ASHES OF EDEN by Seven Everson


The Burden
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From debut novelist Everson, a supernatural story of first love and the realization that some things are not quite as they appear.

Seventeen-year-old Emma Hart is ready to leave high school behind to start her real life. One day, a boy having a seizure in the hallway tells her 89 people will die in a plane accident. That boy turns out to be mysterious new student Connor Harman. When they are partnered up in history class, it’s “hate at first sight.” As she gets to know her new study partner, Emma can’t help but be drawn to him. Moments of humor lighten the mood, as when Emma thinks to herself, “The first rule of Connor Harman is don’t talk about Connor Harman.” He’s hiding a dark secret, and over several weeks and study sessions at his mansion, she has more questions than answers. Why is Connor in terrible pain every day? Why does he only live with a housekeeper? And why does Ethan, Emma’s good friend who has always been in love with her, take an instant dislike to Connor? When the truth comes out, it is more shocking than she ever could have imagined. Emma is a relatable, charming young woman, evident when comparing herself with her more adventurous best friend, Sarah: “I’d like to say that I had plans to someday save the world like a lot of kids my age did, but…I knew my limits.” The evolution of Emma and Connor’s relationship is expertly told, from their first real conversation to their passionate kissing near the book’s end. One misstep, though, revolves around several chapters about Emma’s visiting cousins: descriptions of fashion- and makeup-obsessed Laney, her creepy brother, and their night out on the town do little to advance the plot. The page-turning quality of this love story comes from Emma’s character development, because loving Connor forces her to grow up quickly.

An original romance/mystery that will leave readers eagerly awaiting the next installment.

Pub Date: March 24th, 2015
Page count: 445pp
Publisher: Self
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2015


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