IT STARTS like any other day for Jess – get up, draw on eyeliner, cover up tattoos and head to school. But soon it’s clear this is no ordinary day, because Jess’s best friend, Eden, isn’t at school . . . she’s gone missing. Jess knows she must do everything in her power to find Eden before the unthinkable happens. So Jess decides to retrace the summer she and Eden have just spent together. But looking back means digging up all their buried secrets, and she starts to question everything she thought Eden’s summer had been about ... A tense and thrilling journey through friendship, loss, betrayal and self discovery.
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EDEN SUMMER by Liz Flanagan is a rollercoaster of a novel. In this contemporary young adult book, Jess’ best friend, Eden, has gone missing. Eden’s disappearance is the cherry on top of other devastating events Jess has lived through. Refusing to face any more heartache, Jess is determined to find Eden before the worst happens. Teaming up with Liam, Eden’s estranged boyfriend and Jess’ secret crush, the pair search all the places Eden could be. As memories from the past begin to resurface and new information comes to light, Jess wonders if she really knew Eden as well as she thought. Perhaps, she didn’t even know her at all.
Liz Flanagan is a masterful writer. It is obvious just from the first sentence of the book how strong her command of the English language is. Not only does her prose have a lyrical quality to it, but it also invokes vivid imagery, so much so that I had an easy time imagining all the various settings and people Flanagan describes in this book. Equally exciting is the structure of this novel, which is informed largely by lengthy flashbacks in time. By withholding certain information, Flanagan is able to heighten the suspense and the air of mystery. The flashbacks she wrote also always feel relevant and relate to the present storyline in a very synergistic way.
Though the bulk of the book is very exciting, the ending reads a bit anticlimactic. Honestly, I was hoping for a bigger twist in the final scenes. With that being said, the culmination of the story is still satisfying enough to forgive the lack of surprise.
Overall, EDEN SUMMER is a visually stunning novel with fun chapter headings, font, and page breaks that reads just as beautiful as its shell. It is a heavy story and not for those looking for a light and bubbly tale. Fans of whodunit mysteries and thrillers will be pleased.