship with her family had been explored a bit more, because while it's mentioned, it's glossed over most of the time.

Wren was our other main character, and while I liked him, I had a few problems with him. I think part of it stems from the fact that the first time we saw him, he was refusing to fight Eve because she was a girl. I get that this is considered chivalrous, but as their world's cruelty is revealed, it felt a bit weird. I also wish that his violent side had been explored a bit more, along with Eve's feelings toward it.

Despite my struggle with Wrens character, I did like his and Eves relationship. While it happened fairly fast, I didn't have a huge problem with it. I really liked seeing all of their friends interact, it gave us a few more romances to root for.

I do feel like the concept of this book has been done several times before, but this was still a super interesting book. I'll be looking to read the next book in the series, and see where Eve and Wrens journey continues to!

Thanks to Netgalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Frank Chillura (OhYouRead).
699 reviews21 followers
December 8, 2020
This has everything and more that I look for in a book! First off, we get Dystopian... think Hunger Games, Divergent, Uglies, The Giver, Partials, Enclave, Delerium, Matched... this book is one among a list of greats in my ALL TIME FAVORITE Sub-Genre! (Side Note: Obvs I couldn’t list them all!)

We get a BADASS Female MC in Eve! She’s like an underground cage-fighter... only her entire world is the cage and she’s fighting to get out!

We get a Secretive & Damaged Love Interest in Wren. But also, can we talk about how much I love his name! Wren is definitely a name that screams “Here comes a MAN who’s gonna steal my heart!” We will spend this Trilogy trying to crack that egg, but it’s gonna be the perfect Soft-Boiled... I just KNOW IT!

This was definitely the thrill ride I signed up for. I just don’t know how I’m gonna wait for Book 2. The SUSPENSE!!! It’s killing me!

Thank You to Jerri Chisholm & Entangled Teen for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest review!


You can find this review and more on my Instagram: @ohyouread
Profile Image for Michelle .
1,990 reviews222 followers
December 21, 2020
Escaping Eleven is a young adult dystopian romance by author Jerri Chisholm. Escaping Eleven is Jerri’s debut novel, and I really enjoyed it. I was excited to learn that it is going to be the first book in a series. Book two is called Unraveling Eleven and it is currently slated to be released in September of 2021! Escaping Eleven had a unique world set up. In this dystopian novel the climate of earth has made the world uninhabitable, and the remaining survivors of this area of the world are forced underground to live. Underground their new society is divided into a caste like system, where the floor that you live on determines your job, and your status within the compound. The higher to the top floor you are, the more upper class you are considered- quite literally.

Our main character, Eve lives on the lower floors of Compound Eleven, which puts her more in the laborer/have not category of this society. But Eve is scrappy, and may seem a little closed off an prickly to most outsiders looking in, but I appreciated her skeptical prickly nature. I loved Eve! I think she felt real and fleshed. She brought the story to life in my opinion. She is not living in an easy world by any means, and her outward personality likely helps her with her fights. In the lower floors there is something that felt like a fight club to me, and Eve is one of the best fighters! That is until a mysterious boy shows up and whoops her butt.

I loved that the lover interest, Wren, started off by fighting her. Because though Wren is a great fighter, he is a real sweetheart. His compassionate soul helped to counterbalance out Eve’s harsh exterior I thought. I really enjoyed the two of them. And I liked the story of Escaping Eleven. I thought this novel has a really strong premise, and a great start and a awesome ending. I can’t wait for the next book. That being said, the story did drag a bit in the middle for me. But with the ending of escaping Eleven and I am really hopeful that the next book will have more action and movement in it. I would also like to learn a bit more about the world in the next installment. Overall, this was a solid start to a series. I am interested in continuing on and seeing what happens with Eve, Wren and with this world overall. I think this was a really good debut from author Jerri Chisholm. I can’t wait to read more from her!
Profile Image for Lauren loves llamas.
802 reviews60 followers
December 9, 2020
Content warnings:

It’s not clear from the blurb, but this is actually the first book in a trilogy. While I found the resolution satisfactory, there’s still quite a few plot threads left hanging.

“Sometimes I wonder if it is better to be alive and caged or dead and free. I guess if I’m fighting for my life right now, I believe the former.
It is always better to be alive.”

