Eden West

Featured
 
4.3 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
3110 0
Eden West
Author(s)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
April 14, 2015
ISBN
0763674184
Buy This Book
      

Tackling faith, doubt, and transformation, National Book Award winner Pete Hautman explores a boy’s unraveling allegiance to an insular cult. Twelve square miles of paradise, surrounded by an eight-foot-high chain-link fence: this is Nodd, the land of the Grace. It is all seventeen-year-old Jacob knows. Beyond the fence lies the World, a wicked, terrible place, doomed to destruction. When the Archangel Zerachiel descends from Heaven, only the Grace will be spared the horrors of the Apocalypse. But something is rotten in paradise. A wolf invades Nodd, slaughtering the Grace’s sheep. A new boy arrives from outside, and his scorn and disdain threaten to tarnish Jacob’s contentment. Then, while patrolling the borders of Nodd, Jacob meets Lynna, a girl from the adjoining ranch, who tempts him to sample the forbidden Worldly pleasures that lie beyond the fence. Jacob’s faith, his devotion, and his grip on reality are tested as his feelings for Lynna blossom into something greater and the End Days grow ever closer. Eden West is the story of two worlds, two hearts, the power of faith, and the resilience of the human spirit.

Editor reviews

2 reviews

A new Garden of Eden
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
What I Loved:
EDEN WEST provides a stark look at life inside a modern cult through the eyes of seventeen-year-old Jacob.

Jacob begins the novel as devout as any of the Grace, the name given to the followers of the prophet Father Grace. While he has vague memories of living outside the compound, for most of his life all he's known is the rigid life of hard work and prayer. Until he meets two teenagers: Lyanna, a girl who lives on the nearby ranch, and Tobias, a new convert.

Jacob's struggle between what these two people tell him about the outside world and what he's been taught his whole life is a difficult one. He has to question everything he's always taken as fact and the foundation of his faith is shaken. The life he thought was simple and idyllic begins to show cracks as one disaster after another happens and he opens his eyes to the way things are run.

While there is a darkness to the cult, there are also hard-working people whose faith brings them a sense of safety and community. The characters in this novel are nuanced and unique, with doubts and certainties of their own.

What Left Me Wanting More:
There isn't a whole lot of action in the story. This is something that I really appreciated about the novel, because I'm a character reader, but for others, they might feel like the novel is on the slow side.

The Final Verdict:
EDEN WEST is a captivating story about faith, growing up, and the power of choice.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Is the Grass Always Greener?
(Updated: April 13, 2015)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Pete Hautman’s newest young adult novel, EDEN WEST, places the reader within the borders of Nodd, a place where many have gathered to wait for the End Times. What Hautman accomplishes in this tale about seventeen year old Jacob both dispels and asserts much of what we think we know about cults. The idea of the grass always being greener on the other side helps to guide the reader through this complicated story.

Brother Jacob walks the fence that separates Nodd from the rest of the world. Inside it is safe. Or so Jacob believes. There are many things to tempt him within and beyond the borders. And like Jacob, there are many things to tempt readers to devour this book in one sitting. With a compelling cast of realistic characters, tension, and an overall search for something better, this novel has everything needed for a successful coming of age story.

There is something to be said of a story that can open the doors to places and people that seem so far away from reality. The world of Nodd feels archaic and much too proper, but the faith of the Grace stands against everything else. This idea of faith, not so much religion, immediately creates a connection between Jacob’s character and the reader.

Jacob’s faith and morality are tested as his once safe sanctuary begins to unravel bit by bit. While he isn’t deciding which college to choose, there is a sense of choice that weighs heavy on the main character of this novel. The consequences of choice will ring true for any young adult and thus, makes this a universal read sure to connect with everyone.

When an author brings a reader into a different world, so often the negative stereotypes can be the first things depicted. But much like Ellen Hopkins has done in exploring the Mormon religion in her two novels BURNED and SMOKE, Pete Hautman takes the reader into the world of a cult and shows that behind the guise of religion there are just people like us. In this case, they are simply people who want to believe in something better. This novel can teach all of us about acceptance and the power of belief in things large and small.

Within EDEN WEST, Hautman constructs a new type of Eden, and with it, all of the temptations that brought down that last paradise. To Jacob, his world is a paradise. It isn’t until he meets people from the outside, a “Wordly” girl named Lynna and a boy named Tobias, that he sees what could be. And in this we get tension and struggle and a fight to survive and be cleansed of all sins.

The compound of Nodd exists on the principles of respect and absolute belief. While Lynna brings up all of the things the reader may feel about cults, wonderment and hope is what becomes most clear in the land of the Grace. Hautman takes something shrouded in mystery and lets the reader walk between faith and fear to see the place where they meet. EDEN WEST is that meeting point.

With a strong narrative written with conviction, compassion, and confusion, this book is a beautiful example of a contemporary coming of age story. Inside the walls of Nodd feels like a fantastical place from the past. But even the past isn’t that simple. When Jacob faces the outside with its people and creatures, the simplicities of his world start to transform. A wolf invades Nodd and complicates Jacob’s world, and it is through such trials, that he discovers who he truly is.

