Escape From Eden (Goodreads | Amazon), while imperfect, was compulsively readable. Logically I could go through a list of things that bothered me but whenever I put down the book I found myself worried about the characters and wanting to keep reading.
Edenton is a small "utopia" (well according to them) in the middle of the Amazon jungle. The Flock are kept from the outside world and most of them are happy. But Mia isn't. She remembers just enough of life before Edenton to be skeptical of the pastor. She wants out, but her mother won't agree to leave.
Then Gabriel, a ridiculously good-looking troubled young man arrives with his family. If you can't guess where this is going, then well bless your heart because you're less jaded than me. The attraction escalates quickly. For her whole life Mia is kept away from boys, not allowed to court or hold hands until after she's been invited to the mysterious Prayer Circle. Even though her attraction to Gabriel is almost instantaneous, at least it's more understandable than most insta-love situations. They both want out of Edenton, and surrounded by happy little Flock members it's understandable why they bond. Even though I don't like the romance, I must say I'm glad that the book acknowledges the strangeness of Mia's feelings and captures the heart-pounding feeling of a first crush. If you're going to go there, at least capture the sensation well.
There are a couple of BIG suspension of disbelief issues later in this book. To say more would be spoilerific, but there were a few times I had trouble believing the decisions of adults pertaining to putting children in dangers. But at that point there was no other way to move the book forward, so alas suspend the disbelief.
This book was fast-paced and pretty action packed. Where the romance could have bogged it down, the plot kept moving forward. I found that I cared despite myself. Escape from Eden is a fun, witty, fast-paced read that I was unable to stop reading. While it may have flaws that didn't hinder my enjoyment. If you're scared of cults and brainwashing (TERRIFIED) and want something that's fast paced this book will probably do the trick!
I received an advance reading ebook in exchange for an honest review.