To be honest, the entire plot is basically summed up by the book title: Eve is determined to escape the underground Compound Eleven before she’s forced to pick a job and swear allegiance to the Premes, the residents of the top floor. That means she has just over a month to figure out where she’s going – and how. While she’s fascinated by the surface, everyone knows that it’s uninhabitable due to unrelenting heat, so her only choice is escaping to one of the connecting compounds. But she’s keeping her escape a secret from her friends, and things get even more complicated when she somehow ends up befriending a Preme after facing him in a boxing match. But her friendship with Wren leads her to question a lot of her assumptions about Premes and what she wants from life. Is one person enough to make staying in Eleven worth it, or is their relationship just another cage?

“You know, if anyone bears a resemblance to the sun, it’s you.”
“A dangerous, intense, burning ball of fire? Yeah, that sounds like you.”

Eve is angry, confused and more likely to punch someone than talk to them. In other words, I loved her. From a young age, she’s felt betrayed by the Compound, especially the Premes, and she’s just naive enough to think that she can escape to somewhere better. The pacing is slow and a bit uneven. There’s a lot of daily life bits – practicing for the fights, feeding the Noms, just hanging around with her friends, interspersed with more action-oriented scenes. This didn’t bother me that much as the slower scenes gave us more insight into Eve. And that’s really what the story is about – Eve coming to terms with how she feels about her place in Compound Eleven, in her family, and among her friends. She starts out angry and a bit naive, and over the course of a little over a month, she grows as a person. There’s a lot to be said about tarring groups with the same brush (all Premes are bad, all guards are bad) and judging people without fully comprehending their motives. Plus, she comes to understand herself better – while she wants her freedom, even if it means her death, there are some lengths she’s not willing to go to. Finding out what those are, though, is quite the story.

“Besides, it’s kind of hard to get a girl out of your head once she sucker punches you in the face. Never a dull moment with you, Eve.”

Wren’s more of a cipher. He verged a bit too close to the “too perfect to be true” love interest. There were hints of more to him – why was he in the fighting ring against Eve to begin with? – and other references to a violent nature, but I never felt like that was fully explored. Part of it, I think, is that we only get Eve’s POV, and she’s downright snippy about spending time with a Preme. She’s trying to convince herself she doesn’t care about Wren or why he’s there, and frankly she tries to avoid talking to him as much as possible. The development of their relationship felt realistic to me, and I liked how Wren and his friends fit into Eve’s friend group.

Overall, I very much enjoyed this book and I will definitely be picking up the next one. If you’re looking for a character-driven dystopian romance, this is the book for you!

I received an advance review copy of this book from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Profile Image for Nikole Clow.
170 reviews1 follower
January 10, 2021
Let me tell you, you are in for a w ild ride! Escaping Eleven is action-packed, sprinkled with intense and unforgettable moments, and beautiful prose. The characters are wonderfully developed and fiercely captured. Escaping Eleven will easily immerse you in the world and leave you wishing the sequel was already in your hands. This is definitely one of those books that will stick with you for a while.

Eve is one of those main characters you will have a hard time forgetting about. She’s wonderfully layered with a sharp and witty personality. She’s a fascinating character that you just want to piece together. Eve is strong-willed and knows she can only really rely on herself. Yes, she has those close friendships with people she trusts, but in the end, she knows only she will be able to save herself. Her budding relationship with Wren was something I loved seeing. Like most relationships, it starts out bumpy and unsure, but it was easy to see that these two characters needed each other. Wren makes Eve question the truths she’s always believed, especially about the upper castes. But one thing never changes: Eve’s desire for freedom, far away from Compound Eleven.

I’d definitely say Chrisholm’s debut is exquisitely written. Chrisholm has a way with words, a way with making the scenes come to life and dance in your mind. It felt as if I was there, in Compound Eleven, with Eve and Wren. I lived for that feeling of being immersed in the story. I loved being able to make those connections with the characters, especially with Eve. Chrisholm’s writing beautifully captures the essence of this story and lays it perfectly in her story. Her world building is phenomenal, and character development is just as good. Chrisholm is definitely an author to keep an eye on – I can already tell she’s going to create some truly magnificent stories.

Overall, I very much enjoyed this book and I can’t wait to see what happens in the sequel. If you are looking for a new exciting read, with several action-packed scenes, a blossoming romance, and exquisite character building, then I definitely recommend reading Chrisholm’s debut!
Profile Image for Petra.
69 reviews15 followers
October 15, 2020
Thank you to Entangled Publishing for providing me with ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Gritty, intense and not sparing you reality and hardships that is living in Compound Eleven and touching serious real life problems.

The earth becomes more and more baren,the sun is burning hotter and is no longer possible to walk safely outside....so all they can do is to move all the life underground but with it comes new ruthless order with no mercy if you don't follow the rules and stick to your level.

