Rowan is a Second Child in a world where population control measures make her an outlaw, marked for death. She can never go to school, make friends, or get the eye implants that will mark her as a true member of Eden. Her kaleidoscope eyes will give her away to the ruthless Center government.
Outside of Eden, Earth is poisoned and dead. All animals and most plants have been destroyed by a man-made catastrophe. Long ago, the brilliant scientist Aaron al-Baz saved a pocket of civilization by designing the EcoPanopticon, a massive computer program that hijacked all global technology and put it to use preserving the last vestiges of mankind. Humans will wait for thousands of years in Eden until the EcoPan heals the world.
As an illegal Second Child, Rowan has been hidden away in her family's compound for sixteen years. Now, restless and desperate to see the world, she recklessly escapes for what she swears will be only one night of adventure. Though she finds an exotic world and even a friend, the night leads to tragedy. Soon Rowan becomes a renegade on the run – unleashing a chain of events that could change the world of Eden forever. ~Goodreads Blurb
There seems to be quite a number of reviews already posted about this book from fans who readily admit that they haven’t even read the book. I can understand their excitement but as someone who hasn’t seen Joey Graceffa’s YouTube channel before reading this book, it does make it difficult to get a read on what others thought of this book. I try to see most of the books I review through other people’s eyes so I can see if I missed something. With Children of Eden, I seem to have missed a few years of daily videos and a fandom that wants to support their creator. I can respect that.
The title page threw me for a second, while the cover lists Joey’s name and calls him a New York Times Best Seller, just underneath it is the name, Laura L. Sullivan. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that she is his ghost writer. I can’t say that this is a bad book, but it isn’t particularly amazing either. I would call it a good beginner book. There are standard tropes that have flooded the Young Adult and the Dystopian Fiction Marketplace. This seems to be a mashup of the greatest hits. You have some of the Giver, some Hunger Games, some Maze Runner, a bit of Divergent and a few others that have become standard fare. The reason I call it a good beginner book, is that with the simple language and the made up curse words, it can appeal to readers who are just getting into the genre.
There really isn’t anything that can be described as offensive, though some religious parents may find the romance a bit outside their ballpark. I personally found it refreshing even if it stayed in the lines of an odd love triangle. The curse words are made up and while you can insert your choice of bad word, that’s up to you. It is difficult to really decide what to say about this one. On the one hand, it isn’t really all that special, but part of me thinks that the authors’ goal may have been to appeal to the broadest base. In which case, they have succeeded. The next great novel, not so much. So if you have a young reader and you want to ease them into Dystopian fiction without jarring them, this would be a good choice. There are some difficult points that might bring up questions but most of it is basic dystopian fiction. I would recommend this to young readers and would say buy it as a Christmas present or borrow it from your local library.
The Goodreads profile for Joey Graceffa reads: Joey Graceffa is one of the fastest-growing personalities on YouTube. A popular brand ambassador, he has partnered with Topshop, Audible, eBay, and H&R Block. In 2013, between his daily vlogs and gameplay videos, Joey produced and starred in his own Kickstarter–funded supernatural series, “Storytellers,” for which he won a Streamy Award. He also starred in The Amazing Race on CBS and returned in 2014 for the all-star edition. He grew up with his family in Boston before moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in entertainment.