EDEN WEST is a story that is stark and surreal and layered with the many questions we must answer as humans. The division between the world of Nodd and the outside world creates a compelling story sure to be an excellent choice for anyone looking for an out of the box coming of age story. This is a fantastic read I won’t be able to forget! Pick up your copy today!
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 3 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

How to Catch a Yeti
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling team...
Along Came a Fox
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The perfect story to encourage children to treat others as...
Rosa's Big Pizza Experiment (Rosa's Workshop)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Follow Rosa and her friends as they prepare pizzas! Each...
The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
*AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER* ...
The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves, #2)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Returning to the dark and glamorous 19th century world of...
Warriors of Wing and Flame (Sisters of Shadow and Light, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Warriors of Wing and Flame, the spellbinding sequel to...
Sisters of Shadow and Light
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
From the acclaimed author of Defy, Sara B. Larson, Sisters...
Lightbringer (Empirium, #3)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The incredible conclusion to the Empirium Trilogy that started...
Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Thirteen Short Stories from Bold New YA Voices &...
Hush (Hush, #1)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Graceling meets Red Queen in this exciting debut novel...
Twisted Pines
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Where have all the children gone? At rustic summer...
Beyond the Ruby Veil (The Walls in the Ruby Sky, #1)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A dark, queer YA fantasy that's perfect for fans...
Rosa's Big Sunflower Experiment
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Rosa's group of friends want to learn all about growing...
That Dog!
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
This brilliant second picture book from Emma Lazell--a rising star...
In the Study with the Wrench
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the aftermath of Headmaster Boddy’s murder, Blackbrook Academy...
I'm a Zcary Vampire
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
This little vampire is very scary! Or rather… ZCARY! To...

Latest Member Reviews

How to Catch a Yeti
 
5.0
"HOW TO CATCH A YETI is a delightful picture book about a group of children who, as the title implies,..."
Along Came a Fox
 
4.0
"ALONG CAME A FOX is the story of Bramble, who is excited to find some fireflies. Her friends tell her..."
Rosa's Big Pizza Experiment (Rosa's Workshop)
 
5.0
"ROSA'S BIG PIZZA EXPERIMENT is a cute picture book about the process to make a pizza, beginning with the flour,..."
The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)
 
5.0
"THE GILDED WOLVES is a fantastic YA fantasy. Although given a year in the 1800s and a historical setting, the..."
The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves, #2)
 
4.3
"That ending!!! THE SILVERED SERPENTS is an engaging YA historical fantasy that picks up after the first book ended, and..."
Warriors of Wing and Flame (Sisters of Shadow and Light, #2)
 
4.0
"WARRIORS OF WING AND FLAME is an intriguing conclusion to a YA fantasy duology about sisterhood. This book picks up..."
Sisters of Shadow and Light (Sisters of Shadow and Light, #1)
 
3.7
"SISTERS OF SHADOW AND LIGHT is an intriguing YA fantasy that focuses on the love between sisters. Zuhra has lived..."
Rosa's Big Sunflower Experiment (Rosa's Workshop)
 
4.0
"ROSA'S BIG SUNFLOWER EXPERIMENT is a cute picture book that brings science and plant facts to young children. Rosa and..."
That Dog!
 
4.5
"THAT DOG! is a silly fun picture book about animal similarities and light crime solving. Penny is a dognapper, and..."
I'm a Zcary Vampire
 
3.5
"I'M A ZCARY VAMPIRE is an overall cute picture book read that is great for the lead up to Halloween...."
Heroes Level Up (Homerooms & Hall Passes #2)
 
5.0
"Albiorix and his crew are having a great time being back in Bríandalör, successfully completing a lot of quests, but..."
Last: The Story of a White Rhino
 
4.5
"LAST: THE STORY OF A WHITE RHINO tells the story of the real rhino, Sudan, who is one of the..."
When Pumpkins Fly
 
3.5
"WHEN PUMPKINS FLY is about the arrival of pumpkins via plane that are then taken to the classroom where children..."
Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA
 
5.0
"FORESHADOW is a fantastic collection of short stories with a focus on discussion and writing. Each story is undeniably well-composed..."
Space Maps
 
5.0
"SPACE MAPS is a seriously cool oversized book with tons of information about the universe, planets, stars, our exploration, and..."
Owl Always Love You
 
5.0
"OWL ALWAYS LOVE YOU is a sweet board book that is made for bedtime. It is a sweet poem about..."
Twins
 
4.0
"Francine and Maureen feel differently about starting middle school; Francine is reinventing herself, going by "Fran"and rocking a hat an..."
Eleanor, Anna, and the Roosevelt Ghosts
 
5.0
"Eleanor Roosevelt has been living with her Grandmother Hall since her mother and father have both passed away. The older..."
When I Grow Up, I Want to Drive
 
4.5
"WHEN I GROW UP, I WANT TO DRIVE... is a cute lift-the-flap adventure of different work vehicles in action. On..."
Curious About Mammals
 
4.0
"CURIOUS ABOUT MAMMALS is a board book that presents some basic facts about mammals alongside realistic illustrations. It starts with..."