Our heroine Eve is one of the Compound Eleven's inhabitants and after so much oppression and so much loss she feels suffocated living there and is determined to find a way to go outside and taste freedom no matter the consequences.

I loved that about her that she is tough as nails and so stubborn but at the same time ,despite her ruthless surrounding she is kind and caring.

Torn between not leaving her friends and family alone in that place and finding freedom she meets THE boy from the upper level - Wren that changes everything and one more reason to stay and at the same time her only hope of getting free.

I was left curious about him and wanted to know him better , i think Eve was a little egocentric and didn't dig deep and tried to know him that much(especially tha talk about his dark side was left hanging) therefore we were left with not so full picture of him (really wished that we hadchapters with his point of view so we hear a little bit of his mind!).

I have to mention the atmosphere was so gripping that you can feel the tension,the stale air and little claustrophobic of the life there.Also both Eve and Wren's friends added a lot of color and lovable characters and lot of emotions.

The last 50 pages or so i was at the edge of my seat and prayed we get some king of closure and not left hanging and boy i wasn't disappointed and got relaxed exhale and i can't wait for the next book to see what awaits Wren and Eve after all they've been through.
Profile Image for Erika Sarutobi.
582 reviews22 followers
November 21, 2021
2.5 stars

Stories about people living underground because the world has become hazardous are something that fascinates me, especially if generations have passed. This book gave me The Platform (2019) vibes because the synopsis talks about floors and fighting. Well, it definitely didn’t meet my expectations because the fighting was just a job option not the entire premise of the setting (but some fights do breakout but the book doesn’t revolve around that often).

Eve started out okay but as the book goes on, I started to find her annoying. She brings up the discrimination when she's together with Wren a lot and being dramatic over how he “almost killed her” when she insisted on fighting him and she was literally beating him up when he repeatedly told her to stop (this was a match btw). She sometimes thinks he would kill her somehow eventually even though he has been saving her ass every time.

Overall, the lore and the world setting were very interesting but I honestly got tired. I have been waiting the entire book as to when will they escape but it never happened until the very last page. The escape keeps getting derailed with romance and melodrama shoved in between. The fighting scenes were good but what I wanted was the escape and them trying to survive in the wild while trying to make others aware of the situation they’re placed in by the higher ups. Reading the synopsis of book 2, I understand why the escape was so derailed and things being buildup but that's what I hated about the book so I have no plans on picking up the series because I know I’ll just be exhausted reading through it again.

Trigger warning: violence, attempted sexual assault and domestic abuse (her friend had bruises because of her boyfriend but offscreen).

Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy for an honest review.
Profile Image for Lauren (thebookscript).
644 reviews230 followers
January 13, 2021
Eve Hamilton lives in an underground compound due to the suns heat making it impossible to live above ground. The compound is far from perfect...with a corrupt caste system, unbearable jobs, and persecution and violence on the rise from the upper floors/government.

Eve is also a fighter. A literal get in the ring type of hard hitter. A match between her and a member of a higher floor may result in more than just a bruised ego and a black eye...wink wink...nudge nudge.

The relationship between Eve and Wren is the driving force of this book. That and Eves ever churning curiosity for life outside of the compound — a life in the what once was apparently full of fresh cool air.

I honestly found this hard to put down. Maybe it’s because I haven’t read dystopian in a while but it was just what I needed. A powerful girl meets an attractive but almost off limits guy from the upper floors gave this a total forbidden lovers type of feel. Always here for that.

Yes it has hunger games and divergent vibes to it but it still feels like a new book to me. Eve is a character who is super torn between family that really isn’t there for her, friends and her need and curiosity for freedom. I think this was a good start to the series and there is SO much more of this world and these characters that can still be left to explore...SO I will definitely be reading book 2!

Thank you to Entangled Teen for sending me a copy and putting it on my radar. It pulled me out of the slumps and now I’m so excited to share it with others.
Yes this is a #kissingbook but it’s YA and tame.
Profile Image for Alicen.
38 reviews6 followers
January 11, 2023
All I can say is excellent! This book was absolutely wonderful. It was exactly what I needed to read right now. I will have a full review up soon that is hopefully more coherent than this. 😂
November 16, 2021
*Thank you to NetGalley, Entangled Teen and Chapters by Chapters for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.*

This book transported me right back to my dystopian phase in the early 2010s. The concept reminded me a lot about the 100, except instead of people escaping the world in space, they go underground.

