After Eden by Helen Douglas
Bloomsbury Publishing, 2013. ISBN: 9781408828694.
(Age: Teens) Highly recommended. Science fiction. Ryan Westland, mysterious foreign student, begins Perran School half way through term in year eleven, a novelty among the students he quickly becomes the gossip of the year eleven girls. Claiming to be from America Ryan is the perfect student and manages to be rebellious responsibly. Seemingly unaware of his growing fun club Ryan flirts unashamedly with Eden, a relatively plain vegetarian who lives just down the road from his house in Penpol Cove. He befriends first her and then her friends, accompanying her to a beach party for Amy's birthday; he is particularly interested in Connor, Eden's best friend, as they each share a passion for astronomy.
As Ryan falls for Eden he becomes less and less private, even allowing her into his home after she pays an unexpected visit. By accident Eden takes one of Ryan's books, a book that by all rights should not exist yet, it is the biography of her best friend, Connor Penrose's life after discovering the planet Eden. Eden demands an explanation and Ryan gives her one, putting them both at risk. Together they must prevent the discovery of Eden (the only life supporting planet other than earth) in order to save the human race from its future extinction.
After Eden is highly recommended for teenage girls with a passion for drama and science fiction. Aimed at a young adult audience the novel is engaging and easy to read as it well written using colourful descriptions that allow the reader to visualise the story.
Kayla Gaskell (age eighteen)