Title: Eden Summer
Author: Liz Flanagan
Publisher: David Fickling Books
UK Release Date: 7th July 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Shy, gothy Jess and stunning and popular Eden are best friends. They’ve supported each other through some of the hardest things you can go through – death, bullying, love, heartbreak. They know everything about each other.
But then Eden goes missing and Jess knows she has to find her, and fast, because the longer someone is missing, the more likely it is they won’t be found. So Jess starts exploring her memories, things Eden said and did in the last few months and she starts to realise that maybe they don’t know each other as well as she thought.
Set in the beautifully described stunning countryside of West Yorkshire, an incredibly pacy page turner as the clock runs down on the likelihood of finding Eden alive.
Eden Summer was a book I heard about over the summer, with my interest piqued by the interesting description, the emphasis placed on Jess and Eden’s friendship in the blurb, and the pretty cover, and at last I have finally gotten around to reading and reviewing it!
There were lots of aspects about this book I really liked, and one of the main ones was definitely the setting. As the description on Goodreads mentions, the book is “set in the beautiful described stunning countryside of West Yorkshire”, but what it doesn’t mention is that a section of the book is set at Arvon, a well-known writing retreat in England. I’ve never been, but it’s always sounded like something I would want to do, and this book has only made me want to visit it more. Also, because the protagonist, Jess, was a runner, she changed location frequently in her hunt for Eden, and it meant you got to explore so much of the forest and town in which the characters lived.
Another thing I thought was really cool about the book was how it was set over one day. While there were flashbacks peppered throughout the story in order to aid with narrative exposition, the bulk of the story was told over the course of a single day. I loved this element of the book, as I thought it added a lot of intensity to the story – the time slowly but surely crept from the early morning to almost midnight, and you knew that the ending had to be before twelve, but it was certainly a close call!
I wasn’t completely sure as I was reading the book whether or not I liked the characters. Jess and Eden were both interesting on the whole, although both of them had aspects to their personalities that I didn’t like as much. I had mixed feelings about Liam too – obviously as the story is told from Jess’ perspective, the view of Liam that you see is affected by her opinion of him, and her thoughts shifted and changed very frequently. As a result, I spent most of the novel feeling generally uncertain when it came to Liam.
Overall, Eden Summer was definitely very strong when it came to the setting and the plot – while I didn’t find it mysterious as I’d thought I would, there was a definite air of tension surrounding the race against time to discover Eden’s whereabouts. Although the characters weren’t entirely my cup of tea, it was a pleasant read, and on the whole an enjoyable and interesting book.