Eve is a sixteen year-old who dreams of escpaing Compound Eleven. There is a hierarchy of floors, and she is a Lower Mean. Everyone is subject to a one-child policy, but Eve’s mother had a second child, Jack, who was discovered when he was three years old and left above ground to die. Eve wants nothing more to go above ground and she hopes to find him. She plans to leave before she has to choose her future job. Eve is a very physically strong character, she is an occasional fighter who wins pretty much every match. Until, Wren. Eve fights Wren, a preme from the top floor, and he kicks her ass. From that moment, Wren and Eve are drawn to each other.

‘Even with blood coating his face, he is handsome.’

Eve is a complicated character, I think the author portrays her very well, as the readers can understand her conflicting about leaving Compound Eleven because of her friends and Wren. Eve has complicated relationships with both her parents and lives alone. She begins keeping secrets from her friends as she plans to leave the Compound. There is a clear difference between Eve’s life and Wren’s, and the author explores this through job prospects, amenities and just general lifestyle. Eve and her friends are all very supportive of one another, and the author partially explores domestic abuse through a specific relationship in the book.

‘Perhaps that’s all life is. A series of deaths and rebirths, over and over until we can be born again no more.’

Wren remains a very mysterious character but I can’t wait to find out more about him. He was my favourite character in this book, but I would like to know a lot more. I enjoyed the development of their relationship as he helped Eve open up and see things from different perspectives. I think they work well together and I hope to see more of them in the future instalments!

I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read the sequel. I’m very intrigued as to where the story will go next. If you love The 100, The Hunger Games, Divergent, and other similar dystopian novels, then give this one a go!
Profile Image for Fizza.
Author 25 books33 followers
September 21, 2021
This is one of the best Dystopian YA novel I have ever read. The characters are well-developed and lovable, the plot is intriguing and the story is well-paced. There is enough drama, violence, sadness, and romance to keep the readers at the edge of their seats. You won't want to put it down once you started this page-turner. I absolutely loved it and would recommend to anyone who enjoys a good Dystopian story. It's not a standalone and ends with a cliffhanger. Now, I can't wait to read the next book.

Eve lives in an underground compound. Her life is a mess and she hates the entire class-based system where some people are treated like royalty while others like animals. She wants to get as far away from this place as possible. Unfortunately, there is no escape. Yet, she is determined to find a way out even if it killed her.

Wren is a Preme (an upper-class citizen of the compound). By all accounts he should be happy with his privileged life, but nothing could be further from the truth. When he meets Eve, things change. She is like no other girl he has ever known before. He doesn't care that she from the lower floor or that she is prone to violence. Her life has just been different from his.

Will the two ever find a way to live in harmony when their reality is one of hatred, division, and violence? I thoroughly enjoyed this first book in a trilogy and will be looking forward to the next books. I remember when the Dystopian books were all the rage, but I never read any. Just didn't feel like my kind of thing. Still, I am glad I read this book. It was worth it.
Profile Image for Kaele’s Krazy Book Obsession.
426 reviews1 follower
November 11, 2021
Such an interesting premise for a dystopian book! The sun and heat have intensified so society moved underground. We follow Eve who is a fighter on the middle level. She wants freedom to go to the surface. She meets this boy from the upper wealthy level who’s actually very down to earth unlike most of those that are high up in their society and she realizes that maybe they aren’t all so bad. Now she just needs an opportunity to get to the surface…

I really like the main characters. I feel like their relationship might seem a little young and immature at times, but overall this was a great start and I will be picking up the sequel!
Profile Image for Dreams.
117 reviews2 followers
September 14, 2021
To say I flew through this book would be an understatement! I was instantly hooked from the beginning! Action-packed, intense and unforgettable moments.

A huge thank you to Entangled Publishing for a free copy to read and review!

Areas of this book definitely had me comparing it to early 2000 YA Dystopian but also a completely new story! I was thoroughly engrossed with the characters and storyline. The world building was wonderful, and I was immediately attached to the main character.

If you loved Divergent, Hunger Games, Uglies… then you definitely need to pick up this book.
Profile Image for Tani.
245 reviews256 followers
Want to read
September 26, 2020
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to the publishers and Netgalley.
Profile Image for claire.
113 reviews35 followers
June 25, 2021
Nah cuz this was so good and I’m so so SO excited for the sequel!!!!
Profile Image for Daphnee (daphneereads).
285 reviews153 followers
September 22, 2021
I haven't read a dystopian book in a very long time, but Escaping Eleven was right up my alley. Please be aware that this won't be for everyone as it is very violent and tackles a lot of serious issues.

Eve wants freedom, she wants out of Compound Eleven. And though, there is a lot of violence and sadness, there is also hope in this book. I will definitely read the next one.

Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for the free ebook copy in exchange of an honest review.
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