Happy July, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful June, and that July is just as fun or even better!
I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reading “Elites of Eden” by Joey Graceffa! I read the previous book, “Children of Eden,” and loved it, so I’m happy to continue with the next book in the trilogy! Here’s a summary so we know what it’s about:
“Two girls, one destiny.
Yarrow is an elite: rich, regal, destined for greatness. She’s the daughter of one of the most powerful women in Eden. At the exclusive Oaks boarding school, she makes life miserable for anyone foolish enough to cross her. Her life is one wild party after another…until she meets a fascinating, lilac-haired girl named Lark.
Meanwhile, there is Rowan, who has been either hiding or running all her life. As an illegal second child in a strictly regulated world, her very existence is a threat to society, punishable by death…or worse. After her father betrayed his family, and after her mother was killed by the government, Rowan discovered a whole city of people like herself. Safe in an underground sanctuary that also protected the last living tree on Earth, Rowan found friendship, and maybe more, in a fearless hero named Lachlan. But when she was captured by the government, her fate was uncertain.
When these two girls discover the thread that binds them together, the collision of memories means that their lives may change drastically—and that Eden may never be the same.”
Character development: 4 out of 5 stars
Romance development: 4 out of 5 stars
You will either love or hate Yarrow. Yarrow is the near-literal opposite of who Rowan is from last book. Yarrow is a first child, and also grew up in a very high-class environment and attends Oaks (which is a really high-class school) while hanging out with the popular kids such as Pearl and other classmates. But then she meets Lark, and she starts questioning her so-called perfect life. Yarrow is very classist, given her initial treatment of Lark and other characters, and she’s a risk taker to not protect others (at least not until later in the book) but rather for herself. However, she does undergo a growth in compassion to others through her friendship with Lark, and I wish I could tell more about Yarrow but I can’t due to major plot-spoiling reasons.
Rowan does return in this book, I can tell you that, and she definitely does still have that risk-taking, headstrong nature to her. She has a lot to struggle with in terms of coming to understand that the world around her really isn’t as it seems for plot-twist-related reasons I’ll explain in a later paragraph.
Ash is (thankfully) revealed to be out of jail and in safety with the rebels such as Lark and Lachlan, and this leads to some heartwarming interactions between Rowan and Ash. You really get to see how deeply they care for each other, so much that when Rowan is given chances at freedom, she affirms that it really isn’t freedom without having her brother by her side. In a (minor spoiler alert) later section of the book, in order to defend the need to protect Ash to the other rebels when they start seeing him as a liability, she reveals the truth that Ash was the second child all along while she was the real first child and therefore they should prioritize Ash’s safety over hers. We as the readers knew since book one as of why this was the case, but literally no one else really knew until Rowan chose to give the reveal herself. Rowan doing such a thing shows her depth of caring for her brother so much to giving up her own freedom and safety to make sure he’s okay.
As for romantic development, I can also confirm that the love triangle is much better handled in this book compared to last book. I can’t elaborate too much as of why because it relates a bit to the major-plot spoiling things, but I definitely see the chemistry between Lark and Rowan as well as Lachlan and Rowan more easily this time. Rowan affirms that she really does love both Lark and Lachlan, and Lark and Lachlan both love her in return. It’ll be interesting to see how that develops in the next book.
Worldbuilding development: 5 out of 5 stars
Plot development: 4 out of 5 stars
Once again, the worldbuilding is the strongest part of this book, like last book, and expands much on how the EcoPan functions as well as the fate of Second Children such as Rowan (which I won’t give away much due to major plot spoilers). A lot of this worldbuilding I wish I could elaborate on to tell you what I love about it, but due to not wishing to give away major plot-spoiling reasons, I can’t. All I can say is that the EcoPan is far more twisted than it appeared to be in the first book.
As for the overall plotline, there were many plot twists concerning the characters, Eden and the EcoPan, and the fate of the Second Children and what happens to them. Virtually most of the plot twists were both well-done and something I didn’t predict except for one of the major twists, and it definitely kept me reading this book all the way through. The only reason I rate this at 4 stars, as opposed to 5, however, is because the plotline lagged a little bit in the beginning, mainly because it spent about the first fifth of the book setting up Yarrow’s situation for so long.
Overall, I’m rating this book 4.25 out of 5 stars!
I am hoping to get my hands on a copy of the last book in the trilogy when I can, because this series is getting better with each book so far and I’d like to read more.